The Patriot Update (2.1)
A Revere High School Community Newsletter
Wednesday August 2nd, 2023
Volume 2, Issue 1
Happy Summer, Revere High School Community!
At this halfway point of Summer Vacation, I write to provide you all an update on the work the entire RHS team is doing to prepare for the upcoming school year.
There is a sense of urgency behind our charge to ensure that RHS delivers on its promise to families that students will graduate prepared to Innovate, Lead, Engage, Thrive and Succeed. That begins with creating a sense of belonging, extends to building a positive and inclusive school climate and culture, and flows into the ways our youth experience Student Life at RHS. All of these are necessary components that allow for students to access a high quality instructional program at RHS, which will set them up for success after high school.
One of the major changes that will happen in this coming school year will be the redesign of our Student Support Team model. With the addition of almost 20 new staff positions dedicated exclusively to Student Support and School Climate, we will have one of the most robust Student Support Teams of any high school in the state of Massachusetts. The RHS Building Leadership Team is grateful for the support of our School Committee and Central Office Leadership for approving (and funding) these new positions. We are excited to share this new model with the Revere Community over the coming weeks and even more excited to leverage it to improve the student experience at RHS.
This Patriot Update serves to bring the RHS Community in on these changes. We hope many of you can join us at our Community Events later in August to learn more!
Christopher T. Bowen, Principal
Restructuring Student Support at RHS
Transitioning to a House Model
Revere High School has historically utilized a grade based administrative system pairing an Assistant Principal with a specific grade and following that grade over a student’s four years of high school. Although this has served the RHS community well in the past, increased student enrollment and the widening range of social, emotional, and educational needs have driven the high school’s leadership team to think differently about structures that best support students in a space that, despite the numbers, increases personalized student support. The Revere Public Schools Central Office and School Committee have been extremely supportive of providing our students and families with increased support. With their help, we’ve been able to add almost 20 new positions dedicated exclusively to student support and school climate!
As a result of this opportunity, Revere High School is transitioning to a proven House Model structure to best serve our school community. This House Model, used by many other large comprehensive high schools in MA and beyond, will allow us to implement a very thorough Student Support Team Model at RHS. The RHS House Model will include 5 Houses, each serving approximately 450 students in Grades 9-12.
- Continuity and Consistency of Student Support: As a result of our partnership with the Center for Thriving Children (CTC) at Boston College, we recognize the need to improve consistency in delivering student support services across all grades. Consistency will also be established for caregivers, as siblings will have the same support team. We will work throughout the year in collaboration with CTC to implement this new model of Student Support Teams.
- Special Education: All students in the Life-Skills, Post-Graduate and Small Learning Group Programs will be assigned to the same House for continuity and collaboration among staff, students, and families. Students receiving other Special Education Services will be evenly distributed across the other houses. 504 status will not impact house assignment in any way.
- Counseling: School Counselors will continue to have their caseload divided among all four grades. The addition of two new positions improves our school’s capacity for personalized post-secondary planning, by reducing the number of students a counselor serves. As a result of these new positions, there will be students who are paired with a new school counselor in the fall. NOTE: Students in the Class of 2024 may have a counselor change for counseling operations such as scheduling. If desired, the counselor to whom students were assigned in SY2022-2023 will be able to write the recommendation for the college process. Counselors will communicate with each other on relevant issues and will work as a team to support all students in this transition.
- Extended Learning Opportunity Counselors. RHS will continue to offer a robust program of External Learning Opportunities that support students in navigating the College Process, gaining Internship Experiences, exploring the Career Development Process and navigating Early College & Dual Enrollment.
Student Support Team Roles Explained
We will work with students, educators and caregivers to understand the roles of each member of the Student Support Team. In addition to the House Assistant Principal, each House's Student Support Team (SST) will be comprised of the following members:
- Two School (Guidance) Counselors whose role is to support students in the areas of Academic Achievement, Social-Emotional Development and Post-Secondary Planning. The creation of two new School Counselor positions has reduced the average counselor's caseload from over 300 (last year) to approximately 225 (this year).
- One School Social Worker whose role is to support students’ academic, social, and emotional learning and achievement. They do this by providing ongoing support and intervention that includes services that strengthen home, school and community partnerships and addresses barriers to learning and achievement.
- One Student Support Specialist who works with the subset of the Student Support Team’s caseload that, at a given time, needs the most intensive and individualized support to engage in their learning. Personalized conferences, short and long term goal-setting, progress monitoring and coordination are all part of the work in this space.
- One Student Engagement Coordinator who supports the Assistant Principal by implementing intervention for chronic absenteeism, student support, and student engagement. The coordinator will communicate with parents/guardians to address attendance and behavior concerns and plan for necessary support.
Welcome to Assistant Principal Laura Sanchez!
Ms. Laura Sanchez has been named the Assistant Principal for the Multilingual Learner House at Revere High School. This smaller school-within a school model will provide our newest students with the targeted support they need to make a smooth transition to RHS and school in the United States. Ms. Sanchez joins Revere High School after spending the past year at Watertown High School as the Assistant Principal of Student Support Services, as well as serving 13 years at Lynn Public Schools in various roles, such as School Social Worker, Clinical Director, and Special Education Team Chair. While at Lynn Public Schools, Ms. Sanchez served on a School Leadership Turnaround Team, and she was an active member in the improvement of school climate, culture, and academic performance of students. Ms. Sanchez obtained an Associate’s Degree at North Shore Community College in Child and Adolescent Development, a Bachelor’s Degree in Education and Master’s Degree in Counseling and Psychological Services from Salem State University. Ms. Sanchez also holds a Certificate in Advanced Graduate Studies in Educational Leadership from American International College. Ms. Sanchez understands the academic journeys of our multilingual communities, as she herself came to the United States from Mexico, and Spanish is her primary language. She is excited to join our team and support the academic, social and emotional needs of our multilingual learners, while supporting their language and academic growth in an inclusive learning environment. Please join me in welcoming Laura to the Building Leadership Team!
Changes to Advisory
Introducing Patriot Block
For over a decade, Revere High School has run an advisory program that seeks to assign a small group of RHS students to a consistent adult (advisor) who remains with them for four years. Increases in our student population, changing needs of the students we serve, space issues at the 101 School Street Campus and feedback from RHS students have all led us to rethink how we use that time. Working with students in the Spring of 2023, we have designed a new version of what we formerly called advisory.
This school year, we will transform Advisory into a new program called "Patriot Block." The daily schedule of Advisory occurring from 9:14-9:38 on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays will be exactly the same, but how students use this time will be changed and more responsive to student needs. On some weeks, students will meet with their advisor in small groups. On other weeks, students will be able to "opt-in" to a variety of student-led, adult-supervised enrichment activities and learning experiences. This will create space in the day for students to engage with clubs and activities, explore passion projects and essentially have more choice in their day.
Students will still be paired with a dedicated advisor, but because the advisory structure will be connected to the House Support Team, most students will be paired with a new advisor. This will be an opportunity for a student to meet and connect with an additional caring adult in the building. If there are students who have a particularly strong relationship with their current advisory teacher, they should e-mail me directly to let me know (email@example.com). Our team will do our best to preserve those advisor-student relationships! We will not be able to honor student requests to be in the same advisory as a specific peer; however, during opt-in weeks peers can decide to select the same experience. It is our hope that this "middle ground" is a way to honor a theme that we heard from students, namely that they want time in their day to engage with peers of similar interests.
Save the Dates! Upcoming Communication and Events
Student Schedules for School Year 2024
In August, PowerSchool will "roll over" to the new school year and the student/caregiver portal will go live. When the portal is turned on, you may be able to see student schedules; however, schedules are not finalized until late August as counselors need to make adjustments. Assistant Principals will communicate to students and families when student schedules are "live."
Tuesday August 15th: Student Support Team Update
Assistant Principals will send students and caregivers a Welcome Letter, introducing students to their new support team members, including School Counselor, School Social Worker, Student Support Specialist and Student Engagement Coordinator - who will support students and families through their time at RHS.
Wednesday August 16th, 6:00pm - 7:30pm: RHS Community Gathering
This event is for rising 12th grade, 11th grade and 10th grade students and their caregivers to come learn about plans for the new school year and to meet members of their Student Support Team. We will share about our school's new programing, the ways students can earn Honors Distinction in courses, and new opportunities to engage in Student Activities @ RHS. Rising 9th graders and their families are welcome to join; however, we have a special event just for them the following week that will cover the same information in addition to High School Transition information. If current RHS students/caregivers can't make they 8/16 event, they are welcome to join the 9th grade event.
Tuesday August 22nd: 7th Annual 9th Grade Orientation BBQ
This Orientation BBQ is an annual tradition at RHS, seven years running! 9th Grade Students, Transfer Students and their caregivers are invited to join the RHS Team at the high school for a Caregiver Orientation Session and BBQ. This event runs from 5:00-7:00, beginning in the RHS Auditorium. Come join us to learn about the opportunities at the high school, meet some of your teachers and support team members and get to socialize with friends, both old and new. Dinner will be provided!
Wednesday August 23rd - Friday August 25th: 9th Grade and New Student Orientation Tours
9th Grade and Transfer students are invited to swing by RHS to get a tour of the school before the first day of class on Tuesday 8/29. RHS Student Ambassadors will be available each morning from 10:00 until 1:00. Tours are first-come first-served and begin in the Learning Commons! This is an excellent (optional) opportunity for new students to see the building, learn where their classes will be and meet some RHS students who can give them advice about high school. We hope many of you can find time to join us! There is no need to pre-register.
Tuesday August 29th: 9th Grade/Transfer Student Orientation and Opening Day
Tuesday August 29th kicks off the 2023-2024 School Year! On this day, 9th Grade Students and Transfer Students are the only ones in the building for Orientation from 8:18 until 11:00. At 11:00 am, returning students join us and all students (including 9th graders) will get to meet their teachers before dismissal at 2:20. Assistant Principals will communicate more details about this day in mid-August.