For Immediate Release - January 12, 2012

Governor Patrick Visits Gill Elementary

School awarded Commendation status for narrowing proficiency gaps among students

Gill Elementary Visit
Governor Deval Patrick reads a book to children at Gill Elementary School (Photo credit: Eric Haynes/Governor's Office). View additional photos.


GILL – Thursday, January 12, 2012 – Governor Deval Patrick today visited Gill Elementary School to congratulate students and staff for being selected as a Commendation School. During his visit, Governor Patrick recognized the school’s success in improving student achievement outcomes and discussed the Administration’s second-term strategy for closing achievement gaps.

“The students and teachers at Gill Elementary School worked hard to achieve their Commendation School status and they deserve our praise,” said Governor Patrick. “Gill Elementary is providing a world class education for its students by applying best practices in innovative teaching and learning.”

Gill Elementary School is one of 127 Commendation Schools statewide recognized for its results in improving student achievement this year. Commendation Schools were selected by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education for their progress in closing proficiency rates and helping all students achieve at higher levels.
This year, Gill Elementary demonstrated increased levels of students reaching proficient and higher status on the state’s Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) exams in Grade 5 English Language Arts (ELA) and Math; and Grade 3 ELA.

The school serves approximately 135 students in grades K-6 and aims to prepare all students with the skills, experiences and knowledge they need to advance to the next level of their education.

Massachusetts leads the nation in student achievement and education reform efforts. Recognizing that there is more to be accomplished ahead, Governor Patrick has named closing the achievement gap as a top priority for his second term. 
In November 2011, Governor Patrick announced a new set of strategies aimed at closing the most persistent achievement gaps among Massachusetts students. This initiative will focus primarily on students in the Gateway cities, where many of the state’s immigrants, low-income students, English Language Learners and others stuck in the achievement gaps are found. The challenges faced by students, their families and their educators in the Gateway Cities are pressing, and the Governor’s plan provides an intense focus achievement gaps where they are most persistent, to help overcome those challenges.

The Administration’s second term education strategy is focused on five goals: (1) getting every child to reading proficiency by the third grade; (2) providing every child with a healthy platform for education; (3) providing students, particularly English Language Learners, with the quality and quantity of education they need to succeed; (4) preparing all students for college and career success; and (5) seeding and incentivizing innovation. The first four goals will be represented by a pilot program the Administration will launch in several of the Commonwealth’s Gateway cities on a competitive grant basis. The fifth program, a Commonwealth Innovation fund, will be open to all cities and towns in Massachusetts. Funding for these programs will be included in the Governor’s fiscal year 2013 budget proposal.

To learn more about the Patrick-Murray Administration’s Gateway Cities Education Agenda, visit: www.ma.gov/edu/gatewaycities.

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