HANOVER — With MCAS test results out, South Shore Tech students scored 10th in the state on student growth in English language arts — at an average of 65.5 percent.
Students who passed the ELA MCAS, but fell short of the score required for an Adams scholarship have the right to retake it, and nine SST juniors have opted to do that, according to Principal Mark Aubrey.
In math, SST was sixth out of 35 vocational school districts in student growth with 56.9 percent improvement and five students will be required to retake the math exam in November.
Attendance is also improved by 23 percent so far this school year.
Aubrey also introduced the school’s resource officer, Adam Hill of the Hanover Police Department. Hill serves at the school 16 hours per week, which usually boils down to two eight-hour shifts per week.
Hill also works during special events such as the Homecoming dance.
“He’s in the classrooms, he’s in the shops, he’s communicating with the kids,” Aubrey said. “He eats lunch with the kids, he sits at their tables. He’s doing a fabulous job and we are appreciative of every moment that he can give us.”
For his part, officer Hill said everyone at the school has been very welcoming.
“I had no idea [of] the capabilities of this facility, I’m truly impressed with it,” he said. “The kids are unbelievable.” He said the students are capable of confidently teaching an adult about their shops.
“You should be proud of the work that goes on here,” he said. “I’m very impressed.”
Hill’s comments came on the heels of Whitman resident Paul Varley’s continued charges of bullying and abuse at the school, to which he said his brother has been subjected. Varley addressed the committee during the public comment period, as his state Rep. Allyson Sullivan, R-Abington, “directed me to come to this committee for your help to take care of all my issues.”
He had appeared before the committee in recent months to address a bullying complaint.
“Now, either Allyson Sullivan or this very committee has no idea what it’s function is, as this committee sent a very brief summation, in a letter stating nothing will be done on the committee’s end, then pretty much dismissing my very lengthy email — time-lining everything,” Varley read from a prepared statement.
He said the committee had suggested he talk to Superintendent-Director Dr. Thomas J. Hickey, about the matter, which Varley said he has tried to do.
“The district takes all concerns very seriously and reviews such matters thoroughly; it goes without saying that student safety and student success are critically important priorities,” Hickey said in a statement Tuesday, Oct. 22. “While we cannot comment publicly on specific student matters, the school administration will always seek dialogue in the appropriate venue with any parties who have concerns and questions.”
The public comment is designed to give people a chance to address an issue not on the agenda, and no one on the committee commented during the meeting for that reason.
“My hope here is trying to use this public forum to find someone who cares and can help,” he said. “As I’ve heard from current and former students over the last few years, these are the things going on that the school is also aware of.”
He listed allegations of threats to kill or harm others or blow up the school, sexual assaults and destruction of a motor vehicle as examples.
“This school is, by definition, the model school for a bullying culture,” Varley stated. He described the video-recording and editing of fights for entertainment purposes as well as taking inappropriate photos of each other, and charged that teachers and staff join in on bullying, lying and stealing from students while he accused the administration of not caring.
“I’ve given the school far too many chances to do something tangible, and I live by the motto ‘see something, say something,’ so here I am,” he said. “Here’s your wake-up call South Shore, before catastrophe is at our doorstep.”