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Brennan Middle School Receives High Marks; School Committee Not Making the Grade

A report by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education praises Brennan’s performance.

The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education gave high praise to the Attleboro School District and , in particular, for its performance regarding the needs of low-income students as it was one of just 28 Title one schools to show improvement in that area. 

The report says Brennan’s low-income students surpassed the average district and statewide proficiency rates for low-income students.

“When there are exemplary practices in a district we need to encourage them to continue,” said Eva Mitchell, the Director for District and School Accountability at the Attleboro School Committee Meeting Monday night. Brennan was also by the state for its efforts in closing the achievement gap.

The DESE report also praised Superintendent Pia Durkin for her leadership and implementing a coherent program through all the grades and across schools.

“Schools are most successful when supported by district practices,” Mitchell said.

However, the report also criticized the Attleboro School Committee for lacking focus and said that “the superintendent’s leadership has been compromised by the necessity of spending too much and too many resources to meet the expectations of the school committee, which is often unsupportive of the district’s priorities.”

The report recommended the committee receive training from the Massachusetts Association of School Committees, though Lynda Foisy, Senior Associate Commissioner of DESE, noted that the committee has already been through workshops recently and commended the committee on those efforts.

“As a committee we should be encouraging ourselves to do better,” Chairman Ray DiCiaccio said.

The report was complied by the DESE following a review of student data, school committee minutes, interviews with school committee members, the administration and district staff. Additionally, six schools and 43 individual classrooms were visited and observed.

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