October 8, 2008

Perfect! 4 High Schools Ace Science MCAS


South Shore Education

Administrators at four South Shore high schools say stronger science requirements and more focus on the subject helped their schools ace the new science portion of the MCAS.

Students in Norwell, Cohasset, Sharon and West Bridgewater attained a 100 percent pass rate on the science portion of the test, which will be a graduation requirement for students in the class of 2010.

Freshman and sophomores took one of four different science exams offered on the MCAS - biology, chemistry, physics, or technology and engineering.

Cohassett High School Principal Joel Antolini called the results an endorsement of the school's block scheduling, which collapses year-long courses into one semester.

Because students take five classes per semester, they are able to take the equivalent of at least five years of required science, with several science electives.

"It is about the gift of time at all grade levels," said Cohasset Superintendent Denise Walsh.

In Norwell, students are now required to take four years of science and math, said Superintendent Don Beaudette.

"We made a conscious effort a few years ago to accelerate the curriculum to require all four years," said Beaudette. "We have a strong focus on math and science here, and it shows."

Sharon administrators credited dedicated teachers and hardworking students with accomplishing their goals - without the need to add requirements.

"Its all about the efforts of our students and teachers, and the results speak volumes," said Sharon High School Principal Jose Libano.

About 7 percent of the class of 2010 passed ELA and Math, but have not yet passed the STE exam.

Kaitlin Keane may be reached at [email protected]

Originally published by By KAITLIN KEANE, The Patriot Ledger.

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