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Salem's Bentley Elementary takes next step toward redesign grant

Posted by Ryan Mooney  May 11, 2012 09:05 AM

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The Bentley School has reached the initial score threshold set forth by the Department of Education for consideration in the receipt of a School Redesign grant.

Bentley parent Leanne Schild and kindergarten teacher Gabrielle Montevecchi - both part of the Bentley School Local Stakeholders Group - will join Principal Renata McFarland, Superintendent Stephen Russell, and Mayor Kim Driscoll in Malden to interview with representatives from the Department of Education May 16. It is the next step in a lengthy application process for the grant. If awarded, the school could receive up to $500,000 per year for three years.

"It's one more step forward," Russell said. "We'll keep our fingers crossed but we're working on reviewing material, making sure that we've got all the background information we've made, we got a great team ... I believe that we're going to be very competitive."

Years of poor standardized test scores resulted in Bentley being designated a level four school by the state last fall, meaning it has three years to improve dramatically in all areas of academics or face a possible state takeover. Russell and his team will review and discuss the specifics of their turnaround plan with Hope Huynh, communications specialist with the Office of District and School Turnaround, and a panel of board members Wednesday morning.

In total, 18 schools throughout the state applied for eight available grants.

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