Friday, December 22, 2006

Happy holidays from the Boston Public Schools!

All of us at the Boston Public Schools wish every child, parent, employee and supporter a wonderful holiday season. Congratulations and thank you to BPS students and staff for raising more than $23,000 to support families in need through the Globe Santa program!

This has been an exciting year for the school district, and we look forward to continued success in 2007. School resumes for all students on Wednesday, January 3. Until then, we wish you a safe and joyous holiday, and we thank you for your continued support of the Boston Public Schools.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

"Fergie" treats Philbrick students to tea

Sarah Ferguson, England's Duchess of York, recently treated students from the Philbrick Elementary School in Roslindale to tea at the new InterContinental Hotel to help celebrate World Children's Day. "Fergie," as she is more commonly known, is the World Children's Day goodwill ambassador for Ronald McDonald House Charities, which also supports the Philbrick's dance program in partnership with the Topf Center for Dance Education. Pictured here with the Philbrick students are (back row, left to right) Philbrick Principal Stephen Zrike, Jr.; Richard Rein, Director of the Topf Center; the Duchess; and a special guest.

Roosevelt students prove "you can't judge a book by its cover"

Students at the Roosevelt Elementary School in Hyde Park recently celebrated their favorite books in the first of three Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) events of the year, sponsored by ReadBoston. In keeping with the theme, "You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover," every student in kidergarten through grade 5 designed a quilt square representing the cover or his or her favorite book. On the day of the event, the students' work was displayed in the cafeteria, where students assembled their squares into a schoolwide quilt. Every child also received a book to take home to read with their families.

McKay girls have "Locks of Love" to give this holiday season

When Jodi Rosen, a fifth grade teacher at the Donald McKay K–8 School in East Boston, returned from Thanksgiving break, her students noticed something was missing. Ms. Rosen, who once sported long hair, arrived with a short new hairstyle. When her students asked Ms. Rosen why she cut her hair, she explained: to help children. Ms. Rosen had her hair cut and donated to Locks of Love, a non-profit organization that provides hairpieces to children suffering from long-term medical hair loss.

Two of her students -- Oyuky Torres and Mileena Boodoosingh (pictured here, left and right) -- were so inspired by Ms. Rosen’s kindness that they volunteered to donate their hair as well, with the permission of their families. Ms. Rosen accompanied the girls to a local salon for their haircuts, and the occasion was featured in the Boston Herald.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Kudos abound for CIO Kim Rice

Two educational technology publications have recently heralded the accomplishments of BPS Chief Information Officer Kim Rice. First, Technology and Learning magazine named Kim one of four EdTech Leaders of the Year in its December issue, saying, "Kim Rice's laser-like focus on customer service, her ability to inspire different constituencies, and her unswerving eye on teaching and learning have earned the respect of the entire community." Now she is profiled in the latest issue of School CIO magazine. Pictured here, Kim poses with Mayor Menino at the Court Street Open House last August sporting her duck hat, in keeping with the OIIT mantra of "getting our ducks in a row." To keep up with the latest developments in OIIT, check out Kim's blog.

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BPS community celebrates winning the Broad Prize

Several hundred members of the BPS community -- including students, parents, teachers, principals, administrators and partners -- attended a "Winter Wonderland" at the Boston Convention Center to celebrate Boston winning the Broad Prize for Urban Education.

The event, sponsored by the Broad Foundation and hosted by Mayor Menino, the Boston School Committee and Superintendent Contompasis, paid tribute to the top city school district in the country. Guests brought contributions to Toys For Tots and enjoyed ice cream sundaes.

Pictured here, from top to bottom: (Click any photo to enlarge)

(1) Former Superintendent Tom Payzant with Boston Student Advisory Council (BSAC) members and Jenny Sazama from Youth on Board;

(2) Representatives from the Everett Elementary School, former staff member Amy Stern, principal Nicole Mack, and parent Alicia Zipp;

(3) Members of the Kenny Elementary School Marching Band perform holiday favorites.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Guild School custodian trades in brooms for books

As the custodian at the Curtis Guild Elementary School in East Boston, Robert Pieper believes his responsibilities include more than sweeping floors and washing windows. He believes every adult can support children's learning in and out of the classroom. That's why Mr. Pieper took a break from his maintenance duties recently to read to a class of special needs kindergarten students at a Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) event sponsored by ReadBoston. Mr. Pieper, whose children also attend Boston Public Schools, joined Guild parents and other visitors to the school in reading aloud from children's books, which the students will bring home to read with their families.

Good press for "Press Pass TV"

The third season of Press Pass TV, a citywide after-school program for BPS television students, is featured on the "After School Scene" website. The program, based out of Madison Park High School but open to students from all schools, teaches youth how to produce TV news stories, with an emphasis on stories that promote civic awareness and engagement. Segments are produced and packaged into a 30 minute TV news magazine broadcast on local access, on the Press Pass TV website, and distributed on DVD.

Friday, December 08, 2006

TAG Program honors Nydia Mendez

The Talented And Gifted (TAG) Latino Program sponsored by UMass Boston recently presented an award to Nydia O. Mendez, BPS Director of the Office of Language Learning and Support Services (OLLSS). Ms. Mendez was honored at TAG's 21st anniversary gala celebration for her commitment to the program and her work on behalf of English Language Learners. Launched in 1985, the program offers a range of programs - including tutoring, mentoring, college preparation, family engagement, and extra-curricular activities - to Latino students during the school year and the summer. Students who participate in the program and graduate from high school are guaranteed admission to UMass Boston. Pictured here, Ms. Mendez accepts the award from Rick Otero, a 1990 graduate of the TAG program and Boston Latin Academy.

Tavis Smiley encourages Eastie students to pursue STEM careers

Students at East Boston High School (EBHS) recently learned about opportunities to become the next generation of leaders in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). A student assembly featured presenations from media personality Tavis Smiley and ExxonMobil representative Erskine Frison as part of the "Talented Tenth High SchoolTour." The message of the day: Lessons learned in math and science classes in high school today can lead to success in career tomorrow. Pictured here (left to right) are Mr. Frison, EBHS senior My Chi Tran, Mr. Smiley, EBHS senior Orlando Weller, and EBHS Headmaster Mike Rubin.

BPS teacher and alumna competing to be "America's Next Fitness Star"

She is a teacher at the Quincy Upper School. She is a graduate of the Burke High School, where she earned All-State and All-American honors in basketball. She went on to become Division 1 Women's Basketball "Rookie of the Year" at James Madison University. She owns her own fitness studio in Dudley Square. She's won numerous awards and has been featured in Essence, the Boston Globe, the Boston Business Journal, and other media. And now Brandy Cruthird of Dorchester hopes to add another entry to her distinguished resume: America's Next Fitness Star. Brandy is a finalist in the national competition sponsored by ExerciseTV, with the winner getting a one-year contract for a fitness series and a year's supply of NewBalance footwear and apparel. Brandy's audition video is posted on the competition website, where visitors can vote for their favorites. Good luck, Brandy!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

"Welcome to BPS" gift bags await new kindergarten families

When school registration begins next month for students entering Boston Public Schools in September, the families of new kindergarten students will receive gift bags at the Family Resource Centers courtesy of Countdown to Kindergarten and its partner organizations. More than 40 volunteers (some pictured here) from Jumpstart, Generations Incorporated, Boston Partners in Education, Boston Cares, and BPS pitched in this week to assemble more than 6,000 bags full of useful information about the transition to kindergarten and fun gifts for kids and parents. Click here for answers to frequently asked questions about the school choice process.

Mayor and United Way announce $1 million school readiness initiative

Mayor Thomas M. Menino and the United Way of Massachusetts Bay yesterday announced an ambitious $1 million citywide initiative to promote school readiness among Boston's youngest citizens. The goal of the effort is to prevent the achievement gap among families of different races and income levels by ensuring that the youngest children get the academic, social and health services they need to succeed in school and life. More than 31,000 households in Boston have at least one child between the ages of birth and 5.

The initiative is funded by a $633,000 grant from an anonymous donor, which is matched by more than $360,000 in additional support and in-kind contributions from 12 partner organizations. The effort is closely aligned with the Boston Public Schools' expanded work in early childhood education, including the creation of new K1 classrooms for four-year-old students. Pictured here, (left to right) Mayor Menino is joined at the announcement by Milton J. Little, Jr., President and Chief Executive Officer of the United Way of Massachusetts Bay, and Michael Contompasis, Superintendent of Boston Public Schools.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

BLA student to represent Boston in National Vocabulary Championship

Sometimes it pays to learn your vocabulary words. Just ask Richard Goggin of Hyde Park, a junior at Boston Latin Academy, who outperformed 74 other local vocabulary high school scholars to win the first-ever Boston citywide championship in the National Vocabulary Championship (NVC). Richard earned $5,000 toward higher education and will now compete for $40,000 in the National Vocabulary Championship finals in New York City on March 5. The runner-up in the local contest was Kadian Simmonds of Mattapan, also from Boston Latin Academy. Students from 11 other Boston public high schools also competed. Pictured here, Richard (right) accepts the prize check from David Green, Senior Manager for Government and Community Relations at Comcast, a sponsor of the local competition.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

BPS students serenade holiday shoppers

During the holiday season, downtown shoppers are being treated to the musical talents of Boston Public Schools students. Student musicians from several Boston schools are featured in performances as part of the Downtown Crossing Association's "Holi-Daily" performance series sponsored by the Boston Redevelopment Authority and the Mayor's Office of Arts, Tourism & Special Events. Pictured here, (top) the Agassiz Elementary School Choir performing yesterday, and (bottom) the Philbrick Elementary School Choir performing today. Coming up: McCormack Middle School Concert Band, December 22. All performances take place on Summer Street, between the Filene's and Macy's buildings, at 12:00 noon.

Congratulations, Brighton High Bengals!

For the first time in the school's history, the Brighton High School Bengals football team won the division title, earning a spot in the MIAA Division 4 Super Bowl game on Saturday, December 2. Although the team lost to West Bridgewater (34-12), the Bengals had an impressive season. Congratulations! Pictured here, BHS cheerleaders (left to right) Tia Hiton, Nakeisha Doudain, and Charisse Curet were airborne during the halftime show. Photo by John Tlumacki, Boston Globe.

Friday, December 01, 2006

National Inclusive Schools Week focuses on transitions

Next week (December 4-8) marks the 6th annual National Inclusive Schools Week, celebrating schools' efforts to use inclusive practices to ensure a quality education for a diverse student population, including students with disabilities, those from low socio-economic backgrounds, and English language learners. The theme of this year's celebration is "Charting an Inclusive Journey through School, Work, and Life: Successful Transition Planning for All Students," focused on helping students make seamless transitions between grades and schools.

Bill Henderson, principal of the O'Hearn Elementary School in Dorchester, explained, "Research has consistently demonstrated that inclusive teaching practices are not about 'dumbing down' the curriculum or teaching to the lowest common denominator, but rather ensuring that the classroom offers opportunities for ALL children to succeed." To mark the week, the O'Hearn school community will hold an after-school assembly on December 7, featuring students' entries in the national poster and essay contest about inclusion. A well-known R&B singer who is blind will provide a mini-concert to conclude the celebration. Learn more about the week at Education World.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Cleveland Middle School gives thanks and more

The Grover Cleveland Middle School in Dorchester held a pre-Thanksgiving feast for students and staff last week. The meal included traditional Thanksgiving staples as well as many home-cooked dishes from families of all different backgrounds. Local businesses, including C.F. Donovan's Pub in Savin Hill and Atlantic Bagel in Hingham, also donated to the feast. When the students and staff were stuffed, they gathered the left-overs and delivered them to the Kit Clark Senior Center as a way of sharing in the spirit of giving thanks. Pictured here are student Jeremy Armstrong and teacher Alma Minoza.

Renovations to begin for new Burke High School

The $42 million renovation project that will result in a new and improved Jeremiah E. Burke High School is underway. Mayor Menino and city officials from the Boston Public Schools, Boston Public Library and Boston Centers for Youth and Families will come together with members of the Grove Hall community next week to break ground on the future Burke School / Library / Community Center, one of the first of its kind in the nation, scheduled to open by September 2008. All are welcome at the groundbreaking ceremony on Thursday, December 7, at 11:30 a.m. on the Geneva Avenue side of the building. Pictured here is a rendering of the completed project from the architectural firm of Schwartz/Silver Associates.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Iraq veteran returns to McKinley South End Academy

Staff and students at the McKinley South End Academy recently had an emotional homecoming for a guidance advisor who has been serving in Iraq for more than a year. Major Carlos V. Silva, U.S. Army Reserves, earned the Bronze Star Medal for providing counseling and other mental health services to thousands of American soldiers around issues of trauma, loss, and adjustment to military life. Major Silva was welcomed back to the McKinley with a large banner draped over the building. The Bronze Star Medal is fourth-highest award presented by the United States Armed Forces for bravery, heroism or meritorious service. Watch a special segment about Major Silva on WCVB Channel 5 News!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Monument High students promote safe Thanksgiving travel

Students at Monument High School in the South Boston Education Complex recently helped state and local police promote safe automotive travel over the Thanksgiving weekend. Teams of students competed in a "Quick-Click-Buckle-Up" Challenge, vying to be the fastest at buckling up in all four seating positions of a car. The event highlighted several public safety efforts to keep holiday travelers safer, including a two-week "Click It or Ticket" mobilization campaign. "In a fun way, these students helped us to make a common sense point of how simple it is to protect yourself by putting on a safety belt," said State Police Colonel Mark Delaney. Monument High School offers a standards-based, thematic curriculum that combines core subject areas with innovative criminal justice and public safety courses to prepare students for success in college and in the public safety sector. Pictured here, Monument senior Telisha Gilliard speaks at the event alongside law enforcement officials.

McKay students learn to "keep climbing" to reach their goals

Students at the Donald McKay K-8 School in East Boston recently got a lesson in courage and perseverance from Wendy Booker, a woman with multiple sclerosis (MS) who is on a mission to climb the world’s Seven Summits, the highest mountain on each continent. Ms. Booker visited a fourth grade classroom at the McKay, the first in a series of three visits she will make to the school as she prepares to climb Argentina’s Mt. Aconcagua this winter. Pictured here is Ms. Booker with Jim Cleere's 4th grade class.

Orchard Gardens students' illustrations featured in new book

With help from students at the Orchard Gardens K-8 Pilot School, Richard Trombetta, a board member of Generations Incorporated, has published a new book to benefit the organization's intergenerational literacy programming. Siamese Sam and the Things He Will Eat, based on the adventures of Mr. Trombetta's cat Sam, is illustrated by 3rd and 5th grade students at Orchard Gardens. The book is available for purchase on-line. 100% of the proceeds will support Generations Incorporated, a 13 year-old non-profi t organization that unites youth and older adults in mentoring and learning situations to provide community support and to improve the literacy rate in Boston Public Schools.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Keith Lockhart tries a different Beethoven...

If Boston Pops conductor Keith Lockhart were to be Principal for a Day, what better place than the Ludwig van Beethoven Elementary School in West Roxbury? Keith recently spent the morning with principal Eileen Nash, learning about her job, visiting classrooms, and even helping students with their violin lessons.

Edwards Middle School highlighted on WBUR

The Edwards Middle School in Charlestown was featured in a news radio story on 90.9 WBUR about school districts in Massachusetts extending the school day to provide additional learning and enrichment time. (Listening to the story requires free download of RealPlayer software.) The Edwards is one of three Boston public middle schools -- along with the Umana/Barnes Middle School in East Boston and the Timilty Middle School in Roxbury -- that received state funding to extend the school day for all students beginning this year. The Umana/Barnes and Timilty extended day programs will be featured on the December 10 episode of Byron Barnett's "Urban Update" at 11:30 a.m. on WHDH-TV, Channel 7.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Citizen Schools treats community members to breakfast

Citizen Schools, an innovative after-school program for middle school students, hosted a breakfast for community members recently to learn more about the organization. With campuses at 10 BPS middle schools, the program engages students in creative activities that help them reach high standards and master new academic and life skills. Pictured here, Babita Sammy, a 7th grade student at the Woodrow Wilson Middle School, described how the Citizen Schools Apprenticeships program is helping to prepare her to go to Harvard University and later become a justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Community Academy students go on rural retreat

To help his Community Academy students get mentally and emotionally ready for the challenge of the MCAS exams next spring, English and history teacher Will Connell thought they needed a break from the bustle of city living. He and two other teachers recently accompanied five members of the sophomore class on an overnight trip to Greenmont Farms in Underhill Center, Vermont, as Mr. Connell described, "to free their minds surrounding the test, and to begin the process of creating individual paths to proficiency." While in the country, the students stayed in a converted barn, cooked on an open campfire, and went hiking and rock climbing. Mr. Connell said the experience was powerful for the students: "I think our students will be going into this test with a better understanding of themselves and a better understanding of what it means to be on unfamiliar ground."

Dearborn Middle School shines at Niketown 5K for Kids

The Dearborn Middle School was a clear winner at the recent Niketown 5K for Kids race at Franklin Park, raising more money and fielding more participants than any other school. Nearly 100 students, family members and staff from the school participated in either the 5K (3.1 miles) race or the NikeGo 1 Mile run, earning the Dearborn $1,485. The school plans to use the money support its physical education program and to create a fitness boot camp for 8th graders and staff. Two Dearborn students—7th grader Daisy Guzman and 8th grader Michael Campbell—were the first female and male runners to finish the one-mile run, which began just after the 5K. The Dearborn students had spent weeks preparing for the race by going on timed runs in their physical education class. Four other BPS schools were also among the top ten fundraisers: Fenway High School; Roosevelt Elementary School; Mission Hill K-8 School; and Orchard Gardens K-8 School.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Boy Scouts honor Bak Fun Wong

Quincy Upper School Headmaster Bak Fun Wong was honored by the Boston Minuteman Council of the Boy Scouts of America at their annual Champion for Character awards reception. Dr. Wong received the 2006 Crystal Apple award in recognition of his commitment to the Boy Scouts' "Learning for Life" program, focused on social and life skills, character and career development, and positive personal values. Quincy Upper School is one of 13 Boston Public Schools to offer the curriculum to its students.

Boston compared to other cities on NAEP Science exam

Boston is one of ten urban public school districts that agreed to be part of a new measurement of city schools' performance on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), often called the "Nation's Report Card." The Trial Urban District Assessment (TUDA) breaks out the NAEP results in English, math and science from these 10 urban centers to provide city districts with performance comparisons among comparable student populations. Yesterday, officials released the grade 4 and 8 results on the 2005 science exam, which showed mixed results, with BPS students outperforming their peers in some cities but not others. Results in mathematics released last year showed Boston making greater improvements than all other participating cities in the percentages of students scoring proficient.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Pats player visits Irving Middle School

Washington Irving Middle School 7th grade student Shaun Toney was a popular guy yesterday as he walked the halls with a special guest. New England Patriots Pro Bowl Defensive Lineman Richard Seymour visited the Roslindale school as part of the "Take a Player to School" sweepstakes sponsored by the JCPenney Afterschool Fund and the National Football League. Pictured here, Mr. Seymour admires Shaun's skills with the media.

Boston schools celebrate International Education Week

This week is International Education Week, a joint initiative between the US Department of State and the US Department of Education to celebrate and promote educational exchange between the US and other countries of the world. Many Boston schools provide opportunities for global learning and exchange throughout the year.

Jim McIntyre completes Urban Superintendents Academy

James P. McIntyre, Jr., BPS Chief Operating Officer, is one of 17 recent graduates from the Urban Superintendents Academy sponsored by the Broad Foundation. The year-long program helps train the next generation of candidates to lead city public school districts. Prior to serving in his current position, Jim had been the district's Budget Director and Deputy Chief Financial Officer. Congratulations, Jim!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Toddlers play and learn in new group

Children between the ages of one and three can now get an early glimpse of school life, thanks to new "Play and Learn Groups" at the Hennigan Elementary School in Jamaica Plain. Hosted by the West Zone Early Learning Center, the program is a partnership among the BPS, Countdown to Kindergarten, the Family Nurturing Center of Massachusetts, ReadBoston and Children's Hospital Boston, designed to begin the education of students and the engagement of their families at a younger age. Families with children ages 1-3 who live in Jamaica Plain and Roxbury can participate in the free programs, which are offered four days a week in the mornings and evenings. The district plans to expand this pilot program into other neighborhoods in the coming years.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Brits and the Arts

Students and faculty at the Boston Arts Academy recently welcomed educators from British high schools who were in Boston to attend the 3rd Summit and iNet Conference for Leadership in Education. At the conference, Co-Headmaster Linda Nathan, Music faculty member Allyssa Jones, and four music students led a workshop on "Transforming Schools through the Arts." That evening, students visiting from British high schools attended BAA theatre students' performance of Shakespeare's Macbeth. Pictured here, BAA students Zakiyyah Sutton and Jamie Singh lead a British educator on a tour of the school.

Kilmer School to begin K-8 expansion next year

The Joyce Kilmer Elementary School in West Roxbury will soon be expanded to span kindergarten through grade 8 (K-8). The School Committee approved a proposal to begin the Kilmer K-8 starting with a new grade 6 in September 2007, with grade 7 and 8 added in each subsequent year. The proposal creates a two-building campus for the Kilmer, with K1 through grade 3 housed at the school's current facility at 35 Baker Street, and grades 4 through 8 at the former Lyndon Elementary School on Russett Road (now vacant). The Kilmer will become the district's 20th K-8 program, up from only three K-8 programs in 1995. The Hurley School in the South End also will begin K-8 expansion next year with the addition of grade 6. Three other schools -- the Perry in South Boston, the Jackson/Mann in Allston-Brighton, and the Eliot in the North End -- began expansion this September and will each add a grade 7 next year. The school selection process for September 2007 is now underway, with registration beginning in January.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Two BPS employees earn Shattuck Awards for public service

Two BPS staff were among the eight City of Boston employees honored by the Boston Municipal Research Bureau with 2006 Henry L. Shattuck Public Service Awards: Ann Caputo Kirby, middle and high school coordinator at the Horace Mann School for the Deaf, and Henry "Buddy" Paull, facilities manager at the Boston Arts Academy and Fenway High School. The School Committee and Superintendent presented citations to the pair to thank them for their outstanding service.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Nearly 100 community leaders serve as "Principal For A Day"

They all have difficult jobs, but today they got a glimpse of a different leadership role: being a BPS principal or headmaster. Nearly 100 CEOs and other business and civic leaders spent the morning shadowing city school leaders in the 4th annual Principal For A Day program sponsored by BPS and the Boston Plan for Excellence, with support from Bank of America. Pictured here, Paul La Camera, General Manager of WBUR, observes a science experiment at the Umana/Barnes Middle School in East Boston.

Hale Elementary celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month

The Nathan Hale Elementary School community in Roxbury recently celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 - October 15) with a school assembly and international food festival. City Councilor Felix Arroyo joined parents, students, staff, and school partners in a parade of world flags, followed by a speaking program in English and Spanish, featuring student tributes to prominent Hispanic figures.

Help fight hunger through "Boston Can Share"

BPS and all City departments are participating in the 20th annual Boston Can Share food drive. Between November 6 and December 1, all schools and central offices will collect donated food to help the Greater Boston Food Bank feed Boston families and individuals during the holidays. Last year, our students and employees contributed over 37,000 food items, a 26% increase over the year before. Please give generously again so that no one will go hungry this holiday season.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

BPS honored for going "green"

BPS has won an Environmental Purchasing and Sustainability Award from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for environmentally-friendly business practices. The district was honored for using "green" cleaners instead of traditional cleaning products in schools, for its anti-idling campaign for school buses, and for the use of natural gas and solar power.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Commissioner of Education to retire in August

David P. Driscoll announced today that he will retire on August 31, 2007 as the Commissioner of Education for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, a position he has held for eight years. A former mathematics teacher and Superintendent of Schools, Commissioner Driscoll began his career in public education 43 years ago.

The future of technology in BPS: LINC III

Educators, parents, students and corporate partners gathered at the Boston Hyatt Regency on October 28 for the LINC III: Pillars for Success conference. The event, coordinated by the Office of Instructional and Information Technology (OIIT), marked the launch of LINC III, a new three-year strategic technology plan for the BPS.

New library at the Hurley School

The Joseph J. Hurley Elementary School in the South End celebrated International School Library Day with a ribbon-cutting to dedicate its new school library. The new library was made possible through the efforts of Neighborhood Parents for the Hurley School, as well as donations from IKEA, parents, students and foundations. The room was named in memory of former Hurley teacher John Dones. The Hurley, a Spanish-English dual immersion school, will begin expansion to a K-8 school next year, with the addition of grade 6 in September 2007.

Support BPS as a member of the Boston School Committee

Mayor Thomas M. Menino and the Citizens Nominating Panel are seeking Boston residents to be candidates for the Boston School Committee. Applications are due Monday, November 20. The Mayor selects School Committee members to serve four-year terms from among the nominees recommended to him by the panel. In 2004, the Boston School Committee was the first recipient of the Award for Urban School Board Excellence from the National School Boards Association/Council of Urban Boards of Education (NSBA/CUBE).

Volunteers help Murphy School "shine"

Parents, students, teachers, neighbors and other volunteers brought rakes and brooms to the Richard Murphy K-8 School on a recent Saturday morning to spruce up the school grounds as part of the new Boston Schools Shine program. Building on the success of the Boston Shines program, which has been operating in many neighborhoods across the city, Boston Schools Shine is a new collaboration between the BPS and ONEin3 Boston, a program that serves the one-third of Boston's population that is between the ages of 20 and 34, by connecting young adults with resources related to home buying, business development, professional networking, and civic engagement.

Sarah Greenwood is a "school on the move"

EdVestors has awarded the first Thomas W. Payzant "School on the Move" Prize to the Sarah Greenwood K-8 School in Dorchester. The $100,000 prize, named in honor of the former BPS Superintendent who retired in June, recognizes the most improved school in the district. Greenwood Principal Isabel Mendez accepted the award at a recent gala in the Boston Public Library. The prize selection committee cited the two-way Spanish/English bilingual school's progress over the past four years, accelerating student performance at a rate that was three times faster than the district average in English Language Arts and two times faster than the district average in Math compared to other elementary and middle schools. Two other finalists, Boston Community Leadership Academy in Brighton and the Dennis C. Haley Elementary School in Roslindale, each earned $10,000.