Bridge Programs Can Be Costly, But Positive Results Are Tangible
Olivia Hull

Midweek at the Edgartown School an elementary student was squealing in delight. He had just communicated to his teacher, Serena Santinello, that he’d like her to draw him a tiger. But he hadn’t used his voice to make the request. Instead he scanned the library of zoo animals on a speech output app, Proloquo, with a pointer finger, and had pressed on a small picture that was labeled “tiger.”

Ms. Santinello obliged, sketching a friendly tiger face next to a pretty young lady he’d requested minutes before.

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Embracing Flip Side of Teaching Math
Olivia Hull
A typical math lesson taught by Sue Miller, a fifth grade teacher at the West Tisbury School, begins with a joke. “What do you call a crushed angle?” But the jokes aren’t delivered in school. Instead, they precede a video lesson that students watch online for homework.
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Record School Budget Increase Tied to Special Education Needs
Olivia Hull

Rising costs of special education services and cuts to federal grants are driving a dramatic increase in education spending for Vineyard schools in the coming fiscal year.

Schools superintendent Dr. James H. Weiss presented an operating budget to the all-Island school committee Wednesday night totaling $5.4 million.

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School Enrollment Shows Slight Increase
Olivia Hull

Enrollment at Island public schools increased slightly for the 2013-2014 school year, according to data collected on Oct. 1. This is the fourth year in a row that enrollment at the six Island schools has held relatively steady, reversing a nine-year trend of decreasing enrollment numbers.

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Vineyard Students Perform Generally Well on MCAS Test, Exceed State Averages
Olivia Hull

With standardized test results made public last Friday, school leaders Islandwide have begun to examine the wealth of data and discuss student performance with staff and parents.

Scores from the MCAS test administered to Island students last spring show the majority of students at Island public schools are performing at or above state standards in English language arts, mathematics and science.

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School Superintendent Announces New Director of Student Support Services
Olivia Hull

An experienced educator from central Massachusetts has been named as the new director of student support services for the Martha’s Vineyard public schools.

Philip Campbell, current director of pupil services for the Auburn public school district, will begin sometime in mid-November, Vineyard schools superintendent Dr. James H. Weiss said.

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With Excitement, Trepidation, Students Head Back to School
Olivia Hull

Wedged between her parents, each hand attached to one of theirs, Hannah McCormick approached the Oak Bluffs School. She wore a favorite light pink dress and colorful sneakers that lit up pink when she pressed into the toes. Her mother, Kate, slung a Little Mermaid backpack over one shoulder.

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School Days

On Monday familiar yellow buses will roll over Island roads, stopping along the way to collect their precious cargo: school-age children from kindergarten through high school.

And another Vineyard school year begins.

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Aging Teacher Population Results In Large Turnover as Classes Begin
Olivia Hull

When school bells ring this morning, kindergarten students won’t be the only ones with butterflies. The school district processed paperwork for 100 new staff members this summer, and many more returning employees took on new roles.

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Matthew D’Andrea Named Assistant Superintendent
Olivia Hull
An elementary school principal from Mattapoisett has been named assistant superintendent for the Vineyard public schools, superintendent Dr. James H. Weiss has announced. Matthew D’Andrea, currently principal of Old Hammondtown School in Mattapoisett, accepted a 22-month appointment Monday as assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction. Mr. D’Andrea toured Island schools last Friday.
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