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.

It's time to choose schools!

The school choice process for September 2007 is underway in the BPS. With new K1 classrooms for 4-year-olds, new K-8 expansions, and other improvements, Boston families have a broad range of educational opportunities available to them in 145 schools. Hundreds of families attended the kickoff event, the citywide Showcase of Schools, at the Bayside Expo Center on Saturday, October 21. School Preview Time runs from November 6 through January 19, with open houses at every school in the district. Registration begins in January for students entering kindergarten and grades 6 and 9. Discover what BPS has to offer your child!

BPS-TV: Cable television programming about our schools

Families in Boston can now learn more about what's happening in the city's schools from the comfort of their own home. BPS-TV provides programming on local cable television channels with information and events from the Boston Public Schools. The schedule includes educational programming, Boston School Committee meetings, student performances, and more. Tune in, or watch a live webcast.

Unsuspecting teacher wins $25,000 prize

When Amanda Sequin walked into a recent school-wide assembly at the Curtis Guild Elementary School in East Boston, she had no idea what she was in for. State and City officials surprised Ms. Sequin with the news that she had received a 2006 Milken Family Foundation National Educator award, including a $25,000 cash prize. The Milken award is given annually to unsuspecting teachers, principals and educators from around the country. Known as "The Oscars of Teaching," the awards were created by the foundation as a way to reward, attract and retain top educators in the nation's public schools.

October is "College Month" in the BPS

October is College Month in the BPS, featuring activities and resources to help city students pursue higher education. In partnership with area colleges and universities, as well as community organizations, the district offers college access programs and services throughout the year, but the month of October is a particularly active and important time for students of all ages to learn more about continuing their education after high school. Publicity for the program includes a podcast.

BPS Grade 10 MCAS scores soar

BPS students made tremendous gains on the Grade 10 MCAS, with results from the Spring 2006 exams showing record numbers of students passing the tests, as well as sharp increases in the percentage of students scoring at the proficient and advanced levels. State and city officials announced the results at the Dorchester Education Complex, whose three schools were among the top five most improved in the state. Nearly 900 Boston students scored high enough to receive John and Abigail Adams Scholarships, with free tuition to any public college or university in Massachusetts.

Dr. Manuel Rivera to become BPS Superintendent

The Boston School Committee has selected Dr. Manuel J. Rivera to be the next Superintendent of the BPS, beginning in July 2007. Mayor Thomas M. Menino and the School Committee received the recommendation of the Superintendent Search Committee after a nearly year-long public engagement and candidate screening process. Dr. Rivera, the 2006 National Superintendent of the Year, is currently Superintendent of the Rochester City School District, where he will remain for the duration of this school year. The School Committee appointed Michael Contompasis to serve as Superintendent of BPS through June 2007.

BPS wins Broad Prize: Best in the U.S.

After four years as a finalist, the BPS has won the 2006 Broad Prize for Urban Education. The Broad Foundation presents this award, the largest education prize in the nation, to the top city school district in the country. The award comes with $500,000 in scholarship money for high school students. Since 2002, BPS has earned $1 million through the prize program. Congratulations to all!


Welcome to All About BPS, a new blog to keep the Boston Public Schools community informed about news, events and other happenings in schools and the district. This service provided by the BPS Communications Office is part of an enhanced effort to engage parents, students, staff, and the community in the success of the Boston Public Schools. Please visit the site often, and encourage your family, friends, and colleagues to learn more about the BPS!