• Category 3

    Selected in 2017

  • Grades: 7 - 12
    School Setting: urban
    Town Population: 0
    Student Enrollment: 320
    Student Demographics:

    Black/African American: 65%
    White/Caucasian: 1.3%
    Hispanic: 31.6%
    Hawaiian/Pacific Islander: 0%
    Asian: 0.3%
    Native American: 0.5%
    Other: 1.3%

    Teacher/Student Ratio: 1:15
    % Reduced Lunch: 100%
    % ELL Learners: 5.9%
    Founded: 1998
  • PRINCIPAL:
    Naia Wilson
  • CONTACT:
    655 Metropolitan Avenue
    Hyde Park, MA 02136
    617-212-4912
    NWILSON@BOSTONPUBLICSCHOOLS.ORG
New Mission High School
Hyde Park, MA
“New Mission is tenaciously changing the life trajectories of its students."
What is the single most important factor in the success of your school that others could replicate?
Effective teacher collaboration is defined as engaging in regular routines where teachers communicate about classroom experiences in an effort to strengthen pedagogical expertise and push colleagues to try new things. Here at New Mission collaboration depends on establishing trust among teachers and between teachers and school leaders. We take a a two-pronged approach:
First, we implement structures, routines, and protocols to establish and facilitate teacher interaction focused on instructional issues.Second, specific attention is devoted to nurturing school-wide behavioral norms that undergird collaborative practices, such as collective responsibility for student learning. At New Mission all adults are committed to working together to achieve commonly-held goals.
Describe how data is used to improve student achievement and inform decision making.
Decisions about academic programming begin before students even enter New Mission. Prior to the start of the school year, staff meet in grade-level, content, and student support teams to discuss entering and returning students – their strengths and areas of concern.
A comprehensive system of assessments is complemented by student-led portfolios that empower students to take control of their learning. Students are using their own data, in the form of their assignments, to analyze and reflect on how well they have understood the content. During the bi-yearly portfolios, students explain to their parents and advisor what they have learned and what they would like to improve on for next semester. Their work serves as evidence to inform their own learning. New Mission High School empowers students to be independent thinkers by looking at their own data. Self-directed reflection promotes higher academic achievement.
Describe the program or initiative that has had the greatest positive effect on student achievement, including closing achievement or opportunity gaps, if applicable.
New Mission's primary strategy to close the achievement and opportunity gaps is to provide equity in access to advanced coursework ."Honors for All" allows approximately 85% of our students take at least 2 AP courses prior to graduation. The small size of the school allows teachers to get to know students well. Annual one-on-one degree audits to discuss grades and pathways toward graduation are conducted by guidance and the headmaster. A “step-up” day in June shows students what it will be like at the next grade level. Homework Academy and Saturday School provide an opportunity for students to get assistance from teachers. For students who are not meeting the minimum C-, these safety-net programs become mandatory. Our robust social emotional support system consists of a school psychologist, 6 person-guidance team, an Advisor Model, partnership with Home for Little Wanderers for Mental Health counseling, and a full time mental health provider through the School Based Health Center.
What are your school’s top two goals for the next year?
Fall 2017 New Mission has opened its doors to our first 7th grade class making us the first non exam school to adopt the New 7-12 grade configuration. As we integrate these middle grades to our high school our goals will be:

1. To ensure that all students understand the culture of achievement and embody the New Mission Way.

2. Academic Rigor is at the core of all classes.
Describe your school culture and explain changes you’ve taken to improve it.
New Mission is tenaciously changing the life trajectories of its students. Mission Titans excel in academics, athletics, and extracurricular activities. Our four-year graduation rate is consistently over 95 percent with all graduates gaining access to 2 and 4 year colleges. Seniors win some of the nation’s most prestigious scholarships including multiple winners of the Gates Millennium Scholarship. Members of the Debate Team have represented the school at National Championships. In athletics, the track and field, basketball teams have won multiple city championships and the boys’ basketball team won 5 State titles. In 2013, New Mission was named a National Blue Ribbon School.We attribute our success to leadership that is intentionally shared among all teachers. Decisions are student-focused, data-driven, and based on holistic assessments of strengths and needs. Test scores are only one component. We embed a culture of high academic rigor coupled with personalized support.
Describe your philosophy of school change or improvement.
The leadership and staff at New Mission know that to help students overcome the challenges facing urban students, the school needs to keep improving. After briefly celebrating improved graduation rates and achievement scores, New Mission has set a new goal of having every student in the school achieve a college-ready score of 1300 or above on the SAT and 100 percent of graduates taking at least one Advanced Placement (AP) course before graduating. They are already well on their way in accomplishing the latter; at least 80 percent of 2014 graduates are expected to have taken at least one AP course.
New Mission and the other seven SOM Prize-winning schools are examples of how successful practices can lead to significant improvement. By intentionally sharing leadership, employing student-centered and data-driven decision making, and developing a culture of rigor and support, school leaders and teachers can impact the life trajectories of urban students.
Stats
  • Category 3

    Selected in 2017

  • Grades: 7 - 12
    School Setting: urban
    Town Population: 0
    Student Enrollment: 320
    Student Demographics:

    Black/African American: 65%
    White/Caucasian: 1.3%
    Hispanic: 31.6%
    Hawaiian/Pacific Islander: 0%
    Asian: 0.3%
    Native American: 0.5%
    Other: 1.3%

    Teacher/Student Ratio: 1:15
    % Reduced Lunch: 100%
    % ELL Learners: 5.9%
    Founded: 1998
  • PRINCIPAL:
    Naia Wilson
  • CONTACT:
    655 Metropolitan Avenue
    Hyde Park, MA 02136
    617-212-4912
    NWILSON@BOSTONPUBLICSCHOOLS.ORG