We believe in developing the whole child -- the intellectual, social, emotional, and physical potential of all students -- by providing students with the skills, opportunities, and resources that will nurture innovative ideas, foster pride in diversity, inspire students to become lifelong learners and empower them to enrich their communities.
2023-2025 School Committee Goals
Somerville Public Schools (SPS) defines equity as providing access to the opportunities, support, environment, expectations, and resources that every student needs to achieve educational success, feel valued, and contribute to a thriving community. In order to address the root causes of systemic inequity in our schools, the Somerville School Committee and SPS commit to the following goals, knowing that these can only be achieved through ensuring meaningful partnerships with all Somerville families as well as district staff, city government, and community partners.
Somerville Public Schools has aimed to reduce persistent gaps in the educational attainment of all students for the past decade. Despite our efforts to provide equitable access and opportunities for our entire community of students, past goals and initiatives have not given rise to persistent deep progress for our Black and Brown students. Our three-year long-range goals attempt to address deep-rooted systemic barriers that have prevented us from achieving our district vision of equity and excellence and ensure that all students, regardless of race or ethnicity, have the supports and resources they need to achieve educational success in our district now and in the future.
Whole Child Teaching and Learning
We believe that all SPS learning experiences should be rich, rigorous, engaging and build high levels of knowledge and skills and meet the diverse needs of our students. We also believe that the time students spend in SPS should cultivate learning experiences that value, and empower students in their full, intersectional identities so that students feel a sense of connection, demonstrate a passion and curiosity for learning, and apply learning in authentic and meaningful ways. To this end, by 2025, we will:
- have prepared students to demonstrate strong literacy and mathematics foundation by grade 3, grade 6, and grade 10, as measured by SPS formative assessment designed at the district and classroom level, with 75% of students in the designated grades meeting or exceeding the defined formative assessment benchmark by 2025;
- provide all students with integrated classroom lessons from a high quality social-emotional learning curriculum that helps students value and develop their ability to build relationships with other students, to be self aware and socially aware, to self regulate, and to make responsible decisions, resulting in a 50% reduction in conduct referrals by 2025 compared to 2021, improved ratings on questions coded as SEL on the Student Conditions for Learning Survey compared to the SY21 baseline survey, and improved results on the Somerville Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) compared to the 2021 YRBS baseline data.
- expand access to real-world learning experiences so that least 80% of students participate in Early College, Advanced Placement courses, CTE, and/or other learning experiences that help students build critical 21st century skills as measured by a 5 percentage point increase in the 4-year graduation rate (overall and by subgroup), 95% of students having met with their college and career counselor in their junior and senior year, and 90% of graduating students with a defined post-secondary plan including college enrollment, military enrollment, gap year enrollment and/or a secured career path.
Equitable Access to Programming
Because we believe that no group of students should be disproportionately impacted by district enrollment policies and that all students should have access to support they need, by 2025, we will 1) conduct a district enrollment study to understand the prospective future population of the district and 2) create and begin implementing a strategy for school building development, school assignment, and programming that aligns with the district’s equity policy, and which is based on results of the enrollment study and the projected 10+ year plan for school facilities. We will engage students and families in this process to design a school assignment policy grounded in equity and in the values of our community.
Because research shows that all children benefit from a highly skilled and diverse educator workforce that reflects SPS students and families, we will, by 2025, increase the percentage of support staff of color, teachers and counselors of color, and administrators of color by 6% per group compared to SY22 rates through evaluating and strengthening all elements of our personnel system – recruitment, processes, training, retention, development, advancement, and staff data collection systems on which we base and measure our improvement efforts. We will engage staff and community as authentic partners in this work.
Equitable Resource Allocation
Because we know that every student has unique needs and interests and should have access to rich learning opportunities that help them thrive, we will design, evaluate, and partially or fully implement student-based budgeting by 2025, or identify alternative mechanisms to more equitably allocate district resources. We will do this through a transparent process that welcomes and embraces the engagement of stakeholders at all levels to develop a system where students are funded equitably, regardless of which SPS school or program they attend.