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Milford schools set to begin audit of curriculum

The changing face of Milford has prompted school officials to reexamine what they teach.

According to the new superintendent, Robert Tremblay, Milford's public schools are all undergoing a curriculum audit.

The audit will review current course work and measure the progress of students in grades prekindergarten through 12. "The audit is targeted to help students with math for the MCAS, language arts, and social studies," Tremblay said.

The schools are trying to enable each child to reach 100 percent proficiency by 2014, in accordance with the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

For that reason, Tremblay and the School Committee have appointed four curriculum supervisors to address the school system's progress so far in math and science, reading, and social studies.

He said Milford is becoming more diverse, thanks to an influx of new residents from Brazil and Ecuador.

"We have immigrant students coming in as non-English speakers, and we want them to access the curriculum . . . especially with English as a Second Language programs gone," Tremblay said. "Milford has to be mindful of how to meet the needs of its demographic."

The four curriculum supervisors are acting as field agents, collecting data, and bringing it back for analysis.

Two of the curriculum supervisors are reviewing math and science. Linda Ashley has been assigned to math and science in grades pre-K through 5, and Kathy Shey was assigned to math and science in grades 6-12.

In the areas of reading and social studies, Pattie Kelley is covering grades pre-K through 5; and Nancy Hanson was assigned to grades 6 through 12. Tremblay said this core team's goal is to examine the curriculum, determine what works and what doesn't, and uncover what needs to be improved for the benefit of the town's children.

That means curriculum supervisors will be auditing classes, meeting with teachers, interviewing principals, interacting with students, getting to know each school's culture, and reviewing test data from last year. Tremblay said the aim is to determine where the problem areas are.

"We'll look for trends or patterns," he said. "The problems may be organizational, curriculum, or it may come down to the student and his or her family life. We will try to get to the root of the problem using a series of questions to find answers to address these problems."

Tremblay says Massachusetts has education standards higher than any other state, and Milford is expected to "achieve at a particular level."

The curriculum supervisors were given less than four weeks to collect their data. The curriculum supervisors are tentatively scheduled to meet Oct. 1 with Tremblay and his management staff to discuss their findings.

Tremblay said he then plans to work one month at each school site, for a total of seven months, to assist with whatever problems are uncovered.

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