High school committee meeting focused on student achievement


Discussion at the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School (MVRHS) school committee focused on student achievement Monday night. Principal Steven Nixon gave a detailed presentation about the high school’s results on the 2013 Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) exams.

He explained that although students’ scores overall were very good, the school dropped from a level one to a level two designation based on not meeting target performance growth levels in three subgroups. The high school also was penalized because its participation rate dropped below 95 percent.

In addition to MCAS results, guidance and counseling department director Michael McCarthy reported that the class of 2013 out-performed the school’s previous classes on the SAT college admissions exam and also on advanced placement testing.

The meeting’s “Student Spotlight” featured senior Clifton Paul Robinson. In addition to schoolwork and sports, including football, running, and throwing the discus, Paul works at the Grill restaurant year-round as a busboy and host.

He showed the committee a video he made featuring the high school’s sports teams as an intern with Martha’s Vineyard Community Television last summer. Paul also does web design and worked on the football team’s and school’s website. He plans to attend college and major in computer science.

In other business, the high school committee’s budget subcommittee met for an hour prior to the general meeting to review a first draft of the school district’s fiscal year 2015 budget. As Mr. Nixon explained, he and the staff begin by level-funding the budget, based on the previous year’s amounts, and change line items they are aware of at this time that will increase or decrease this year. In the weeks to come the draft budget will be revised to reflect the addition of the high school’s share of the superintendent’s office budget and shared services, and changes in transportation, utilities, and insurance.

The budget subcommittee’s next meeting is at 8 am on October 21. On November 4, the budget subcommittee will meet at 6 pm, followed by the school committee’s regular monthly meeting at 7 pm. The meetings are held in the high school’s library conference room.