• Category 2

    Selected in 2018

  • Grades: 9 - 12
    School Setting: urban
    Town Population: 150,373
    Student Enrollment: 1,278
    Student Demographics:

    Black/African American: 3.4%
    White/Caucasian: 85.5%
    Hispanic: 7%
    Hawaiian/Pacific Islander: 0%
    Asian: 0.7%
    Native American: 0.5%
    Other: 2.9%

    Teacher/Student Ratio: 1:13.4
    % Reduced Lunch: 25.3%
    % ELL Learners: 0.2%
    Founded: 1967
  • PRINCIPAL:
    Karen Guenette
  • CONTACT:
    207 Hart St.
    Taunton, MA 02780
    508-823-5151
    kguenette@bptech.org
Bristol-Plymouth Vocational Technical School
Taunton, MA
“The greatest asset in improving Bristol-Plymouth’s school culture is the teaching staff."
Describe your school culture and explain changes you’ve taken to improve it.
The greatest asset in improving Bristol-Plymouth’s school culture is the teaching staff. In a recent survey, the students indicated that their teachers promote respect and they are aware when students are upset and make themselves available when students need to talk with them. The students also feel like they belong to a school community. Keeping open lines of communication between administration, faculty/staff, and students have helped to improve our school climate. Beginning last year, we partnered with an organization called Roots & Wings Consulting to help our students develop their leadership and communication skills. Student leaders have been trained to facilitate conversations with their peers on topics such as cultural diversity, conflict resolution, and advocacy. The program, now in its second year, has expanded to include more students and teacher mentors.
Describe how data is used to improve student achievement and inform decision making.
In the academic setting, data obtained from midterm and final exams, as well as MCAS testing, is analyzed to adjust future instruction. A variety of formative and summative assessments are created in all educational settings, which teachers use to analyze student achievement data. Teachers are expected to evaluate summative assessments within their unit plans or pre-post test assessments. Formative assessments are used in the classroom to gauge students’ strengths and weaknesses, which may be included in homework assignments, observations, and questioning, minor checkpoint assessments.
Teachers regularly collaborate in formal ways on the creation, analysis, and revision of summative and common assessments. Smaller group collaboration occurs on several levels, including academic department meetings during academic common prep times.
Based on the data received, teachers improve their instructional practices and future assessments. Procedures are then modified by the instruction to ensure knowledge is retained and students have a deeper understanding of the material.
Describe the program or initiative that has had the greatest positive effect on student achievement, including closing achievement or opportunity gaps, if applicable.
Over the past several years, Bristol-Plymouth has maintained a focus on improving science, technology, engineering, and mathematics programs and instruction. As a vocational/technical school, this means adding in shop programs that specifically address these areas, such as Biotechnology and Engineering. Academically, Bristol-Plymouth has maintained a supplemental mathematics course, Math Concepts, for grades 9 & 10, to review previously learned topics in preparation for the grade 10 MCAS. The course offerings in mathematics and science have increased to include more advanced level coursework as well as expanding the range of topics taught, such as Bioethics, Environmental Science, Pre-Calculus, and Intro. to College Math.
Explain how ESEA federal funds are used to support your improvement efforts.
These funds have been used to improve math and extracurricular supports, as well as to fund social/emotional and health/safety programs and devices. Specifically, Title I funds are used to pay stipends for teachers in a before and after school homework help program and an MCAS preparation program, which run daily throughout the year. It also funds a summer academic achievement program geared toward all incoming freshman and select upperclassmen who are struggling to meet state and local achievement standards. Title I and IIA funds are also used to fund the salaries of mathematics teacher(s) and paraprofessional(s) who deliver the content for Math Concepts. Title IV funds have been used to purchase AEDs to ensure the health, safety, and well-being of the people within the building, as well as, funding the Roots & Wings school atmosphere and climate initiative.
Identify the critical professional development activities you use to improve teaching and student learning.
Through a combination of in-house professional development and external providers, professional development opportunities are provided on many mandated and faculty selected topics.
Regularly scheduled meetings are held with various stakeholders to promote reflection, inquiry and analysis of teaching and learning. Academic instructors meet by discipline each month during common planning time with their supervisor and additional meetings are scheduled as needed, say for PLCs or MCAS strategy/best practices.
The Professional Development School Improvement Committee is charged with gauging the instructional staff's needs and wants and developing a proposal for PD. Typically, the committee facilitator and the principal use survey results to inform decision making relative to PD offerings. In addition, each staff member meets with his/her direct supervisor to discuss his/her Individualized Professional Development Plan to meet state and local certification requirements. The district budget supports reimbursement for coursework for licensure and for professional development activities.
Describe specific programs in place to ensure that families are involved in the success of your school and students.
Several events throughout the year are hosted at Bristol-Plymouth to promote family and community involvement. Parents and family engagement events start prior to students enrolling at Bristol-Plymouth with an annual open house and admission night programs. Once students have been accepted, a parent reception is held to describe the programs and services available at Bristol-Plymouth. A separate health and wellness event is held to promote extra-curricular activities and to inform parents of topics and programs that will support their child in developing a healthy lifestyle. Once students are enrolled, parents are invited to attend college information sessions held by the guidance department. Parent-teacher conferences are held annually; however, frequent two-way communications is encouraged throughout the year. Parents and community members have opportunities to participate in advisory boards for the vocational and supplemental programs in the building.
What are your school’s top two goals for the next year?
The administration and faculty/staff are working diligently to update and improve our safety plans, protocols, and programs. This includes social/emotional supports as well as building safety measures.
Additionally, Bristol-Plymouth is working on a culture that is identified by respect, collaboration, and communication with one another through student and teacher-led programs and professional development.
Stats
  • Category 2

    Selected in 2018

  • Grades: 9 - 12
    School Setting: urban
    Town Population: 150,373
    Student Enrollment: 1,278
    Student Demographics:

    Black/African American: 3.4%
    White/Caucasian: 85.5%
    Hispanic: 7%
    Hawaiian/Pacific Islander: 0%
    Asian: 0.7%
    Native American: 0.5%
    Other: 2.9%

    Teacher/Student Ratio: 1:13.4
    % Reduced Lunch: 25.3%
    % ELL Learners: 0.2%
    Founded: 1967
  • PRINCIPAL:
    Karen Guenette
  • CONTACT:
    207 Hart St.
    Taunton, MA 02780
    508-823-5151
    kguenette@bptech.org