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State meetings planned on two Dorchester schools facing takeover

State education officials, who are considering a takeover of two Boston public schools, said Thursday that they plan to hold meetings next week at the Dever and Holland elementary schools and that a decision on receivership could come days or a week later.

The Dever meeting will be held Wednesday at 6 p.m. at the school. The Holland meeting is scheduled for Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at that school.

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The format of each meeting will be a round-table discussion lead by Mitchell Chester, the state commissioner of elementary and secondary education. Each meeting will include 11 representatives from the targeted school, the superintendent’s office, and the School Committee.

“It’s a chance for the commissioner to hear from key stakeholders,” said JC Considine, a spokesman for the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Other interested parties are welcome to observe the discussion, but will not be able to participate. They can, however, submit questions and concerns in advance of the meeting at districtassist@doe.mass.edu.

The two Boston schools are among four statewide that could be the first ever to be taken over by the state without putting an entire district into receivership. The state decided two weeks ago to target the four schools because of chronically low MCAS scores that have shown little, if any, signs of improvement.

The two other schools are the Morgan in Holyoke and the Parker in New Bedford. Meetings at those two schools are expected to take place by month’s end.

The round-table discussions are a key step under a 3-year-old state law that gives state education officials power to seize control of individual public schools. Under the law, the schools would be designated as a Level 5, or “chronically underperforming,” school. A decision could come quickly.

“In the days following each round-table discussion, the commissioner could announce designations for those schools,” Considine said.

Brian Ballou, a Boston School Department spokesman, said officials hope that takeovers can be averted.

The round tables will include the superintendent, the principal, the mayor, the School Committee chairman, the teachers union president, a teacher selected by peers, a staff member selected by the principal, a parent organization president, and three family members or other individuals involved with the school. A designee can fill in for any individual unable to attend.

James Vaznis can be reached at jvaznis@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @globevaznis.
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