Bringing a Love of Language to Learning

The classroom is up the open staircase to the right in room 220 at the Edgartown School. Flags of world nations hang from the ceiling. There is a quote on the door that reads, “No significant learning occurs without a significant relationship.” This is the English Language Learning room, although it is not the only place in the school where English language learning takes place.

State Education Secretary Pays Visit to Island, Tours Schools

On his 103rd day on the job, Massachusetts Secretary of Education Matthew H. Malone came to the Vineyard for a full immersion in Island education: he chatted up students and praised the school’s vocational program, made suggestions for school fundraisers and sampled the culinary program’s scalloped potatoes.

Mr. Malone was on the Island Thursday for a look at Vineyard schools and to listen to concerns, he said, as part of a tour of schools across the commonwealth.

A Farmer's Education Can Sting, But Even the Mistakes Are Tasty

I have had more failures and mishaps learning to farm than most. My tendency to be cheap and, at times, careless has proven costly more often than not. In California, on a winery where we were also raising food, three heritage breed piglets were purchased from a breeder on the coast for more money than I would like to admit. They were brought back to their new home, and housed in a small makeshift pen meant to be a temporary home while we constructed a more permanent place for them behind a large storage facility.

Teaching Is an Art and Science, Not Another Number to Crunch

I began my high school teaching career in 1992 following a stint in the Oak Bluffs School and an alternative school so I guess this year I come of age. I have 21 years of growing, struggling always to do better, of working and living with this community. It is time to reflect. There is so much to be thankful for in this richly diverse culture where I have found support from so many whose love for our children is indeed boundless.

Federal Cuts May Impact Elder, Education Services

Vineyard programs that depend on federal funding are expected to see little impact, at least in the short term, from the much-publicized automatic budget cuts set to take effect in Washington today. But leaders in Island education, elder and health services said next year could be a different story.

Tribe Translates Oral Tradition for School Curriculum

In an attempt to establish consistency and accuracy in history classes, the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) education committee and tribal historic preservation office are developing a curriculum on Wampanoag history and culture for the Island public schools.

On Tuesday night, members of the tribal education committee joined the up-Island regional school committee for a broad discussion on communication between the tribe and the schools. The tribe has 24 children in the school system.

Superintendent's Budget Approved, Special Education Needs Rise

The All-Island School Committee approved an 8.8 per cent increase in the superintendent’s budget for the 2014 fiscal year.

The committee voted 10-2, with Roxanne Ackerman of Aquinnah and Jeffrey (Skipper) Manter of West Tisbury opposing.

In his presentation to the committee last month, superintendent James H. Weiss admitted that the budget jump was steep.

“The budget increase is significantly higher than I would have liked,” he said at the meeting.

Special Education Needs Prompt Budget Hike

Increasing demand for special education services in Island public schools has led to a large jump the school superintendent’s budget for the coming fiscal year. Vineyard schools superintendent Dr. James H. Weiss presented a $4.4 million operating budget to the all-Island school committee last week, an increase of 8.8 per cent. “I’m going to be candid with you,” Mr. Weiss told the committee. “The budget increase is significantly higher than I would have liked.”

Chasing English as a Language Is the Objective

For four years now, since its inception in 1997, the state-sponsored special English language program has been growing. From three classes that first year to seven classes today - and it's still not enough. Ninety-seven adult students enrolled, and 154 filled the waiting list during September registration earlier this year. Another 86 added their names to the list several weeks ago, when a second registration was held - a mid-session adjustment to enroll students replacing those no longer in the course.

New Island Teacher Contract Approved

Teachers who do their math might be smiling this week, knowing that their new salary contract will boost wages by as much as 27 per cent over three years, turning today's $50,000 job into a $63,893 position by the fall of 2003.

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