By Terry Rogers
Starting his second year as principal of Milford Senior High School, Dr. David Carter sees aligning curriculum to common core state standards as one of the biggest issues facing students in the upcoming school year. He also says that the return of ninth graders to the school, although challenging as far as space, will be a positive thing for the school.
“We will be working to continue to align curriculum to common core state standards,” Dr. Carter explained. “We will be implementing Response to Intervention (RTI). As a high school, we always want to achieve overall achievement while closing the achievement gap and continue to prepare our students for college. In regards to testing, we want to raise test scores in the PSAT, SAT, end of course exams, and DCAS.”
For the 2013-14 school year, Milford, like all other schools in the state, must comply with implementing Common Core Standards, which is a “real-world approach to teaching and learning.” The standards, which were developed by education experts, focus on key concepts in math and English. Although Milford’s students consistently meet state standards in DCAS testing, they have struggled with college placement exams, such as the SAT and ACT. The district is focusing on improving those scores while continuing to help students achieve top level state test scores as well. Dr. Carter also said that the high school is preparing for the upcoming implementation of “Smarter Balance,” a state testing protocol being piloted in some districts throughout the state. It is scheduled to be implemented statewide by the start of the 2014-15 school year.
With the closure of Milford Middle School, ninth graders who, for the past few years attended Milford Central Academy, are now attending the Milford High School again. Dr. Carter says that the staff is upbeat an optimistic, despite the slightly crowded feel of the school.
“I remember when we had four grades,” said Dr. Carter. “It is definitely tighter halls and we have been very cognizant of transition time. The staff is very positive and upbeat regardless of the increase in the building. With such growth in the district, the need for a new middle school in the near future, in order to use both the MCA and MHS as one, is inevitable.”
Milford Board of Education voted to close the Middle School at the end of the 2012-13 school year and are in the process of planning the best way to proceed to build a new school. The board hopes to keep the façade of the building the same due to its historic benefit, while completely renovating the interior. This meant that sixth, seventh and eighth grades would have to attend Milford Central Academy which was previously planned for eight and ninth grades.
“We really strive to promote college to our students as we all know that the job market is steadily changing and has minimal qualification expectancies which, more times than not, requires a degree,” Dr. Carter said when asked about students choosing college over entering the workforce after graduation. “Our last graduating class brought in more than $5 million in scholarship money.” According to the Milford School District Annual Report for 2011-2012, the latest year available on the district website, in 2012 more than 54 percent of graduating seniors had been accepted to college at the time of graduation.
“As we strive to reach higher heights, I want to thank God for the opportunity,” Dr. Carter said, in his typical upbeat manner that the students have come to expect from him. “And to thank the parents, guardians, community members, mentors, churches, business and all other stakeholders for their support and positive efforts. I would ask that they continue to do so, as we know that education is imperative and we need all hands on deck. As we continue to increase, let’s all continue to Ride the Tide of Buccaneer Pride.”