EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

January 13, 2013


After a year, the superintendent/receiver says Lawrence schools are 'improving every day'


“We will continue to phase in our partner organizations and will be coming out soon with our plans for changes at the Oliver Elementary School,” Riley said, referring to the latest city school placed on the Level 4 list.

A longer school day ahead

Plans are also underway to expand the school day for more students when the new school year begins next fall.

About 80 percent of students in grades 1 through 8 could be in for longer school days, increasing their hours from 1,330 to more than 1,500, according to Riley.

“I am interested in decentralizing the schools — giving the parents, the teachers and the administrators a say about what’s important in their school building,” Riley said.

“The individual schools will decide what they want to do. They have a lot of flexibility on how they want to set up their school,” he said.

The results of this spring’s MCAS tests — which will be released in the fall – may be the first true measurement of any dramatic improvement in academic performance under the receivership.

“I’m hoping that within three years, we’re going to have some significant progress and show we’ve made some great strides and that things are getting better,” Riley said.

“You can’t ever forget that there are kids that deserve a great education every day and we’ve got to do everything we can to make sure they get that great education,” he said.

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