Research & Insights / Educators Lead the Transformation at English High School

Educators Lead the Transformation at English High School

This year, EdVestors held an open call for the School on the Move Prize, seeking the stories of Boston Public Schools that are creating and continuously improving learning environments where all students thrive. Eight semifinalists have been selected to advance to the next round, and three finalists will be celebrated at the School on the Move Prize Ceremony on November 8. Regardless of the outcome, each semifinalist has a story that we can learn from.

In 2021, English High School in Jamaica Plain celebrated its 200th anniversary. Originally founded to ready the sons of the working class for the trades, English High now prepares 7th-12th graders of all genders from across the city for both college and career. But a strong belief in public education for all remains.

Soon after this anniversary, English High School’s decade-long status as a turnaround school was lifted. Educators had risen to the challenge of increased state monitoring and intervention, meeting for over 100 hours of extra professional learning each year. In this time, the team at English High has created sustainable, data-driven systems to improve student outcomes.

To keep track of each one of English High’s 650 students, teachers meet weekly to review academic and non-academic data for students and identify those in need of extra support. In addition, each teacher has created a quarterly benchmark test to monitor student progress and quickly intervene when necessary, a practice that has been modeled for other schools in the district and the region.

Thanks to educators’ years of hard work, English High School’s graduation rate has risen over 30% in the past 6 years. This high tide has brought along all students: English Language learners have gone from the lowest graduation rate in the school to the highest, and the rate of advanced course completion for students of color, English language learners, and students with disabilities surpasses the Boston Public Schools rate. It is teacher leadership that has made English High a school on the move.

Learn more about English High School here.