Revere High School has advanced to the final eight schools in the nation for one of three gold medals to be awarded by the National Center for Urban School Transformation (NCUST) in San Diego – the pre-eminent national award for the top urban schools in America.
Revere School officials received a letter on Monday letting them know that they had secured a silver medal and had advanced to the next level in the competition. Several other schools were notified that they had received a bronze and could not compete for gold.
In having received the silver medal, Revere has also qualified to compete with seven other schools for three gold medal awards.
The other schools competing are from Arizona, California, Washington, D.C., Georgia, North Carolina Oregon and Texas.
“All these schools will go for gold and only three will emerge as the gold winner,” said Principal Lourenco Garcia. “I believe we have a strong possibility to get that gold to Revere. This is a great honor because we are the only high school in the New England region. Now you can see where we are…This is a clear statement that RHS students, teachers and staff are doing a great job. It’s just unbelievable and it’s a good feeling. The mood around the school is up and everyone is amped about it.”
Superintendent Paul Dakin said if Revere were to win the NCUST gold medal, it would put the school on the national map.
“If we can pull a gold in here, it will be tremendous,” he said. “It would be the biggest thing to happen at the high school since I’ve been here…There is so much good stuff going on at the high school and maybe the community doesn’t realize it at all. They don’t realize the status Revere has in the state or nationally. I don’t think a lot of people want to hear it.”
Garcia said the schools have been asked to send a team of five teachers out to San Diego May 21-23 for a presentation before the NCUST committee. After all the presentations are made, the winners will be announced.
On May 30, whether silver or gold, a presentation ceremony has been scheduled at RHS. The school will receive a banner to post in the entryway. There is a $5,000 monetary award that goes with the gold medal.
Review teams visited the high school last January, interviewing scores of parents, students and teachers. Many parents were interviewed for an hour at a time by NCUST reviewers and asked specific questions – much of it having to do with communications between the school and parents.
“Our review team was impressed with the rigorous curricula, instructional effectiveness, and positive relationships they observed at Revere High School,” read the letter from NCUST. “It is important to note that Revere High School is among our seven Silver-Award winners, three of which will become Gold-Award winners. We will not announce the Gold-Award winners until the award ceremony at the symposium.”
To compete for the award, schools have to serve predominantly low-income students; yet the schools had to meet a long list of student performance criteria, including achievement scores, high attendance rates, low suspension rates, and high graduation rates for every demographic group of students. Each racial/ethnic/income group served had to demonstrate rates of proficiency that exceeded the proficiency rates for all students in the state. The schools could not use any selective admission criteria to screen out less capable students. NCUST examined a variety of evidences of excellence including access to rigorous science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education, student success in high-level programs and courses (e.g., advanced placement programs), the academic proficiency of English learners, and the percentages of graduates demonstrating success in college.
Finalists were drawn from a large pool of applicants that included many schools that have earned recognition as National Blue Ribbon Schools, National Title I Distinguished Schools, and winners of many other state and national awards.