SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Opinion

July 5, 2013

Column: A year's commitment

The Salem Partnership formed the Community Advisory Board (CAB) for the Salem Public Schools in collaboration with the city of Salem in February 2012. The goal of the committee is to serve as a resource for both businesses and residents to have their ideas and concerns heard and to obtain feedback on their efforts. The committee also presents ideas and makes recommendations. Aiding in the turnaround and advocating for the Salem Public Schools is the ultimate objective.

Membership of the Community Advisory Board is composed of a cross section of community leaders to more effectively serve as a liaison between the mayor, superintendent, School Committee and the Greater Salem community. Members of the committee are: Dr. Patricia Maguire Meservey, Salem State University and The Salem Partnership (committee chairman); George W. Atkins, Ronan, Segal and Harrington and The Salem Partnership (committee vice chairman); Patricia Zaido, Salem Partnership (committee secretary); Margaret Brennan, North Shore Community Health Inc.; Lucy Corchado, Affordable Housing Trust Fund, Citizens Advisory Board and No Place for Hate Committee; Ellen Galligan, Catholic Charities; Scott Grover, Tinti, Quinn, Grover & Frey, P.C. and Salem Rotary Club; Janine Matho, Salem Education Foundation; Betsy Merry, Merry Fox Realty; Rinus Oosthoek, Salem Chamber of Commerce; Richard Pabich, The Salem Inn; Mary Sarris, North Shore Workforce Investment Board; Leanne Schild, Parents United of Salem; and Kris Wilson, retired teacher.

Since its conception, the Community Advisory Board has held four public meetings:

1. In June 2012, the Community Advisory Board sponsored a presentation by the Mass Math-Science initiative (MMSI). MMSI is a private/public partnership designed to drive a school culture to high expectations and dramatically increase participation and performance in Advanced Placement courses, particularly among underserved populations, to prepare students for college and career success in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The event featured an Advanced Placement teacher who has benefitted from advanced training and testimonial from a student on how MMSI is redefining the high school experience. In Salem High School’s first year in the program, the number of students earning qualifying scores on AP exams in math, science and English increased 129 percent. Currently, 24 percent of Salem High School’s juniors and seniors are enrolled in an MMSI AP course. As research indicates, students participating in AP courses are more likely to succeed in college and also can receive college credit when they earn qualifying scores on AP exams. More than 100 people attended this event.

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