April 22, 2019 Vol. 1, No. 31

The Dearborn STEM Academy is a grades 6-12 Boston Public School supported by the Boston Plan for Excellence.

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Sketching by ninth grader Zaeda Miranda

Welcome back!

Dear members of the DSA community,

As the final vacation of the school year comes to a close we set our sights on the end of the year;

For our graduating seniors there is Prom, Senior Week, Graduation...they will be here before you know it.

Our returning students have selected courses for next year and now we'll plug them into a schedule! Finish strong!

It's testing season and grades 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 all have some type of State Assessment over the next 8 weeks.

We are helping families and students find summer programs, internships, and employment opportunities. Contact us at the school for more information.

The fourth quarter will move quickly; it's time to stay focused or get back on track:

  • Come to school every day and on time.
  • Attend all classes.
  • Pass in all assignments and on time.
  • Ask for extra support if you need it; you can get support after school or during WIN Time.

Finally, please read the letter below from Shelley Olsen, our Co-Principal.

Dear Dearborn Families and Community Members,

I am writing to share with you that at the end of this year, I will be stepping down from my Principal role at the Dearborn. This has been an incredibly hard decision for me to make and it is not one that I made lightly. As much as I wanted to believe that I could be a mom to a two-year-old and an effective school leader at the same time, this has not proven to be true and at this point in my life, I have to put my family and my son first.

On the first day of our Summer Institute with our staff this year, I shared my story of how I ended up where I am in my career. I went back and read that recently and this stuck out to me:

“When I was approached about this Middle School Principal role, I thought long and hard about it – I knew that there was still so much to do in order to build the great school that we have been talking about – and that would take a lot of work and commitment. My hesitation was that I am a new(ish) mom and my son and my family are everything to me; how can I be a leader and be the mom and wife that I want to be? But I also thought: Wow, what an opportunity. I finally have the chance to lead a school and be a part of building a school community that I have been dreaming of and looking for. One that thinks deeply about how instruction needs to be engaging, meaningful and about the THINKING that our students do AND one that priorities building a school community that is safe, supportive, inspiring, and fun.“

One of the reasons that this has been such a hard decision for me is because I still feel the same way. I am deeply committed to this school and to our students.

While I know that I cannot maintain being a principal right now, I do not know yet what my plans are for next year. I have started exploring possibilities for what will come next in my career - both here at Dearborn and other opportunities.

As we continue through the crucial final months of the year, I remain fully committed to our work here and look forward to continuing to serve our students and our school. At the same time, I welcome your questions and thoughts and am open to further conversation about my decision.

It has truly been an honor to work with your students and be a part of the Dearborn community.

With gratitude and appreciation,

Shelley Olsen


Subject: PRESS RELEASE - Baker-Polito Administration Announces 11 High Schools Launching Innovation Pathways

For Immediate Release: April 12,2019

Contact: Colleen Quinn


Innovation Pathways give students exposure to growing industries

BOSTON – Eleven high schools in the Commonwealth received official designation status for new Innovation Pathway programs, which are designed to connect students’ learning to a particular career pathway through college-level coursework and work-based experiences, the Baker-Polito Administration announced today.

Launched last year, Innovation Pathways expose students to career options in different industries, particularly STEM fields. High school students gain knowledge and skills in a particular field by taking, college-level courses, technical instruction, and working at internships with employers who partner with local high schools.

“We are pleased to continue offering these opportunities so more Massachusetts students can enroll in an Innovation Pathway program and gain vital experience in growing industries that will set them up for future success,” said Governor Charlie Baker.

“Innovation Pathways expose students to STEM-related fields like healthcare, manufacturing, and life sciences that will prepare them to meet the needs of Commonwealth employers seeking skilled labor to fill open positions,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito.

“Students enrolled in Innovation Pathways take a coherent course of study and receive real-world work experiences relevant to a broad industry sector. This provides them with valuable insight into what is required for certain fields, so by the time they get to college or further certification, they are well-prepared,” Education Secretary James Peyser said.

Schools that applied for designation for an Innovation Pathways were required to follow five design principles:

· Equitable access for all students

· Guided academic pathway, which, in the case of Innovation Pathways, must relate to one of five specified broad industry sectors

· Enhanced student supports

· Relevant connections to career

· Deep partnerships between high schools and employers or workforce development boards.

Students will start enrolling in the different Innovation Pathways this fall.

The Dearborn STEM Academy is one of 11 high schools that will launch Innovation Pathways:

Dearborn STEM Academy - Roxbury, MA

Dearborn STEM Academy is launching an Innovation Pathway in Information Technology that will serve 75 students when fully enrolled. Students will study STEM, specifically computer science, as well as take college-level courses from Wentworth Institute of Technology and have opportunities for internships at Microsoft. The school is also working with MassHire Boston Workforce Board.

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Ms. Eckels' classes design pinball machines!

Using the design engineering approach our grade 9 students got to design and build pinball machines using mostly cardboard, popsicle sticks and elastics. Some students added buzzers and lights to their machines!

In the picture below our high school science teacher Ms. Chodkowski is trying out her skills!

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Want a summer job?

Here is another link to the Success Link for city of Boston summer jobs. At the bottom, students can search for jobs in areas they desire and then create a profile. Students should use the bostonk12 email and same password to keep it simple.

There are many jobs out there and some of our students who have been working hard are already being called for interviews...

Here is link,,

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Drone Camp comes to the Dearborn...

Through a partnership with MassRobotics and Amazon we will be hosting a Drone Camp this summer. High School students can register for one of two weeks:

July 8-12 or July 15-19. Please contact Mr. Likosky or Principal Brown for more information.

The program is FREE.

Students will receive:

  • All of the materials and supplies needed to build a drone. See a picture of the prototype above.
  • Students will receive expert instruction that will allow each student to successfully build the drone.
  • Students will receive expert instruction on how to program the drone.
  • Students will fly the drone inside our beautiful atrium!
  • Students will also learn about FAA regulations about registering drones and rules preventing drones from flying within 5 miles of airports.

Students will keep the drone!

Consider joining the Dearborn Industry Advisory Council!

Friends and Colleagues,

We are writing to invite you to join the Dearborn Industry Advisory Council, a body that will support the school as we continue to develop and test our STEM program model.

Here's what we have in mind:


We seek to run an industry informed middle and high school that prepares students for their chosen profession. We need to have regular conversations with industry to ensure that our students have the skills, knowledge, and experiences necessary to succeed in Boston’s tech-driven labor market. The Industry Advisory Council will work with BPE and Dearborn leaders:

· To connect the school with ideas, trends, and possibilities from the broader (STEM) world around us

· To help us develop a comprehensive set of STEM opportunities for students in grades 6-12, with a concentration in high school

· To build our understanding of industry talent pipeline needs

· To inform our STEM career pathways and curriculum

· To inspire teachers, keep them apprised of the latest developments in their fields, and provide professional collaborators to serve as resources

This is particularly important work at Dearborn STEM Academy, where we are developing and launching three career pathways: Computer Science, Health and Life Sciences, and Engineering.


We are asking members to join us for a one-year commitment, which will include two convenings and the potential for a handful of small group meetings or consults in your area of expertise.

If you are interested in joining the Council, please respond to this email. Our first meeting will be on May 6 from 3:00 to 5:00 at the Dearborn. We will hear a report-out from Aimee Sprung of Microsoft, Erik Miller of Wentworth Institute of Technology and the Dearborn teachers who comprise our Computer Science pathway leadership.

Thank you for the ways in which you've already contributed to our school. And thanks for considering our invitation.

We hope you will join us,

Kristen Almquist-Cevallos

Director of Early College and Career Pathways

Mardi Fuller

Director of External Relations

Dearborn Art Club visits the Museum of Fine Arts

Members of the Dearborn STEM Academy Student Art Club visited the Museum of Fine Arts before vacation. Under the direction of teacher and advisor Jesse Cardoso the art club has sponsored student art exhibits and brightened the hallways and classrooms of DSA with their artwork.
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Dearborn and our partners at work!


As part of our partnership with BUILD our Grade 9 Build students had the opportunity to market their products at District Hall in the Seaport last week. The BUILD marketing/selling annual event was well attended with hundreds on hand. Our students represented themselves and the Dearborn gracefully and maturely. They spoke well and with confidence. Congratulations to our students and to Ms. Alves our BUILD Coordinator.

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Becoming a Man (BAM)!

Some our Dearborn STEM Academy BAM students participated in this week's college tour. BAM is a powerful partner with the Dearborn, working with high school boys.
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Thompson Island Partnership

On Wednesday night Thompson Island held their annual gala and look who was there representing the Dearborn, our own Nate Lindberg (on the right); he was there as part of the Thompson Island summer staff! I found him demonstrating how to pack a kayak for a trip! Nate represented himself and the Dearborn with maturity and class.

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Look what's happening!


DSA Community,


Please join us at 4:30 on April 25 outside the main office for our Artist's Reception and celebrate Zaeda's incredible work...

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Junior-Senior Prom

Friday, May 31st, 8pm

LOMBARDO'S 6 Billings Street in Randolph MA,

This year's Junior-Senior Prom will be at Lombardo's, 6 Billings Street in Randolph MA,

Check out the digs at: on:

Friday, May 31st from 8:00pm- 12:00am!!!!

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Wednesday, June 12th, 6pm

36 Winthrop Street

Boston, MA

Save the Date! Our seniors will graduate on Wednesday, June 12th at 6:00 pm. The ceremony will be held in the Atrium at the Dearborn STEM Academy.


Grade 6,7,8 ELA MCAS; April 30 and May 1

MSV Observation Day; Monday May 6

Grade 6,7,8 Math MCAS; May 14 and May 15

Grade 8 Science MCAS; May 21 and May 22

Grade 10 Math MCAS; May 21 and May 22

Grade 9 Science MCAS; June 4, 5

Here are the early-release (11:30 am) days for the remainder of the year!

Wednesday, May 8, Regular Professional Development for Staff

Wednesday, June 12, Regular Professional Development for Staff

Additionally, in the Boston Public Schools the last two days of the school year are half-days for all students. On June 18th and June 19th all DSA students will be dismissed at 11:30 am.

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Monitoring Site Visit (MSV) sponsored by the Department of Education

One part of being a turnaround school is participating in a Monitoring Site Visit (MSV). The purpose of this visit according to the state is "to provide participating schools with formative feedback in support of turnaround efforts. The Monitoring Site Visit is intended to help districts and schools understand the status of the implementation of their turnaround plans. The Monitoring Site Visits are designed to obtain information about each school’s progress across a common set of research questions and four turnaround practices based on research on Massachusetts schools, along with specific questions related to each school’s individual turnaround plan."

While the language in this says that this visit is formative, it is also a component of how the school demonstrates progress over time and it is a piece of data that is used to determine whether the school has made progress.

There are two components of the visit. One is a day of interviews (May 2) with different groupings/stakeholders and the second day is a day of classroom observations (May 6). It is the goal of the group coming in that they observe every classroom in the building. When they observe, they use the CLASS (Classroom Assessment Scoring System) rubric.

What we are measured by as a school!

Here are the accountability areas of focus for schools in Massachusetts. As a turnaround school we are acutely aware of our status and are determined to make progress in the areas below.

If you have any questions about how the Dearborn is addressing these issues please do not hesitate to contact us.


  • MCAS scores in English language arts, math, and science

Student Growth

  • Student growth percentiles in English language arts and math

High School Completion

  • Four-year cohort graduation rate
  • Extended engagement rate (five-year cohort graduation rate plus the percentage of students from the cohort who are still enrolled)
  • Annual dropout rate

Progress Towards English Proficiency

  • Percentage of English learners meeting annual targets in order to be English proficient in six years

Chronic Absenteeism

  • Percentage of students missing 10 percent or more of the days they were enrolled at a given school during a school year

Advanced Coursework Completion
  • Percentage of 11th and 12th graders completing advanced coursework (Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, dual enrollment courses, and other selected rigorous courses)
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In partnership with the Boston Plan for Excellence the Dearborn STEM Academy will host a Summer Learning Academy!

Let's communicate!

We will communicate by newsletter with you each week. It will be distributed at the beginning of each school week. The purpose of the newsletter is to inform Dearborn STEM Academy students, staff, and families as well as the greater Dearborn community.

If you would like to add something please submit the contents to the appropriate principal; High School Principal Dana F. Brown, or Middle School Principal Shelley Olsen,

Stories, pictures, calendar reminders, club, activity, and classroom notes are all welcome.

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