Superintendent Safier My View - Gloucester High School

posted Oct 31, 2014, 6:13 AM by Tylor Marquis


What’s Happening at Gloucester H.S.
There are only a few high schools throughout the commonwealth that are truly “comprehensive” in both name and substance. Gloucester High School is one of those schools. The many, many options available to students, from the academic, to the arts, to automotive are varied and wide. This article is written to
briefly highlight some of those opportunities.

First, let me begin by stating that in terms of the State of Massachusetts’s school accountability system (read: MCAS), Gloucester High School is a Level 1 school. A Level 1 (out of 5 levels) designates the highest performing level for students, statewide, in both the aggregate and high needs groups. This accomplishment has been achieved through ongoing efforts at strengthening classroom instruction in relation to the state standards, and is supported by the kinds of enrichment available to students.

So, let me mention some of Gloucester High School’s programming. GHS has a number of brand new courses and programs, and a couple of continuing programs that were new and successful last year. The dual enrollment/early college credit program (with Endicott College) for students at Gloucester High School is now entering its second year. We have a class of juniors (Class of 2016), and a class of sophomores (Class of 2017) who are enrolled in the program this year. Both cohorts have the opportunity to earn as many as 15 college credits while completing their high school requirements. Juniors will be taking a College Writing Seminar and an Introduction to International Studies. Sophomores are taking a course called Academic Inquiry.

The high school has added to its Advanced Placement offerings a new AP Psychology course, bringing the total number of AP courses to 10. There is a new interdisciplinary class through the English and Business Education Departments called Media and Publications. Students in this course are now responsible for producing the yearbook and the school newspaper on a regular and frequent basis (the Gillnetter is online—http://thegillnetter.com/). A new Personal Finance class (Business Education Dept.), a semester elective is starting this fall, as is Yoga for the Body and Mind, a new elective in Health & Wellness.

As for some drama, for the first time in years, the high school has a new Theatre Arts teacher. Semester classes are available in Acting and Advanced Performance, Playwriting and Directing, and in Musical Theatre and Technical Theatre. We are very excited at the prospect of expanding our theater arts offerings and in continuing the work currently thriving at the middle school.

Other new and/or exciting listings at the high school include the following: an Electrical Technology Program infusing solar and alternative energy sources into the curriculum; a 3-D printer integration which will incorporate a design and innovation focus to the Engineering and Technology program; a continuing Robotics Program, Computer Assisted Design, and Machine Technology. The Machine Technology is benefiting significantly from an influx of industry standard level equipment acquired as a result of the consolidation of Essex Aggie and North Shore Tech into one vocational school. The Automotive and Culinary Programs have also received equipment.

Last, Gloucester U. is beginning its second year. Gloucester U. is a grant-funded program, which enables students to get involved in a host of after-school and learning extension opportunities. We are in the second year of a three-year grant that was developed by the school district working closely with the Gloucester Education Foundation.

If we throw in Gloucester High School’s extensive athletic program, clubs, student government and a host of other opportunities that I may have inadvertently left out of this column, then what we are describing is an institution that is dedicated to maximizing students’ academic/career success, and committed to exposing students to many options that might constitute future pursuits and interests while preparing them for their potential role in the community. Next, a look at the elementary schools’ standards-based report card.
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