Fix-it plan: New Bedford schools unveil new strategy for improvement


NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (WPRI) — Everyone had input on planning the work. Now it’s time to work the plan, New Bedford Superintendent Thomas Anderson said Wednesday morning.

“Everything ties back to the student in the classroom, to make sure the teaching and learning process is at its height all the time,” he said.

The city’s public school district officially unveiled a new strategic plan for the years ahead on Wednesday at Keith Middle School, laying out new goals and the benchmarks that will determine how those goals will be met, all designed to get schools and students on the right track.

School board members, parents, teachers, and students have been meeting over the past year to discuss what issues need fixing, from instruction to student support systems and even building public confidence in the school system.

About the document, Anderson said, “We wanted to unveil it, creating something that people will actually read versus just a ‘working document’ that’s an action plan for the school system.”

Parents can expect more streamlined communication from teachers. Students can also expect a greater focus on attendance, particularly in middle schools where numbers are lower.

“In order to elevate the entire community, no matter where we are, we have to have a vibrant, transparent educational system [and] educational process,” Anderson added.

The district was a hair’s breadth away from a state takeover in 2011 and has since been working to avoid that; this new plan is just the latest step to increase the quality of education, officials said.

“We need to equip people with the tools to identify when things are not equitable, so we can make sure that we are cultivating individuals that are critical thinkers and can move it forward,” Anderson said.

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