In an all-new episode of The Business Beat, Steve Jones-D’Agostino, strategic partner of Susan Wagner PR + Best Rate of Climb, interviews Krista Piazza (shown, center), superintendent of Seven Hills Charter Public School and executive director of the Learning First Foundation. Joining her are Amy Ebbeson (shown, left), who chairs Seven Hills Charter’s Board of Trustees, and David Frazier (shown, right), president of the Rotary Club on Worcester.
They talk about changing the course of public education. In the spirit of full disclosure, Steve does voluntary public-relations work for Rotary Worcester.
As the Telegram & Gazette reported on October 5, in an article titled Seven Hills Charter school gets top-level ranking for second time, “A little bit of pride dripped off of each purple and white ‘Level #1 Teacher’ button Krista Piazza distributed Tuesday at Seven Hills Charter Public School. ‘Congratulations!’ she beamed as she handed one to each educator she passed in the hallway.
“Ms. Piazza, superintendent of the K-8 school on the city's east side, was eager to share her joy over Seven Hills recently being named a Level 1 school for the second year in a row,” the T&G continued. “This, after the threat of having its charter revoked three years ago.
“Seven Hills, which in 1996 was the first charter school to open in Worcester, serves about 670 mostly minority and low-income students in K-8.
“In 2011, when the school was due for its five-year charter renewal, the state expressed concern that scores on the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System test had been flat for some time,” the T&G noted.
“The school was given until the end of 2012 to meet state-set English and math targets, and to make adequate yearly progress (federal and state improvement benchmarks) and meet goals outlined in the school's accountability plan.
As the T&G reported in its October 5 article, “ ... Thanks to several targeted changes Seven Hills enacted soon after the state's warning, that threat didn't come to fruition, and the school was taken off probation in January 2013 with the condition that it show sustained progress through December of this year.”