WORCESTER — Remember the apple orchard on Milbrook Street where apple picking took place on weekends? Grants Department store, with its soda fountain, is another blast from the past! There were also old keg parties on River Road. And there was Mindy Kaye Dance Studio on Bluebell Rd as well as Fairlawn Hospital before its renovations; all these memories can bring back great fondness.
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What is Burncoat?
Burncoat High School, one of seven high schools within Worcester School District, is a public magnet high school that participates in Massachusetts Math and Science Initiative and allows its students to take Advanced Placement exams and courses. Furthermore, this school also offers several other programs designed to aid student academic success, such as COAST for Autism Spectrum Disorder students, Life Skills Program, and Best Buddies programs.
Burncoat students take part in community service activities and volunteer for local nonprofits, such as the Be Like Brit Foundation and Children’s Hospital Boston, in addition to academic offerings. Their student body is diverse, with many Hispanic students present. Worcester Arts Magnet Program also offers an arts-centered curriculum, including conservatory programs in dance, music, theatre, and visual arts for college prep programs.
As of 2015, the school was comprised of 28% Hispanic students, 18% White students, and 5% Black students, with an approximate student-teacher ratio of 13:1, which exceeded the state average of 12:1.
Burncoat High School encourages its students to pursue their passions and interests through a diverse selection of electives and extracurricular activities, from an AVID program to the automotive technology program offered through Quinsigamond Community College – providing dual enrollment access for their coursework! This high school hosts an AVID program and offers dual enrollment enrollment to access classroom space, equipment, and tools at Burncoat for coursework completion.
Burncoat residents typically live in medium-sized (three to four-bedroom), single-family homes and townhomes that range in size from medium-sized (three- to four-bedroom) to tiny houses or townhomes, typically owned by one family. When it comes to transportation, most prefer driving alone, while others take public transit like the bus or trolley bus to work.
What is it like to attend Burncoat?
Burncoat teacher Julie DiLeo uses this once-storage closet-turned wellness room, decorated with colorful posters and soft animals, to provide her students with comforting care as they struggle with mental health.
This year, she is helping the school implement a holistic approach to student wellness that includes mindfulness and meditation practices, yoga classes, and stress reduction exercises. Her goal is that this new space will encourage struggling students to seek help while giving them all of the tools necessary for success.
Students enrolled at Worcester Public High School enjoy access to an impressive array of academic classes, from Advanced Placement (AP) offerings to membership in the Massachusetts Math and Science Initiative, which has allowed them to excel in STEM subjects. Worcester Public Schools Foundation scholarships also make tuition payments more manageable.
Burncoat students have many opportunities for extracurricular involvement and service projects outside the classroom. Students have helped organize events like the Burncoat Beetle Battle and participated in charity efforts such as Children’s Hospital Boston and Be Like Brit Foundation projects. Furthermore, students may earn college credit by taking classes offered jointly with Quinsigamond Community College.
Burncoat High School may present many obstacles, yet there are numerous benefits to be found there. Students enjoy multiple extracurricular activities ranging from dance clubs to literary magazines; additionally, Burncoat boasts a robust alumni network to keep graduates connected and informed of what’s going on at their high school.
Students at Burncoat can navigate the college admissions process more smoothly with help from their counselors, but some students struggle with meeting all of the deadlines and requirements for applying to schools across the nation – for instance, Common App applicants must provide letters from teachers and parents when filling out applications, while fees associated with particular schools can be prohibitively expensive – discouraging many from making applications to their first choice of school.
What is the history of Burncoat?
Burncoat Elementary School in Worcester is one of many public schools taking part in the Massachusetts Math and Science Initiative (MMSI), an initiative intended to create a school culture that raises student expectations while dramatically increasing participation and performance in Advanced Placement classes. Furthermore, this program gives students opportunities for internships and mentoring programs with college and industry leaders.
Burncoat offers more than the typical high school curriculum; students at this campus are offered an array of academic electives and extracurricular activities beyond what would typically be available at other high schools. Burncoat stands out with its fine arts magnet program, which provides conservatory-level training in music, dance, and theatre. Furthermore, students at Burncoat can enroll in Advanced Placement classes with Dual Enrollment to earn college credit – making Burncoat truly stand out.
Burncoat High School boasts a large and varied student body, with 45% Hispanic students and 28% white students making up its population – more racially diverse than most public schools in Massachusetts and boasting an exceptional student:teacher ratio of 13:1. Standardized test scores at this school fall below state norms with only 20-24% of math proficiency achieved among its student body and 35-39% in reading/language arts proficiency among its population achieving proficiency; nonetheless it still remains considered safe and healthy environment for learning.
What is the future of Burncoat?
Rosemary Ridler came prepared with a placard commemorating Melanie, her former student who died of colon cancer in 2010. Timary Harrity, a junior at Doherty who wanted to keep Burncoat as the name of their school, spoke about how supportive the environment was at Doherty; she said Burncoat provided her with the knowledge she needed for further studies in health fields like medicine in college.
Edward M. Augustus Jr. has informed the council of Burncoat’s plans to resubmit its Statement of Interest with the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA). In prior submissions, however, MSBA rejected replacing Burncoat due to it not meeting age criteria as its current high school was constructed in 1964.
While many councilors support placing Burncoat into consideration, others want Worcester East Middle and Grafton Street Elementary also to be included as older school buildings that could potentially collapse at any moment – I toured Worcester East Middle earlier this year and saw windows covered by plastic tarps!