Natick citizens have been committed to high-quality education for over
350 years. The general court began requiring public education in 1691.
Although in the early years teachers taught in their own homes or made “house
calls,” by 1704, a portion of the Mitchell House was being used
as a school. At present, 4,500 students attend Natick’s eight public
five elementary schools - Lilja, Bennett-Hemenway, Johnson, Brown,
and Memorial - have a total enrolment of 1,846 and educate our children
through the fourth grade. Each elementary school offers an innovative
full-day Kindergarten program as well as a rich music and art curriculum.
Each classroom has at least two computers, and each building has a computer
elementary schools are highly regarded, particularly for literacy development.
Our high-quality reading
instruction is such a hallmark
that we frequently host visitors from other school systems interested
in the way we teach literacy. Part of that approach is having a superb
library in each building -- these facilities contribute significantly
to the literacy development of our children.
In 1999, Lilja received
the International Reading Association’s
Exemplary Reading Program Award for Excellence in Reading and Language
Arts Education, reflecting on our system-wide
literacy education efforts. This prestigious award has pride of place
with Johnson School’s 1997 designation by the U.S.
Dept. of Education as a “Blue Ribbon” school.
Not well known is
the fact that Natick elementary schools are some of the only elementary
schools in New England accredited by the New England
Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Natick is one of
the few communities in New England in which all public schools have received
this accreditation. Most communities only seek full accreditation for
their high school(s).
middle schools, Kennedy (593 students) and Wilson (763 students) are
in the first year
of implementing a sweeping series of curricular
and program changes. In the new system, children are assigned to teaching
teams. Each team and each individual teacher team member is fully accountable
for the success of each child.
In this innovative
heads for mathematics, science, and language arts are responsible for
curriculum delivery in
terms of both content and methods. Particular attention is focused
on making sure that our middle and high school curricula are well
The quality of our middle school education has dramatically improved
over the past five years; changes initiated this year will help us achieve
new levels of excellence. Wilson, for example, has fielded a math team
for the past two years, and the team has been very successful in competitions
with all of the surrounding communities.
High School has done a good job for a long time. In recent years, it
has significantly increased academic rigor and teaching effectiveness.
Over the past six years, Natick High School students have delivered
an astonishing 60 point increase in average SAT scores.
While this is a huge
achievement, we can be particularly proud that much of the
improvement was delivered by children of average
academic aptitude. This means that many children whose college opportunities
might have been limited to Framingham State can now qualify for consideration
by UMass Amherst or similar institutions. It means that children who
otherwise may not have qualified for financial aid have improved their
chances for receiving assistance.
Our best NHS students
are also doing better. Last year, average SAT scores for our top 20%
ahead of Wellesley’s top 20%. NHS MCAS
pass rate for 203/04 is 100%.
Approximately 67% of Natick High School students attend a four-year
college or university following graduation. Another 20% attend a junior
college or pursue other specialized training.
With over 1 million
square feet under eight roofs, Natick’s school buildings are
maintained by a maintenance and custodial staff of 36. The cafeteria
staff, with 36 part time and full time employees, serves approximately
270,000 lunches per year.
Our elementary classrooms
are staffed by 95 teachers, our middle schools are staffed by 90, our
high school by 78. In addition to its principal, each elementary school
has an Assistant Principal who is also a classroom teacher. Kennedy
has a Vice Principal in addition to its Principal; Wilson, because
of its larger size, has a Principal and two Vice Principals, as does
Natick High School.
Also delivering services
to our children are approximately 150 special educators, psychologists,
guidance counselors, nurses, teacher assistants, literacy specialists
and social workers.
Connelly has a small staff that includes Assistant Superintendent Audrey
Seyfort (Pupil Services), Assistant Superintendent Dr. Karen LeDuc
(Curricula and Instruction), Marianne Davis (Personnel Director), and
Bob Graham (Maintenance and Custodial Services). Across the district,
33 secretaries deal with the flood of paperwork associated with public
For more details: http://www.natick.k12.ma.us
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