Equity Lab Charter School

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Need for Equity Lab

Unfortunately, Lynn has struggled with social inequities that have kept segments of the population from economic and social advancement. Lynn’s median income is one third the state average. Median household income has declined by five percent in the past 20 years while the median income statewide has increased by 10% (Salem, which borders Lynn experienced an increase of 20%). Between 2001 and 2012 Lynn lost 3,159 jobs. The manufacturing sector accounted for more than half the job losses. The poverty level is almost twice that of the state average and Lynn has one of the highest foreclosure rates in Massachusetts.

Lynn’s economic and social challenges are mirrored in its educational status. Only 19.3% of Lynn residents have a bachelor’s degree and only 14.2% have a graduate or professional degree. 16.2% have some college training but no degree.

In addition to low college graduation percentages, a substantial number of Lynn students are not completing high school or are dropping out. When graduation rates are disaggregated, significantly high percentages of students of color, English Learner students, and students with disabilities are not completing high school or are dropping out of school.

Since 2012 the founding group has conducted focus groups, individual interviews, and surveys of Lynn parents. Members of the team have also communicated with Lynn parents using social media. The following chart outlines the educational priorities of Lynn families and how how our school design addresses these priorities.

 

Educational Priorities of Lynn Families  How Our School Design Addresses Priorities
Provide the foundation for college and career readiness (economic viability) Community-based learning connects students with mentors and internships linked to college and career settings.

Engage students with challenging and relevant curriculum

Project-based learning mirrors the rigors that students will experience in college and the workplace.

Connect student learning to the real world

Project-based learning (with a focus on social entrepreneurship) shows students how the academic and co-academic disciplines interact and are applied in the real world.

Honor students’ identities and cultures (embrace diversity)

Inclusive and Social Emotional learning require deep knowledge of and respect for students’ identities and cultures.

Support students as being agents of change in their community (active citizenship)

Project-based learning (with a focus on social entrepreneurship) provides a clear structure for how to help student problem-solve challenges in their community.

Cultivate student creativity and health through regular access to art, music, and physical activity

Creative Learning supports intellectual, physical, emotional, and social development.

Provide an extended day program

 

The school program is 8.5 hours per day—8:30 am to 5:00 pm

Support students with a range of health, cognitive, and social emotional challenges

 Inclusive and Social Emotional learning provide a range of support services for diverse learners

Involve parents as partners in their children’s education

Community-based learning- the focus on public exhibitions and forums engages parents in their child’s education

Provide a warm, safe, and welcoming school environment

Social Emotional learning- organizing students into small learning communities (project advisories) and the use of restorative justice as a proactive discipline system ensures a positive school environment.