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Salem's Bentley School stakeholder group appointed to lead turnaround

Posted by Justin Rice  December 14, 2011 03:46 PM

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The 13 members of a stakeholders group that will help navigate the Bentley Elementary School’s “turnaround process” were announced today.

As a result of being named one of six underperforming schools by state education officials on Nov. 14 due to consistently low test scores and other criteria, the Bentley School will form a group of parents, staff and other stakeholders to help develop a “turnaround” plan for the elementary school that has be based on one of four state and federally approved models. 

The school district will also be eligible for up to $500,000 in competitive grant funds to help implement school improvement plans.

“We have received an outpouring of support from the Salem community to help improve our schools, and the Bentley stakeholders will be key in leading the turnaround effort at this school,” Mayor Kim Driscoll said in a statement. “I am grateful for their interest and their commitment to this important initiative.”

The stakeholders group has until Jan. 28 to submit recommendations for how to improve the school’s performance to the Superintendent Dr. Stephen Russell, who has to submit a draft of the turnaround plan to the School Committee and state education commissioner by Feb. 27. The education commissioner has a month to make modifications.

The final turnaround plan is due on April 27 so it can be implemented next school year.

“We are off to a good start and I look forward to collaborating with the stakeholders at Bentley to improve school effectiveness,”  Russell said in a statement. “Each of our schools will be following suit and forming their own stakeholder groups to help guide school performance improvement plans.”

 The 13 member Bentley Stakeholder group includes the following:

Category                                                                           Name                                 

DESE Designee                                                           Amanda Trainor

School Committee Designee                                        Brendan Walsh

Union President                                                           Joyce Harrington

Administrator from School                                          Dr. Renata MacFarland

Teachers from School (2)                                            Ed Mercier and Gabrielle Montevechi

Parent from School                                                      Leanne Schild

Social Service Representative                                      Mari Matt, Salem YMCA

Workforce Development Agency                                Mary Sarris, North Shore WIB

EEC Commissioner Choice                                          Lynd Coffill

Community Members (3)                                             Joanne Scott, Boys and Girls Club

                                                                                    Kathy Winn
                                                                                    Rosario Ubiera Minay

Justin A. Rice can be reached at

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