Friday, November 30, 2007

U.S. News & World Report names Boston Latin one of America's best

In its first ranking of the 100 Best High Schools in America, U.S. News & World Report has recognized Boston Latin School as one of the best in the country. The study released today – which examines a variety of factors about a school’s ability to prepare students for college – ranks BLS number 19 on the list. The December issue of the magazine features a slide show of Boston Latin School (pictured here: Angela Liu, Class of 2010). A sidebar about the school cites its 22 Advanced Placement course offerings, “perhaps the largest selection of any high school in Massachusetts.” Four other Massachusetts high schools made the top 100: Weston High School (#60), Dover-Sherborn Regional High School (#65), Wellesley Senior High School (#70) and Media and Technology Charter School (#99).

In addition to the 100 high schools awarded gold medals, the magazine commended an additional 405 schools around the country with silver medals, including Boston Latin Academy and the John D. O’Bryant School of Mathematics and Science. Six other Boston Public Schools were among the 1,086 schools awarded bronze medals: Another Course to College, Boston Community Leadership Academy, Brighton High School, Charlestown High School, Snowden International High School, and TechBoston Academy.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

More than 1,000 BPS seniors are Adams Scholars

A record number of Boston Public Schools seniors -- more than 1,000 members of the Class of 2008 -- are eligible for free tuition at any public college in Massachusetts because of their performance on the MCAS exams. The students all qualified for the John and Abigail Adams Scholarship, sponsored by the Department of Education and Board of Higher Education. The number of BPS students qualifying has increased steadily since the awards were first given, from 724 scholars in 2005 to 1,036 this year -- nearly 1 in 4 seniors. To qualify for the scholarship, students had to score in the Advanced category (Level 4) on either the English Language Arts or Math sections of the MCAS exams and in at least Proficient (Level 3) on the other. Also, the students’ scores had to rank in the top 25% of the district.

Pictured here is Adams Scholar Abdoul Diallo, a senior at Boston International High School. Abdoul immigrated to the U.S. from Burkina Faso in Western Africa in 2004 to live with his two sisters, who had come to this country several years earlier, in order to get a strong education. A resident of Dorchester, Abdoul has emerged as a leader and a scholar during his three years at BIHS. He has been an Honors student, Class President, and an All-Star soccer player (this year, his team advanced to the State quarter-finals). Abdoul has the highest grade point average in his class (3.8). On the Grade 10 MCAS exams, which he took just six months after arriving in America, he scored Proficient in English and Advanced in Math. Abdoul has applied to many colleges in the Boston area and out of state and is considering studying Marine Biology. Abdoul also performs a great deal of community service in other states and countries. He participated in a Katrina recovery mission to Biloxi, Mississippi, and New Orleans. He helped build a playground for an orphanage in St. Croix and housing through Habitat for Humanity in Honduras.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Two BPS high schools in football playoffs

Two high school football teams from the Boston Public Schools will compete tomorrow in the semifinals of their divisions. At 4:00 in Wayland, the Brighton High School Bengals will play Manchester Essex to advance to the Division 4 championship. The East Boston High School Jets will take on Blue Hills Regional Technical School in the Division 3A semifinals in a 5:00 game at Stonehill College. Keep up with the tournament on the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) website. Good luck, teams!
UPDATE (November 28): Both teams won! East Boston defeated Blue Hills 38-34. Brighton beat Manchester Essex 28-7. Congratulations! The teams now advance to the division championships. The Super Bowl schedule for Saturday, December 1 is as follows:
Division 3A, Greater Lawrence vs. East Boston, 9:30 a.m., Gillette Stadium, Foxboro
Division 4, West Bridgewater vs. Brighton, 11 a.m., Stonehill College, Easton

PJ Kennedy students "trick or treat" for UNICEF

Students at the Patrick J. Kennedy Elementary School in East Boston recently raised $758 for the "Trick or Treat for UNICEF" campaign. In their fifth year of fund-raising for the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund, the students collected more money than ever before. By watching the UNICEF videos "Kids Helping Kids" and "Just Like Me", students learned about UNICEF efforts to relieve hunger, vaccinate, shelter, educate, and provide clean drinking water for children in countries around the world. The project is coordinated by the school's computer teacher, Myra Sussman. Pictured here are grade 5 students (left to right) Jairon Arias, Joel Ramos, Joseline Posada, and Annamaria D'Argenio.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Boston Teacher Residency featured in Edutopia

The latest edition of Edutopia magazine features an article about 10 innovative teacher preparation programs, including the Boston Teacher Residency program. The Edutopia website features a slide show of the program.

"At the heart of reform in teacher preparation are innovations that provide extensive field experience and link theory more closely with practice. Programs such as Boston's go the furthest by transporting the locus of training almost entirely from the university to the K-12 school."

Pictured here on the cover of the November issue is Derek Allen, who is doing his mathematics residency at the Edwards Middle School in Charlestown. The issue also includes an interview with former BPS Superintendent Tom Payzant.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Please join us to ensure "graduation for all"

Superintendent Carol R. Johnson and the Boston School Committee are hosting "Graduation for All," a community forum series to engage families, educators and citizens in discussion about how to eliminate the high school dropout challenge and ensure that all students graduate. The first session is a citywide youth forum to hear students' perspectives on why some young people drop out of school and which supports and strategies are most effective to help them stay in school. Three other forums are scheduled throughout the city. For a complete schedule and additional information about the community forum series, please visit the BPS website.

Kudos for BPS principals

Several Boston Public Schools principals were honored recently for leadership in their schools and their communities.

Michael Rubin (pictured here), Headmaster of East Boston High School, was honored recently at the Community Awards Dinner hosted by Action for Boston Community Development, Inc. (ABCD).

El Planeta newspaper has named Almudena (Almi) Abeyta, Principal of the McKay K-8 School in East Boston, as well as Carmen Torres and Linda Nathan, Co-Headmasters of Boston Arts Academy, among the 100 Most Influential People in the Massachusetts for the Latino Community.

The Boston Minuteman Council of the Boy Scouts of America presented a Crystal Apple Award to Deborah Dancy, Principal of the Channing Elementary School in Hyde Park.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Former BPS teacher wins National Caring Award

Dominic Avellani, who retired in 2005 after teaching in the Boston Public Schools for 33 years, has been named one of five winners of the 2007 National Caring Award, sponsored by The Caring Institute, a nonprofit organization which promotes the values of public service. Avellani founded the East Boston Adult Education Center, which helps immigrants, refugees, and high school dropouts learn English and further their education. Avellani was featured in a profile in Saturday's Boston Globe.

Tynan students send 1,000 paper cranes to Japan

Fourth grade students at the Joseph P. Tynan Elementary School in South Boston today mailed 1,000 paper cranes and their own Haiku poems about peace to Japan in remembrance of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Teachers Phyllis Simon and Shawn O'Neill have been teaching the events of World War II through the book Sadako, about a young girl who lived in Japan when the atom bomb was dropped. The Tynan students mailed their cranes and poems to the Mayor of Hiroshima, accompanied by letters from the students and from Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino, and asked that the cranes be placed at the statue of Sadako in the Hiroshima Peace Park. Pictured here are Christine Nguyen (left) and Kayla McColgan.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Media High School students organize "walk-in" over Jena 6

The racially-charged incidents in Jena, Louisiana, last year, have prompted students in communities across the country to protest by staging "walk outs" from school. Here in Boston, students from Media Communications Technology High School in the West Roxbury Education Complex are taking a different approach to promote dialogue and awareness: They've organized a “walk in” – to extend rather than shorten their learning. The event -- taking place at the school on Monday, November 19, from 2 - 6 p.m. -- will feature workshops with community-based organizations (including The City School, Voices of Liberation and Project Think Different), and “open mic” for student presentations and performances.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Liz Reilinger wins highest award for district leadership

Dr. Elizabeth Reilinger, Chairperson of the Boston School Committee, has won the nation's highest prize for urban education leadership. The Council of the Great City Schools presented Dr. Reilinger with the Richard R. Green Award at its fall conference in Nashville. The prize, which is awarded in alternating years to an urban Superintendent and School Board Member, includes a $10,000 scholarship for the winner to present to a graduate of his or her school district. Mayor Thomas M. Menino first appointed Dr. Reilinger to the School Committee in 1994, and she has been elected Chairperson of the Committee every year since 1998.