2015-16 WSCS Highlights
- As measured by the spring SRI, 82% of Cohen students achieved the Proficient/Advanced Level, which is an increase of 7% from the September benchmark.
- 157 students were honored for their high academic achievement during the annual Academic Awards Ceremony. The students maintained a GPA over 3.5 for all 3 quarters this year. Many students have earned the award for multiple years.
- Accelerated Coursework: Cohen School students embrace the challenge of participating in an accelerated course. The following data represents students participation across the content areas –
- Grade 8 Science: 43%
- Grade 8 Math: 41%
- Grade 8 Language Arts: 38%
- Grade 8 Social Studies: 37%
- Spanish I: 41%
- French I: 21%
- Grade 7 Science: 44%
- Grade 7 Math: 37%
- Grade 7 Language Arts: 34%
- Grade 7 Social Studies: 34%
- Grade 6 Language Arts: 18%
- Grade 6 Mathematics: 35%
- To accelerate their learning, 98 Eighth Grade students accepted the challenge of taking high school courses in Spanish or French.
- For the sixth year in a row, Grade 7 Maine History students completed a webpage on the Maine Memory network website. The page featured pictures and articles about the history of Bangor’s Bass Park. Under the direction of Social Studies teacher Ron Bilancia and Library Media Specialist Kelin Malachi, the page went public in early June.
- Darby Connor Self, grade 6, won the School Geography Bee and represented Cohen at the State Competition.
- One hundred thirty young inventors participated in the William S. Cohen School 6th grade Invention Convention held in the school cafeteria on April 28th. All students joined in communicating their solutions to real world problems. It was the last step in the Technology Design Process that began three weeks earlier when students identified needs or problems, researched those needs, possible solutions, and existing patents, and finally designed, built, and tested a prototype.
- Students from the William S. Cohen School participated annual Maine National History Day project competition at the University of Maine. More than 400 middle school and high school competitors from all over the state competing in those two levels. Project types include research papers, poster-board exhibits, websites, documentary videos, and dramatic performances. This year’s project theme was Exploration, Encounter, and Exchange in History. 8th graders Nhan Ngo, Claire Pellegrino, and Kelley Pellegrino, 7th graders Leah Noack, Naomi Noack, Leia Riker, and Emma Hall participated this year. Leah Noack and Emma Hall won the bronze medal for their poster-board exhibit on the history of the Statue of Liberty.
- The William S. Cohen School Math Counts Team met weekly to explore mathematical problem solving and prepare for competitions. The team competed in the Math Counts competition and finished third overall in a field of 15 middle schools from the region. The Cohen School Math Team competed in the State Math Counts Competition in March. Six of the team members also qualified to compete as individuals at States. Claire Thompson, 8th grade student, earned the highest score on the written test at the Math Counts competition. Claire’s score and problem solving during the Countdown Round led her to be the Runner-up of the competition.
- William S. Cohen School was represented extremely well at the Maine Invention Convention held at the University of Maine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center. Three Cohen 6th graders, Marcy Bedaw, Cadence Stockford and McKayla Kendall, presented their inventions to several judges from the University’s Foster Center for Innovation while competing against other 6th grade inventors from around Eastern Maine. All three young inventors impressed the judges with their creative solutions to problems. Special recognition was awarded to McKayla Kendall who earned second place honors and Cadence Stockford who took third place.
- In addition to quarterly displays of art in the hallways of the Cohen School, student art was displayed at various locations throughout the city such as the Bangor Mall, the Bangor Public Library, City Hall and the University of Maine Art Museum in Bangor.
- 100% of content area teachers implemented the use of the Read Aloud. Reports from teachers indicate a successful implementation of read alouds with observational data supporting their effectiveness.
- 100% of Cohen teachers began to identify three levels of differentiation for every daily lesson. Lessons were shared at Grade Level Team (GLT) meetings and at Faculty meetings.
- Math teachers continued to use and improve the ASSISTments program which uses technology to support academic achievement in mathematics by supporting student’s homework efforts.
- Cohen teachers embraced the professional development opportunities the BSD provides by taking classes, workshops, reading educational journals, and attending professional conferences.
- Cohen administrators and teachers completed many hours of training then successfully implemented and administered the Smarter Balanced Maine Educational Assessments in both reading and mathematics.
- Cohen administrators and teachers successfully piloted a standards based report as part of the report card system.
Quality Instructional Program
- 100% of Cohen Teachers worked with the James F. Doughty teachers to identify, plan, implement, and evaluate the Read Aloud instructional strategy in all content areas.
- 100% of Cohen Teachers purposefully planned for students to use critical thinking daily and used formative assessments regularly to measure student progress.
- 47% of Cohen students chose to accelerate their learning by taking at least one accelerated course. Of particular note is the increase in 6th Grade students taking an accelerated math class due to the acceleration of students at Mary Snow School.
- Response to Intervention continued to take small steps forward, especially in the development of materials to use for interventions. The ASSISTment Skill Builders component is a great example of a way of providing targeted, individual practice for students in every math class.
- The use of technology as a tool has continued to develop at the Cohen School with the MLTI one to one program, continuing integration efforts by teachers and staff, the regular use of the interactive Promethean Board, and the full implementation of the homework program called ASSISTments.
- Writing for a purpose continued to expand at Cohen with students having numerous opportunities in many different content areas to publish poems, essays, stories, and research. Creative Communication, school newspaper, essay contests, science conventions, social studies presentations, and in school contests and competitions all encouraged students to do their best work.
Environment for Success
- Our School Goal of 95% or higher on average daily attendance was reached by this year’s student body with a 95.21% ADA.
- Over 95% of Cohen students participated in two or more after school activities during the 2014-15 school year.
- 100% of Cohen students have a Personal Learning Plan (PLP) in which teachers, students, and guidance counselor work together on to create individual student goals and strategies for achieving potential.
- The WSCS Custodial Staff continues to receive high praise from parents, staff, students, and community members for their continued, persistent, and passionate care for the building and grounds.
- Students and Staff demonstrated an excellent understanding and execution of the various safety systems in place at Cohen including drills, procedures, and protocols.
- The Cohen Student Assistance Team continued to meet weekly to discuss ways to support individual students identified by teachers and/or attendance and achievement data. Many new interventions were implemented with an emphasis on parental involvement in establishing and implementing solutions.
- Parents continued to show interest and involvement in the school by supporting co-curricular events, parent-teacher conferences, assemblies, and in school activities by attending in great number. Cohen parents also volunteered in many school activities including: chaperoning school functions, working in the library & offices, sharing their expertise in classrooms, and serving in the WSCS Booster Club.
- The Cohen Student Council was active and successful in supporting students and teachers. Highlights include: funding for the Pay It Forward account, purchasing academic/athletic/co-curricular supplies beyond what was budgeted, donating money to local non-profit organizations, supporting Bangor families around the holidays, and volunteering to work around the school when needed.
- The WSCS Boosters Club was active and successful in supporting students and teachers. Highlights include: the purchase of magazines for struggling readers, funding for the Pay It Forward account, supporting Teacher Appreciation Week with great food, awarding scholarships to 2 BHS seniors, purchasing academic/athletic/co-curricular supplies beyond what was budgeted, and providing refreshments at several Cohen activities.