English High School

Dr. Sito Narcisse, Headmaster
144 McBride Street, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
Phone: 617-635-8979
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Plan trip using MBTA Public Transit
BPS Report on Teaching & Learning for English High

Partner University: Boston University
Family Community Outreach Coordinator:
Sandra McIntosh
Number of Students: 843

Step UP Activities

  • Linked to the developing advisory program for a second year, Boston Universityís Team Support program leveraged interest in sports and other physical activities to engage students in social-emotional and academic learning. The Boston University School of Education worked in the advisory classes of all the English High sports teams. Using the Teaching Personal and Social Responsibility approach to their work, graduate students met twice a week with the athletes to discuss academic and adjustment issues, before moving on to physical conditioning activities such as weightlifting, yoga, and Gymcraftics and cooperative games. The BU menís soccer team provided additional coaching support in the spring.
  • A new initiative for BU at English High in 2008-09, the College COACH program provided the opportunity for BU to work in conjunction with Suffolk University to expand the work with students in eleventh and twelfth grades to be ìcollege-ready and success-bound.î Working with the twelfth-grade advisory classes in the fall and the eleventh-grade advisories in the spring (excepting those served by Team Support), BU and Suffolk graduate-student mentors delivered an 11-week curriculum based on materials provided by TERI (The Education Resources Institute). The fall curriculum supported twelfth-grade students as they selected colleges, prepared entrance essays, completed their applications, prepared for interviews, and previewed college life. The eleventh-grade curriculum covered options for higher education, exploring college majors and degrees, preparing for the SAT, and learning how college admissions committees evaluate applicants. This work was coordinated with the guidance counselors.
  • A new dual-enrollment initiative was launched in support of the Accelerated Agenda goal of ìcollegeready and success-bound.î Seven twelfth-graders were selected by the English High faculty to enroll for academic credit in the Boston University freshman writing course "College Reading and Writing." Students attended classes three times a week after the regular school day and were expected to follow and complete the course curriculum.
  • The Boston University College of Arts and Sciences assisted the English Language Arts director in leading professional development workshops for 10 weeks in the fall. The goals were to ensure that teachers' grading standards and writing assignments took into account the priorities expressed in the SAT and MCAS scoring rubrics; to base professional development on being alert to what actual student writing told teachers about areas of collective strength and weakness; and to follow the leads "where they led" with respect to neglected topics such as grammar, punctuation, usage, and paraphrasing. This work will continue in 2009-10.
  • Through a new outreach program developed by the BU undergraduate chemistry club Chemia and BU Women in Chemistry, two post-doctoral fellows from the BU Chemistry Department developed three laboratory experiences and trained six student volunteers to conduct them. Working with the English High chemistry teachers, the theme of acids and bases was chosen as the focus, based upon its inclusion on the MCAS and the inadequacy of the textbook on the subject. Every other week during the spring semester, the undergraduates tutored students and conducted the labs; as a capstone event, nearly 100 English High students attended a Chemistry Day at BU.
  • The Boston University Goldman School of Dental Medicine introduced the Smart Smiles program to English High School. Twenty-seven high school students, many of whom had special health care needs, received oral health screenings, prophylaxis, sealants, and fluoride varnish applications. Those needing further treatment for active decay were provided with referrals and assistance in finding dental insurance.
  • Boston University provided a leadership coach to the headmaster for one half-day per month throughout the school year. Coaching concentrated on use of subordinate administrators, effective delegation, and improved communication with all internal school constituencies.
  • Through the GK12 program at BU, a graduate student worked in collaboration with an English High physics teacher to provide 350 hours of classroom support, which included prepared lessons and instructional materials.
  • Northeastern University provided classroom support for advanced-placement biology students, through collaboration with the GK12-PLUS Program. A Ph.D. student spent 10 hours a week in the class throughout the school year.