NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WGGB) — In just one year, Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School has jumped two accountability levels – from level 3 to level 1- due to strong MCAS scores. The school is now one of the top in the state.
In a press release sent to ABC40 Friday, the school’s superintendent, Jeffrey Peterson, expressed excitement over SVAHS’s placement. He also praised the hard work of faculty, staff, and students. “We have the best school, the best teachers, and the best students at Smith,” Peterson said.
The jump to Level 1 can be attributed to many factors. Some of them include the hiring of math and literacy coaches to work with teachers and continuing its after-school homework help program.
Although proud, Peterson stressed that this is not an excuse for the school to slack. “We’ll have to maintain that Level 1 status. We’re not going back to Level 3,” he said.
Director of the Pioneer Valley District and School Assistance Center which is a section of the state’s Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, Kenneth Rocke says, “We’ve seen schools move from level 3 to level 2, and schools move from level 2 to level 3, but we’ve never seen a school move from level 3 to level 1 in one year.”
Opened in 1908, SVAHS is the oldest Vocational school in Massachusetts. It has fourteen career and technical programs including cosmetology, culinary arts, and electrical. The school attracts students from all over Western Massachusetts.