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Fast Facts About BSRI
Barbara Gardner and Ed Moscovitch founded the Bay State Reading Institute (BSRI) in 2005 because they knew that the best way to improve schools is to provide teachers and principals with ongoing support and education in their classrooms and buildings.
Today BSRI partners with elementary schools across Massachusetts, producing benefits in many areas: higher state accountability levels, improving MCAS scores for low-income students at a much faster rate than the state average, fewer discipline problems, greater collaboration among staff, and better educational leadership from principals.
How BSRI Transforms Classrooms
A BSRI classroom looks different from what most of us experienced in school. That’s because it works differently, using research-backed teaching techniques to improve education for all levels of students.
Anita Bala, at Munger Hill Elementary in Westfield, MA, had been teaching first grade for over 20 years when BSRI came to her school. She’d seen the various reform fads come and go, and says, “I was skeptical. I felt I’d had good success with the old way. Two years later, I am surprised at how well this new way works. The students are improving by leaps and bounds. It’s amazing.”
How BSRI Improves Schools
To improve schools, teachers and support staff work together as teams. Principals become educational leaders, guiding the progress. To make significant improvements in student literacy, schools have to make many changes all at the same time. And as Fitchburg, MA, superintendent Andre Ravenelle says, “You can’t do this alone. You need outside partners.”
Principal Jodi Gennodie has been working with BSRI at the Lincoln Elementary School in Revere, MA, since 2011. “Whether you’re running a wealthy suburban school or a needy urban school,” she says, “you have a variety of students, and you have to figure out how to meet all of their needs at the same time at an engaging level. BSRI helps you to do that, and a lot more.”
HOLLISTON, MASSACHUSETTS – For nearly as long as there have been standardized tests, educators have noticed a disturbing fact: Low-income students’ test scores are far lower on average than middle and higher-income students.
The Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower Foundation has awarded the Bay State Reading Institute (BSRI) a three-year, $90,000 grant to fund staff coaching and professional development at BSRI’s ten partner schools in Beverly and Gloucester.
The Bay State Reading Institute (BSRI) announced today that the Adams-Cheshire Regional District (ACRSD) will become its tenth Partner District in Massachusetts. BSRI will work with the Plunkett Elementary School in Adams and the Cheshire Elementary School in Cheshire beginning in September.
REVERE, MASSACHUSETTS – The Bay State Reading Institute (BSRI) today released good news about its partner schools in Everett, Malden and Revere – three Massachusetts Gateway Cities.
The funds will enable BSRI to expand the program to 6,800 students in 12 high-need, low-performing schools in Brockton, Fitchburg, Gloucester, Malden, Pittsfield, Taunton, and Revere.
As the new school year approaches, I have been thinking about some of the high-performance, high-expectations schools in which I’ve been privileged to work.
What is particularly striking is that these schools, public elementary and middle schools across Massachusetts, are truly joyful places; you can see it in the enthusiasm of the students and the smiles of their teachers!
It’s very hard work, teachers say, but it’s worth it; they are seeing their students perform at previously unimagined levels. These outstanding schools share seven key elements.
The Bay State Reading Institute helps build teachers, literacy coaches and principals into leaders
At one table, Plum Cove Elementary School fourth-grader Jessica Cote was working with classmates Noah Vicari and Brendan Anderton, reading online articles to build an argument in favor of recycling.
“It protects the environment,” said Jessica. “And it reduces energy,” Noah added.
Both Adams-Cheshire Regional School District elementary schools have seen increased standardized test scores.
When Carlos entered Kristen Reidy’s first-grade class at the Salemwood School in Malden, Mass., nearly five years ago, his reading scores put him in the “at risk” category. He missed his dad, who was still in the family’s home country in Central America, and he “could get into some behavior problems if you didn’t have the right mitts to catch him and let him know you believe in him,” Ms. Reidy says
You can’t be successful changing adult behavior if you’re looking down on teachers. You have to get them to trust you, to like you, and to have confidence in you
IT’S NOT a charter. It has no special designation or overarching theme. It’s “just a school,” said Sarah Hartnett, literacy coach at the Lincoln Elementary School in Revere — one that’s working hard at doing what every school is supposed to do, no matter what it calls itself.
Closing the gap between the achievements of low-income students and their peers is such a formidable challenge that some experts say it cannot be done without eliminating poverty itself.
When Charlie Baker and Martha Coakley voiced their support for more charter schools earlier this month, they missed a bigger point. Charter or no charter isn’t what matters; it’s the quality of education a school gives our children.