Walpole High Achieves Level 1 Status

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Emily Martin

Over the summer of 2016, Walpole High School gained the status of a Level 1 school from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education (MDESE).

  The MDESE rates every public school in Massachusetts on a scale of level one to five each school year based on a progress and performance index, which takes in account  MCAS  participation, MCAS scores, and student growth percentile rates over a number of years; additionally, the MDESE  looks at graduation rates, dropout rates, and the narrowing of the proficiency gap. Over the past year, many Grade 10 students  scored  an  advanced or proficient score on all three MCAS tests—English, Mathematics, and Science/Technology—ultimately pushing Walpole High into the Level 1 Category.

  Another  important  factor  in  granting  Level 1 status regards the progress within the group of students who have high needs or disabilities. Walpole High met its target rates for both groups of students, and also met the target rates for all students as well, with a 79% growth rate.

  The  MDESE  reevaluates every school  each  year  and  gives them a status rating. For a number of years, Walpole High  was  categorized  as  a Level 2 school.   And  although  Walpole High and Old Post Road fall in the Level 1 category, the remaining schools in the Walpole District are still currently Level 2 schools, which means that Walpole falls into a Level 2 district.

  In addition to reaching a Level 1 status, Walpole High also ranked  among  the top 50 in Boston’s public schools, according to Boston Magazine. These ratings are based on a number of  factors, including enrollment, MCAS scores, SAT and ACT scores, AP scores, graduation rate, number of students attending college, number of college counselors, diversity, and student to teacher ratio.

  Reaching the Level 1 status has been a long time goal for administration. Walpole  High  School principal Stephen Imbusch said, “Every year we will look at this number. [Achieving the Level 1 status] is always a goal for us.”