Lynn middle school aims to be 21st-century learning center

Thurgood Marshall Middle School in Lynn may soon have a longer school day, with extra time devoted to math lessons, if it is chosen for a 21st Century Community Learning Center grant.

Lynn school officials have submitted an application for the federal grant to the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Marshall, one of three Lynn middle schools, has a high population of low-income students, many of whom do not speak English as a first language, Superintendent Catherine Latham said.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

“We chose it because we feel it’s our middle school that needs the most help,” she said.

If selected, Marshall would use the money to extend the day, providing extra math instruction to students at the 947-student school on Porter Street.

On the 2012 MCAS exam, 45 percent of Marshall students scored in the warning/failing category for math, compared with 15 percent of their peers statewide.

Only 18 percent scored proficient or higher, compared with a 59 percent statewide rate, according to results released last month.

Students who need remedial help to pass the test, or those who scored on the higher end and want to boost scores from proficient to advanced, will be eligible for extra learning time.

“It’s not going to be a whole-school extension. It will be for the kids most in need, or who are on the upper level of proficiency [and want to excel],” Latham said.

If Marshall is chosen, grant money will be used to pay teachers to work extra hours, or to hire tutors, Latham said.

“We want to have a very small student-teacher ratio,” she said.

“We would offer the extra time to our own people first, then look at hiring tutors.”