English High Graduation Rates Continue to Rise
The Boston Public School (BPS) announced graduation at the city’s high school this week. While some high school graduations rates declined English’s continues its upward climb. In a BPS press release English High was singled out for its increase.
Over the last six years, The English High School in Jamaica Plain has seen its graduation rate increase nearly 30 percentage points, from 52.3% in 2015 to 81.8% in 2020.
Last year English High, celebrating its 200th anniversary later this year, achieved a four-year graduation rate above the district rate and an increase of 4.9 percentage points from last year. District and school administrators point to creativity with autonomy and scheduling for improved student outcomes.
Students have an intervention and enrichment block every day where they can meet with any teacher or counselor for support and additional skill development. Any student with a grade below 70% must meet with their teacher in that subject during this period. Students can choose from a course catalog with the opportunity to trace a theme over the course of a semester. Students are also able to choose from a course catalog to enroll in various electives. In addition, English offers an online credit recovery program led by an English High School alum, who acts as an advisor and mentor to keep students engaged
“At English, we have shifted our practice to a relentless focus on student data. Our academic and student support teams are constantly reviewing student progress to ensure that all staff members are looking at both social-emotional supports and academic supports to provide students with an individualized plan based on their needs,” said Caitlin Murphy, English High’s Head of School, who started teaching at the school in 2009 and became school leader in 2018. "We remain committed to providing opportunities for our students to become more engaged in their schedules and coursework by increasing student choice and agency in their learning. Our students are excited about coming to school because once they’re with us, we know how to support them."