The school committee heard updates this week on high schoolers' post-graduate plans, the status of Harbor Homes after closing for the season, and a new state grant for English language and special education instruction.

Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School seniors are pursuing a variety of goals after they graduate in June, with college joining a mix of other choices, director of guidance John Fiorito told the committee.

Joining remotely from the annual Massachusetts School Counselors Association conference in Newton, Mr. Fiorito said about 70 per cent of this year’s seniors applied to four-year colleges — with several recently admitted to top-rated universities in the Ivy League and beyond — while others are headed for programs at community colleges and trade schools or moving straight into the workforce.

This year’s percentage rate for four-year college applications is a return to pre-pandemic averages, said Mr. Fiorito. Last year, 60 per cent of graduating Island seniors entered four-year college programs, he said, a five to 10 point drop from pre-Covid enrollments.

Admissions to trade schools and two-year college programs were up by about 10 per cent over earlier years, and more than 20 per cent of the class of 2022 went directly into the workforce, Mr. Fiorito said.

Among other business Monday, the committee heard a report from Lisa Belcastro of Harbor Homes, manager of the overnight shelter that has operated on school-owned property at Martha’s Vineyard Community Services for the past two winters.

The shelter, which closed for the season last week, had 36 registered guests in all, said Ms. Belcastro, joining the meeting remotely.

“It was our busiest season ever,” she said, adding that the list included several former students from the high school.

“We did see more [former] Island students who are now in their 20s, 30s... at the shelter this year than in the past,” Ms. Belcastro said.

The shelter also welcomed more women than in previous years, she said, with six women registered, although no more than three ended up staying at once.

Ms. Belcastro told the committee that there were no violent incidents at the shelter, although police or firefighters were summoned on a few occasions. The fire department response came after a shelter staffer overcooked some breakfast, setting off the building’s smoke alarm but not causing a fire, she said. Police came twice for guests who needed mental health assistance and once for a man who wouldn’t abide by shelter rules, Ms. Belcastro said.

“The officers came, talked to him, got him calmed down and got him to a friend’s place where he could stay,” she said.

Harbor Homes has received grant funding to buy or build a permanent shelter, she told the school committee, but while the nonprofit searches for property it may still need another winter in the MVCS building.

“We really want to have our own building, but it is a great location for us,” said Ms. Belcastro, who told the committee she would return in May to formally request permission for another year.

Also at Monday’s meeting, the school committee voted to accept a state grant that will bring Island schools $1.5 million in new funding for English language and special education instruction over the next three years. The money will enable the district to institute a team-teaching model aimed at reducing the need to pull advancing English learners out of subject classes to work on their language skills.

The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education is granting an immediate $100,000 to be spent before the fiscal year ends June 30, said Leah Palmer, the Island schools’ director of English language learning, who informed the committee she’s already planned where the money will go.

Hiring an additional English language specialist will enable team-teaching in all of the high school classrooms, Ms. Palmer said, and all of the teachers will receive new training and educational materials.

Beginning in July, the second and third years of the grant will bring the district an additional $700,000 in each year, which Ms. Palmer said will be used to bring team-teaching to town schools, focusing on English learners down-Island and special education students in Chilmark and West Tisbury.

“This [is] a more inclusive model for our English learners and students with disabilities,” she said.