Secrets of Success at East Boston High  

East Boston High School, A collaboration sweetened by cookies

by Cathie Maglio

Close collaboration sweetened by cookies

When I read the Boston Globe article about East Boston High School I felt a rush of pride and a burst of memories.

The memories ranged back seven years, the length of time  I have been working at East Boston High as a Blended Learning Specialist from JFYNetWorks. My job is to help students increase their grade-level skills and MCAS scores. I work with teachers to set up their classes in our math and ELA software so students can strengthen their computation and reading comprehension skills. The 2022 MCAS results showed that their work is paying off in terms of much higher scores.

I love my work at East Boston High! It is such a great school community from the principal Phil Brangiforte down to the youngest 7th grader. I have worked with some teachers for seven years, others just a year or two. Either way I like to develop relationships with all the teachers, the ones I work with and others I just chat with in the teachers’ rooms or in the library.  When I went back into the school this fall after the long pandemic separation, I was greeted with hugs and cries of “Welcome back, it’s so good to see you!”  I had missed them as well. Some teachers I had known for years had left the school during the shutdown. I felt sad at not having had the opportunity to say goodbye. I had lost friends.

Side by side with the teachers, I also work with the department heads.  I consult with them regularly on standards to include in a math skills assessment, or reading assignments to increase Lexile growth in ELA classes. I am always quick to respond to requests from them and from teachers who need me to add a new student to a class, run a report, analyze data, or create a new task in the math software. So far this year, I have created 44 ELA classes for 21 teachers in grades 7 – 12 with over 750 students enrolled.  On the math side, I’ve created 52  classes with 19 teachers and over 1000 students enrolled. There will be more classes and more students in the second semester. It’s a big school.

My readers know I love to bake. To celebrate the wonderful MCAS news I made chocolate chip cookies for all the teachers as an appreciation of a job well done. I also gave cookies to the department heads, to Phil and to Judy Blanco, the deputy principal. It was a way of saying thank you to all these colleagues who make my job not only productive but enjoyable. These are inputs that don’t show up in the MCAS data, but they make everyone’s job a little sweeter. 

Cathie Maglio is a JFYNetWorks Learning Specialist.

Other posts authored by Cathie can be found here.

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