GNB Voc-Tech Report Card Shows Continued Improvement
NEW BEDFORD — This is a report card worthy of hanging up on the fridge.
The Massachusetts Department of Education has issued its School Report card for Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational Technical High School, and the school scored better in 2017 than in any year since 2012 in nine of 11 categories.
The report cards contain information about student enrollment and teacher qualifications, student achievement, accountability, how Voc-Tech is performing relative to other districts and schools, and the progress it is making toward improving proficiency for all students.
"We're very pleased with our school and all that hard work that all our teachers do in our school, both in the academic and vocational areas," GNB Voc-Tech Superintendent James L. O'Brien told WBSM News. "We've put our best foot forward by building a great leadership team here. And a lot of young, energetic teachers who put the time in, along with academic support services to our students after school, in the various math strategies and literacy courses within our academic schedule."
In mathematics, Voc-Tech students' overall performance was 92.7 percent, with their students outperforming more than half of high school students in the Commonwealth. For English Language Arts, Voc-Tech students' overall performance was 97.5 percent, slightly above the school’s six-year target goal of 97.4 percent, and in Science, Voc-Tech students scored 89 percent, the highest level in the last four years.
“We are pleased to see continued growth for all our students in the annual report card, but at the same time as educators we know we must continue to strive to do better for our students,” said James L. O’Brien, Superintendent/Director of Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational Technical High School. “As a school serving one of Massachusetts Gateway Communities, we are especially encouraged by the across the board growth demonstrated by our students who are English language learners. English Language Learners at GNBVT outperformed more than 70% of public high schools in all three 10th grade assessments.”
As a school serving one of Massachusetts' Gateway Communities, O'Brien was especially encouraged with the response to the strategies Voc-Tech is utilizing to help English Language Learners. ELL students at Voc-Tech outperformed more than 70 percent of public high schools in all three 10th grade assessments.
"They work due to the collaborative efforts of the academic department heads, the director of cirriculum, along with the vision of our academic principal," O'Brien said of the school's ELL strategies. "The support also comes from the vocational areas, where the students see the connection between what they're learning in their academic schedule, and what they're trained in with their vocational programs."
The graduation rate at Voc-Tech has also risen, with a four-year graduation rate of 93.2 percent in 2016, an increase of 4.1 percent over the previous year. The school can also boast being a Level 2 school. It is the second-largest vocational high school in the Commonwealth, but it still maintains a student-to-teacher ration of 10.6-to-1, better than the state average of 13.2-to-1.
O'Brien said there will also be continual tweaking of the academic and vocational environments to strengthen the foundation for students, and to help Voc-Tech continue to improve in the coming years.
"We're really lucky to have both the teachers and the kids (that we do)," O'Brien said. "They feel really safe here, and they really enjoy being here."