MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. – After being identified as a priority school by the New York State Education Department for a fourth year, the A.B. Davis Middle School in Mount Vernon is in danger of becoming a Priority Receivership school.
In April, it was announced that Davis Middle School was one of nine schools in Westchester County that were designated as “failing” by state standards, along with eight schools in Yonkers.
Because it’s been listed as a priority school for more than three years, the district will now have two probationary years with which to raise standards and improve student performance at the school. If “demonstrable progress” is now made at Davis Middle School, an independent receiver will be appointed to the school for up to three years.
At a Priority Receivership School, the receiver will be vested with the powers and ability to “review and make changes to the school budget, create and change curriculum, and implement professional development for staff members.” Each member of the faculty may be required to reapply for their positions, and the receiver has the power to supersede decisions made by the Board of Education.
Additionally, the receiver has the power to expand school days or the academic calendar, convert the school into a charter school, pursuant to the law, request changes to the collective bargaining agreement and “increase resources for social and emotional developmental health of students” by converting the school into a community school.
According to the terms of receivership, Mount Vernon Superintendent of Schools Kenneth Hamilton will be creating a Parent and Community Engagement team that consists of A.B. Davis Middle School Principal Joshua Whitham, parents, guardians, teachers, students and other staff members.
The goal of the Parent and Community Engagement team will be to develop recommendations for improvements to the school to get it to state standards by soliciting input from the public. The team will present recommendations sporadically throughout the school year to Hamilton and the Board of Education.
The informational meeting on potential receivership at the A.B. Davis Middle School will be open to the community at 6 p.m. on Thursday, June 25 at the Education Center on North Columbus Avenue.
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