Hayden-McFadden Elementary School
Hayden- McFadden Elementary School is one of the largest elementary schools in the New Bedford school district, serving a diverse population of 713 students. In the fall of 2011, the school was declared a Level 4 status by the state of Massachusetts. Level 4 schools are identified as the states lowest performing schools, based on an analysis of four-year trends in absolute achievement.
The Sustainability Education Initiative has been involved with Hayden-McFadden Elementary School for the past two years, assisting with the Garden Club Program. Beginning January 2012, SEI will be conducting a pilot program with the first grade to focus on food access and knowledge. The results will inform amendment recommendations to the district’s federally mandated wellness policy.
21% of students are proficient in Reading
23% of students are proficient in Mathematics
32% of the student body’s first language is not English
79% of students received free lunch
Planting the Seeds of Change
- SEI co-created STEP (Success through Empowering Partnerships), a wellness committee founded in the knowledge that collaborating with the community is essential to a public school’s success. It is comprised of parents, teachers and community members.
- In 2011, Hayden-McFadden Elementary School received two grants from the United Way of New Bedford to continue garden programming throughout the school year and summer.
- In a joint effort with STEP, the PTO (Parent Teacher Organization) hosted its first of two family nights in November with 250 people in attendance. The family night included tables representing community organizations engaging families around issues of health and wellness.