Thursday, February 7, 2013
The External Advisory Committee was scheduled to make a recommendation this weekend, but Boston Mayor Thomas Menino has asked them to take more time on their decision.
Boston Mayor Thomas Menino has asked the External Advisory Committee on Improving School Choice to delay their recommendation on one of three proposals scheduled for this weekend. But he did say he would like the committee's recommendation by the end of February. In a letter written written on Feb. 5 (see PDF in the gallery at right) Menino spoke of the public process. "You are coming to the end of an extremely thoughtful process," the mayor wrote. "To date, there have been over 70 public meetings on improving school choice, and you have heard from 4,000 families." The External Advisory Committee was formed after Menino requested Boston Public Schools Superintendent Carol Johnson to create the group in 2012. The committee offered three …
All school activities for the weekend, including athletic events, have been postponed.
Boston Public Schools will be closed on Friday, Feb. 8 because of the impending snowstorm. Mayor Thomas Menino has declared a snow emergency in effect beginning at noon on Friday. The storm is expected to drop as much as two feet of snow on the city and will last into Saturday afternoon. Along with classes, all Boston Public School activities that were scheduled for Friday, Saturday and Sunday have been canceled, according to the district website. This includes all athletic events. All Family Resource Centers will also be closed on Friday. "Only essential personnel should report to work," according to the district website. For more information, call the Mayor's 24-Hour Hotline at 617-635-4500. For updates and other information about the …
Monday, January 28, 2013
The at-large city councilor wants to make Boston Public Schools easier to navigate for parents.
While Boston Mayor Thomas Menino is pushing three new proposed student assignment plans, At-Large City Councilor John Connolly said he wants to see more. "The EAC [External Advisory Committee on School Choice] has pushed BPS [Boston Public Schools] to offer two creative options that move beyond arbitrary lines on a map. I'm still concerned about the lack of a real plan for quality, the complexity of a system that needs to be easier for parents to navigate, and the likelihood that limited capacity will prevent BPS from offering real close to home options," Connolly said. School officials offered three options in mid-January, different than the five plans they originally presented last year. One option would create 10 community-based …
The External Advisory Committee on School Choice is meeting Feb. 4 to hear the latest options from Boston Public Schools.
Monday, January 28
The following is a press release submitted by Boston Mayor Thomas Menino: With your support, in the coming weeks we will achieve meaningful education reforms that will benefit an entire generation of students and the broader community. Today I am asking for your help so we can move forward together. For nearly 25 years we have split the city into three sprawling student assignment zones—North, East and West. Families today are faced with a bewildering set of options with no assurance they'll get what they asked for. Our schools are better than ever and we do our best to match families with their choices, but too often, children are sent to schools far from home because we couldn't give them what they wanted. Many families avoid the process…
Sunday, January 27, 2013
This school year, Boston began providing free breakfast for all students, sometimes right in the classroom. Not starting the day hungry is just the first benefit.
Stray whole-grain muffin crumbs are no match for the teachers at the Curley K-8 School in Jamaica Plain. Dustbusters in hand, they cope with the aftermath of the breakfast that’s served in their classrooms every day. The Universal Free Breakfast program began district-wide in Boston in September, and the Curley’s staff is just one group of adults who’ve converted to the idea of mixing yogurt with notebooks in the morning, to benefit students beyond having full tummies. Improvements in behavior, diet, and achievement have all been tracked in more than 15 years of research on learning and eating, especially the eating of breakfast. At first, teachers and custodians were understandably leery of bringing food into the classrooms, says Curley …
Thursday, January 24, 2013
Boston City Councilor Frank Baker is looking to change the board's makeup.
Boston School Committee members are chosen by mayoral appointments, but District 3 City Councilor Frank Baker would like the board to be a hybrid of elected officials and mayoral appointments. “I believe our schools are the most important issue in our city. If we have strong schools, we will have a vibrant and successful city,” Baker said. “The School Committee serves an important role in the decision making structure of the Boston Public Schools and should be accountable and responsive to the citizens of Boston, not solely to the mayor and his administration.” Baker has filed a home rule petition to reorganize Boston School Committee into a hybrid model of both elected and appointed members. Boston did previously have an elected school …
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
After months of wrangling, there are three proposals left on the table. Which do you think is best for Boston's families?
After months of deliberations, trial balloons and many neighborhood meetings, Boston school officials on Tuesday released three alternatives to the current school selection process. The three plans are designed to provide families with flexibility to select quality schools close to home, according to the Boston School Choice website. The three plans are as follows: 10-zone plan: In this plan, parents would rank the schools in their zone. The child would then be placed based on availability in each school. This plan is structurally similar to the current zone-based system for placing students in schools. Home-based proposal A: This plan would give parents the choice of at least six schools of different quality near their home address. "…
Thursday, January 10, 2013
The mayor will file statewide legislation that could eliminate the cap on in-district charter schools.
Thursday, January 10
The following was submitted Jan. 9 by the City of Boston on behalf of Mayor Thomas Menino. All across our city this month, parents are choosing the schools where they would like to send their children to kindergarten. The Boston Public Schools are better than ever—but our school assignment process is 25 years old. Under the current system, we ask prospective families to visit as many as 30 schools—some of which may be across the street, others miles from home—and then wait and hope they’ll get what they wanted. Our school choice process can be confusing, unpredictable and unnecessarily complicated. We can do better. Rather than building strong communities, today’s system begins by splitting up communities, sending students from one street …
Saturday, January 5, 2013
The city is introducing 10 new classrooms through a partnership with seven community organizations.
The city of Boston and Boston Public Schools have expanded Boston's kindergarten program through new funding and partnerships with several community organizations. Mayor Thomas Menino and Superintendent Carol R. Johnson announced this week that 10 new kindergarten classes would be formed through funding from Boston Public Schools, the United Way of Massachusetts Bay and the Merrimack Valley and the Barr Foundation. Two of the classrooms will be in the South End. “Providing our children a good and early start is so important to their success through high school and college,” Menino said. “We know this investment will result in high quality education for more of our youngest students, thanks to the work of our trusted community partners at…
Friday, January 4, 2013
The first round of signups began Thursday and runs through Feb. 1.
The first round of kindergarten registration for Boston Public Schools opened Thursday and will run through Feb. 1. Families may register for grades 6 and 9 as well as kindergarten, according to an email notice sent out by Danielle Gantt, Coordinator of Community Partnerships for Children with Boston Public Schools. Families are encouraged to sign up during this period and can do so by visiting a Family Resource Center on a specific date tied to the first letter of their last name: Attending registration on your specific date will help minimize wait times. In addition, the East Zone Family Resource Center will be open on Saturday mornings, Jan. 12 and 26, to serve all families. Below are the Family Resource Center locations where families …