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New Mission High School in Hyde Park wins $100,000 award for improved MCAS scores

Hurley K-8 and Sumner Elementary are finalists
Friday, November 16, 2012
Jeremy C. Fox
Hurley staff and parents (front) look on as New Mission High School celebrates its School on the Move win

New Mission High School in Hyde Park was honored Thursday with the $100,000 Thomas W. Payzant School on the Move Prize.

The prize is presented annually by EdVestors, a Boston-based organization that works to speed improvements in urban schools, based on New Mission’s rapid advances in student achievement.

According to an announcement from EdVestors, between 2007 and 2011 New Mission students improved English scores on the MCAS 40 percent faster than the district average and math scores three times as quickly as the district average.

“The success of the New Mission High School and the experience of the six previous School on the Move winners demonstrate that urban schools can make substantial improvements in test scores and student performance, driven by concerted effort from the adults — principal, faculty and staff —within the school,” said Laura Perille, executive director of EdVestors, in the announcement.

Along with the Hurley K-8 School in the South End and the Sumner Elementary School in Roslindale, New Mission was one of three finalists for the prize, which was announced at an event in downtown Boston Thursday morning. EdVestors presented the Hurley and the Sumner each with a $10,000 award. The prizes are intended to support ongoing efforts to improve student achievement.

New Mission was also a finalist for the prize in 2011 while at its previous location in Mission Hill. The school moved into the Hyde Park Education Complex, which it shares with the Boston Community Leadership Academy, at the beginning of this school year.

“The stories of new Mission High School and the six previous School on the Move winners speak to the power of collaboration of all stakeholders, from principals to teachers to parents to students, pulling in the same direction and dedicated to a single cause: the advancement of Boston Public School children,” Dr. Carol R. Johnson, school superintendent, said in the announcement

EdVestors praised New Mission for setting high expectations of students and pairing rigorous coursework with targeted support. Teachers at the school make frequent use of opportunities to learn from one another and through professional development programs, the organization said, and work collaboratively with Principal Naia Wilson.

This is the seventh year EdVestors has awarded the prize; previous winners include the Clarence R. Edwards Middle School in Charlestown, Joseph Lee Elementary School in Dorchester, Boston Community Leadership Academy in Brighton, Samuel W. Mason Elementary School in Roxbury, Excel High School in South Boston, and Sarah Greenwood K-8 School in Dorchester.