Published in the April 26, 2017 edition


LYNNFIELD — Having previously served for ten years in an urban school environment, Lynnfield High School Assistant Principal Brian Bates said his first year has been somewhat of an adjustment in coming to a district replete with commitment, foundation, and tradition.

“I have never experienced this level of dedication from teachers as there is here in Lynnfield,” said Bates, following the recent update of his entry plan to the School Committee. “Honestly, they are some of the best teachers I have come across in my career.”

Bates succeeded former LHS Assistant Principal Kevin Cyr, who is now the school system’s director of teaching and learning. He worked for a decade as a teacher and assistant principal at Lawrence High School before coming to LHS in 2016.

While reviewing his first-year accomplishments to the school board, Bates noted the clear expectations of district leadership. He said that he plans to build upon the existing collaborative approach to learning, and to continue to work on addressing the social-emotional needs of students, a shared district-wide administrative goal.

As part of Bates’ role in overseeing the safety and operations at LHS, he recently attended a NEMCLEC STARS (Northeastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council School Threat Assessment and Response System) conference. He has also collaborated with School Resource Officer Patrick Curran regarding student safety and behavior plans, and is working with the district attorney’s office staff to review intervention strategies for struggling students.

“We are on the right path aligned with other school districts, but we still have a lot to do,” said Bates.

Bates commended the accomplishments of “Collaborative Learning Experiences,” a measure recently adopted district-wide to support faculty professional development, as well as the implementation of the new “Understanding by Design (UbD)” approach to curriculum development and the associated Atlas database.

“Ninety percent of faculty believe collaborative learning experiences and instructional rounds help shape teacher goals and contribute to the high school’s mission and vision,” said Bates.

Bates told committee members that he is gearing the Compass program – an approach to building relationships among peers and faculty – more towards students. He has organized a team of advisors to target transitional programming for freshmen to help with adjusting to high school life. For other grade-levels, the administrative team is working on a speaker series for sophomores and juniors, and passion-driven learning for seniors, he said.

As a member of the Lynnfield Curriculum Council and the Professional Development Steering Committee, Bates streamlined the teacher reporting process, while creating additional opportunities for collaboration, he said. He also plans to work on expanding internship opportunities in the community for students.

Bates served as the co-chairman on the search committee for a new METCO director, he said. Superintendent of Schools Jane Tremblay announced that the district on April 10 had hired Curtis Blyden as the new director.

A large part of Bates’ observations this year focused on school culture and the sense of pride and community he witnesses at LHS and at school-related events and sports.

“There are high expectations in Lynnfield and I am still learning the traditions,” said Bates. “It’s fun to become part of the culture here.”