Monday, December 29, 2008

"Deep Freeze" Hockey Tournament starts tonight

Students from Boston area schools will face off in a two-day hockey tournament to raise money for the Boston Medical Center (BMC) Breast Cancer Research Center. The East Boston High School Jets will host the fourth annual Deep Freeze high school hockey tournament, sponsored by East Boston Savings Bank, tonight and tomorrow. Founded by East Boston High School’s hockey coach, Robert Anthony, the tournament donates funds raised to the BMC Breast Cancer Research Center as a tribute to Mr. Anthony’s wife, Jacki, who is a breast cancer survivor. Student athletes from East Boston High School wear pink hockey shirts in honor of loved ones both present and past who have been affected by breast cancer. A player from each team will receive a $200 scholarship.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

No school Monday and Tuesday

Mayor Thomas M. Menino and Superintendent Carol R. Johnson have announced that due to weather and road conditions, all Boston Public Schools will be closed on Monday, December 22 and Tuesday, December 23. All after-school activities, evening events, and athletic games are also cancelled on Monday and Tuesday.

All BPS central offices, including Family Resource Centers, will remain open for business. The City of Boston "Know Snow" website provides valuable information for residents about staying safe and warm this winter.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

All schools closed on Friday, December 19

Mayor Thomas M. Menino and Superintendent Carol R. Johnson have announced that due to a snow storm expected tomorrow, all Boston Public Schools will be closed on Friday, December 19. All after-school activities, evening events, and athletic games are also cancelled on Friday. All BPS central offices, including Family Resource Centers, will remain open for business.

The City of Boston "Know Snow" website provides valuable information for residents about staying safe and warm this winter.

Bone marrow donor needed for 4-year-old boy

Four-year-old Alexander Phan has a rare bone disease and is in need of a bone marrow transplant. Alexander is a former student at the Ellison-Parks Early Education School, and his father Steve is a paraprofessional at the Murphy K-8 School.

A donor drive will be held Saturday, December 20, at St. Mark's Church in Dorchester (1725 Dorchester Ave.), from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m., to try to find a matching donor. Any healthy individual aged 18-60 may be tested at no cost to determine if the bone marrow is a match, but donors of Asian descent are more likely to be a match. Read about Alexander in this week's Dorchester Reporter. For more information, call 617-472-1109 or 1-800-MARROW-2.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Hosts needed for "Groundhog Job Shadow Day"

The Boston Private Industry Council (PIC) is seeking employers to host Boston public high school students for the annual Groundhog Job Shadow Day. On Friday, January 30, teens from various Boston Public Schools will spend a half-day learning about various careers and industries. The PIC welcomes hosts from all industries but is particularly interested in identifying employers from the fields of information technology, biotechnology, web design and graphic design.

Monday, December 15, 2008

BLS junior reflects on studying abroad

Today's Boston Globe features a guest column by Annie Osborn, a junior at Boston Latin School studying abroad in Beijing, China.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

It's time to choose schools!

The start of the 2009-2010 school year may be nine months away, but now is the time for families to start making school choices for next year. School Preview Time is already underway, and this weekend, families will have a chance to learn more about every school under one roof, at the citywide Showcase of Schools: Saturday, December 13, 1-4 p.m., at the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center.

The Showcase provides valuable opportunities for students and parents to meet principals and teachers from every school in the city, pre-kindergarten through high school, and learn about what each has to offer. To find out the schools where your child is eligible to apply, enter your home address and student's grade into the "What Are My Schools?" application, now updated with 2009 choices. Registration begins in January for students entering kindergarten and grades 6 and 9. To learn more about what's new this year, including six new K-8 programs and three new pilot schools, visit the BPS website.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

BLA senior earns youth leadership award

At the third annual "We Are Boston" event celebrating Boston's diversity, Mayor Thomas M. Menino (right) presented the We Are Boston Youth Leadership Award to DanThuy Chu (left) of Dorchester, a senior at Boston Latin Academy and a member of the Mayor's Youth Council. DanThuy serves as her community's Girls' Coordinator, helping to organize a variety of events to support and engage young women. She has been a student in the Boston Public Schools since 1995, when she first enrolled as a K1 student.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Liz Reilinger to end her tenure as School Committee Chair

After serving 11 consecutive years as Chairperson of the Boston School Committee, Dr. Elizabeth Reilinger announced today that she will not seek re-election next month. Mayor Menino first appointed her to the School Board in 1994. Her fellow members have elected her Chairperson every year since 1998, making her the longest-serving Chairperson in the school district's history. Dr. Reilinger will remain a member of the School Committee to complete a four-year term that expires in January 2010.

NLC salutes "Partners for Student Success"

The National League of Cities has highlighted Boston and four other cities that are expanding out-of-school time learning opportunities. A report (PDF) released this week features Boston's "Partners for Student Success" initiative, led by Mayor Thomas M. Menino and administered by Boston Beyond in partnership with the Boston Public Schools DELTAS office. Boston's PSS initiative provides 15 elementary and K-8 schools with additional supports aimed at expanding, enhancing, and coordinating key services for struggling students during and after the school day.

Celtics visit the McCormack Middle School

Members of the World Champion Boston Celtics basketball team visited the McCormack Middle School yesterday as part of the team's "Stay in School" program. At a special assembly, players Leon Powe, Rajon Rondo and Gabe Pruitt congratulated students who have good grades and perfect attendance. See coverage on NECN and in the Boston Globe.

Monday, December 08, 2008

NABSE names Dr. Johnson "Superintendent of the Year"

The National Alliance of Black School Educators (NABSE) has named Dr. Carol R. Johnson the 2008 Joseph E. Hill Superintendent of the Year. The organization honored Dr. Johnson at its recent annual conference in Atlanta.

Monday, December 01, 2008

A celebration for Coach Sybertz

After a distinguished 32-year career coaching for the Boston Public Schools, Leo Sybertz was honored recently in a special halftime ceremony at White Stadium. Mr. Sybertz served as the varsity coach of the former Roslindale High School and West Roxbury High School, leading the West Roxbury Raiders to five Super Bowl titles.

The Parkway Transcript cited some impressive statistics about Coach Sybertz:

· 202 wins, still a record in the City League
· 5 Super Bowl wins
· 13 league championships
· 10 playoff appearances
· 2 players who went on to NFL careers

Boston schools making headlines

Students and educators from many Boston Public Schools have been featured in the media recently. Here is just a sample of BPS in the news:

The Trotter Elementary School's "Dads Club" was featured on page one of yesterday's Boston Sunday Globe.

The Boston Herald celebrated the undefeated O'Bryant School of Math and Science football team (pictured here: Coach Kevin Gadson and players). See results from other Thanksgiving Day games.

A Boston Globe editorial highlights dual enrollment at The Engineering School.

Read about the Dorchester Education Complex football team in the Dorchester Reporter.

The "Technology Goes Home @ School" program at the Frederick Middle School was featured on Channel 7's Parent to Parent segment.

Stories about Steven Berbeco's Arabic language class at Charlestown High School have aired on Channel 5 and on Emily Rooney's "Greater Boston" (WGBH).

The Harvard Education Letter describes Boston's work to expand pre-school programs.

The West Roxbury Transcript reports on the new K-8 program for the Ohrenberger and Beethoven Schools.

The Bulletin Newspapers highlight Boston's newest pilot schools.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Read the new issue of "Family Matters"

BPS families and staff received a new issue of the quarterly district newsletter Family Matters at their homes this month. The latest edition features helpful information for families about the school choice process and about successful parent-teacher conferences. The publication is available on the BPS website in eight languages.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Carter School garden wins national award

The William E. Carter School has won a national award for its innovative Sensory Garden and Outdoor Classroom. The American Horticultural Therapy Association recognized the garden with the Therapeutic Garden Design Award at its national conference recently in Lexington, Kentucky. Mayor Menino and BPS officials joined families and supporters of the school to dedicate the 16,450-square-foot garden in October 2007. (See earlier blog post.)

The garden was designed to create sensory appeal and learning motivation for students who are educationally challenged by severe cognitive and developmental disabilities. It features wheelchair-accessible pathways through tall grass, plants and flowers, leading to interactive installations, swings, and water features.

Watch a video about the project:

Monday, November 17, 2008

Mayor Menino to double BPS alums' graduation rate

Mayor Thomas M. Menino today issued a community-wide challenge to ensure that more Boston Public Schools graduates go on to earn a college degree. In a news conference at Northeastern University, the Mayor joined officials from Boston Public Schools (BPS), area colleges and universities, businesses, college access non-profits and the funding community to announce new commitments to double the college graduation rate among graduates from Boston public high schools.
Officials also announced a new program at Northeastern University to offer Boston public high school graduates an academically rigorous first-year college experience, combined with assistance in strengthening academic, social, and employment skills. See coverage on New England Cable News:

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Watch Superintendent Johnson on "Basic Black"

Dr. Carol R. Johnson will appear as the special guest on tomorrow night's edition of "Basic Black" on PBS. Tune in to WGBH (Channel 2) at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday for the Superintendent's conversation with host Kim McLarin about the achievement gap, budget challenges, graduation for all, and other topics.

Monday, November 10, 2008

English High students celebrate Election Night

Students from the English High School "Civics in Action"/AP Government course held an Election Night party at City Year headquarters. Students made electoral predictions and watched the coverage on CNN.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

BPL waives fines for all youth and teens

To encourage students to come back to the libraries, the Boston Public Library has waived all fines and lost book charges for all youth and teen cardholders. Through the "New Start" program -- the largest amnesty program ever offered by the BPL -- more than 50,000 youth who currently have outstanding fines or lost items on their library accounts will have them automatically removed from their records.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Three more renovated schoolyards dedicated

Three more Boston public elementary schools recently dedicated new schoolyards, thanks to an innovative partnership between the City of Boston and the Boston Schoolyard Initiative. Students are enjoying new outdoor learning and play spaces at the Adams Elementary in East Boston, the Chittick Elementary in Mattapan, and the Perkins Elementary in South Boston. Watch coverage on WCVB of the Perkins schoolyard ribbon-cutting ceremony, and read about the Chittick in the Bulletin.

See earlier post: "Boston Schoolyard Initiative earns national attention."

Friday, October 31, 2008

Boston students ready to cast their "votes"

Students throughout the Boston Public Schools are learning all about the democratic process as the nation gears up for the Presidential election on Tuesday. Many schools have mock elections, get-out-the-vote rallies, debates and other activities planned this week to help students get real-life lessons in Civics. Pictured here, students at the Haley Elementary School participate in a national mock election (Boston Herald photo / Lisa Hornak); read stories in the Boston Herald and the Boston Metro.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

College begins in kindergarten at the Philbrick

To celebrate College Month in the Boston Public Schools, the Philbrick Elementary School has held a series of events and activities to get young students thinking about higher education. The school participated in "Represent Your Alma Mater Day" with a school-wide assembly at which all 154 students wore a T-shirt from colleges and universities throughout the country. (See coverage in the Roslindale Transcript.) Pictured here is fifth grade student Jeremiah Dungeniss, wearing a T-shirt from Fisk University, the alma mater of Superintendent Carol R. Johnson.

School officials earn Shattuck Awards

The Boston Municipal Research Bureau last night presented Henry L. Shattuck Public Service Awards to eight City of Boston employees who go "above and beyond" to serve the people of Boston. In a ceremony at the World Trade Center, the Bureau also honored three civic leaders from the private and non-profit sectors as City Champions. Pictured here with Superintendent Carol R. Johnson (far left) are three Shattuck winners who work in or with the Boston Public Schools: left to right, Richard Jacobs, BPS Director of Transportation; Martha Pierce, Education Advisor to Mayor Thomas M. Menino; and Robert "Doc" Handy, Community Field Coordinator at the Boston Arts Academy. Read about all of the honorees (PDF).

Monday, October 27, 2008

Everett community comes together for beautification projects

The Everett Elementary School recently held its Fall Green & Clean Day, with volunteers from UBS and Boston Cares joining parents, students and staff to complete a range of projects in and around the schoolyard. The team spent a Saturday building a new raised stone garden bed, decorating pillars with mosaic, planting trees and flowers, painting walls, and building classroom bookcases.

English High School joins the fight against breast cancer

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and students and staff from the Engligh High School are doing their part to help find a cure. A team from the school recently participated in the "Making Strides Against Breast Cancer" walk in memory of a former EHS parent. So far the team has raised more than $700 (you can donate here). Pictured here from the English High School team are, left to right, Headmaster Jose Duarte, Txiki Rodriguez, Dr. Kristen Davolio, and Craig Belany.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

"Clown-gratulations" to the Hale!

Students at the Nathan Hale Elementary School in Roxbury recently welcomed special surprise visitors – two performers from the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus: Brandon of Clown Alley and Katya, who does a hand balancing act. The performers visited the school to congratulate Hale students on winning the annual ReadBoston / Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus Read-a-Thon. More than 80% of Hale students completed the challenge of reading at home for at least 20 minutes every night for two weeks.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

BPS in the News

Here is just some of the recent news coverage of Boston Public Schools students, teachers, schools and programs:

McCormack Middle School students "Discover America" with Driver Dave.

The Boston Banner profiles Boston Community Leadership Academy student Uniqua Mason.

The Roslindale Transcript covered the installation of a new sculptural fence at the Haley Elementary School.

A feature story in Education Week highlights the Boston Teacher Residency program as a national model.

The Boston Globe describes Superintendent Johnson's proposal to create a citywide high school marching band.

Read about the new outdoor classroom and garden at the Ohrenberger Elementary School in the West Roxbury Bulletin.

WHDH / Channel 7 aired a piece about school uniforms at the Lilla G. Frederick Pilot Middle School.

WCVB / Channel 5 covered the O'Donnell Elementary School's participation in International Walk to School Day.

Urban Science Academy was featured in a Boston Globe editorial about Science education.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

VLA seeks student art for holiday cards

BPS students in grades 7-12 are invited to submit entries for the annual Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts Holiday Card Contest. Young artists can win art supplies and up to $200 if their creation is selected to be featured on the cards this year. Download the flier (PDF) here. Submit artwork with an entry form by October 24. Pictured here is one of last year's winning designs by Boston Latin Academy student Mallory Pearson.

Hip-hop rally today; voter registration deadline tomorrow

Tomorrow is the deadline to register to vote in the Presidential election on November 4. Anyone who will be 18 years or older by that date must register to vote by October 15. Community members are invited to a "Hip Hop Voter Registration Rally" today from 2 - 6 p.m. at the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center, featuring hip hop artists Bow Wow, Bun B, Joell Ortiz and Ahmir.

Friday, October 03, 2008

October is College Month in the BPS

Boston students of all ages will celebrate "College Month" throughout October, with activities, events and resources to encourage higher education after high school. 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 to learn more about the application process, financial aid, and academic expectations at the college level. What is your school doing to celebrate College Month? Post a comment here.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

"Pathways to Excellence" would strengthen and reorganize Boston schools

Superintendent Carol Johnson presented details about her ambitious "Pathways to Excellence" plan to the Boston School Committee last night. The plan calls for expanding, relocating and consolidating various schools and programs in order to advance the Superintendent's academic agenda for all Boston Public Schools.

The outcomes would include 6,000 more students served in K-8 programs, nearly 2,000 new pilot school seats, and new secondary programs to eliminate the dropout rate. Confronting challenging economic realities, Dr. Johnson estimates that the plan would reduce costs by about $13.8 million over the next five years. Families and staff will participate in a series of community forums over the next four weeks to review and comment on the proposals.

Visit the BPS website to learn more.

Friday, September 26, 2008

On the school lunch menu: locally-grown corn on the cob

Students at the South Boston Education Complex enjoyed a rare treat in the cafeteria yesterday: fresh corn on the cob. To celebrate Massachusetts Harvest for Students Week, students helped organize a special lunch featuring fresh corn from Lanni Farms in Lunenberg, MA. Students also put their knowledge about our nation’s top crop to the test in a trivia contest all about corn. The lunch kicked off "Fresh Start Together," a pilot farm-to-school program designed to introduce local produce to students at ten Boston Public Schools that will feature a different locally grown fresh vegetable or fruit each month.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Boston continues improvement in MCAS Math

Boston Public Schools students continue to make significant progress in Mathematics, according to new MCAS results released yesterday. In almost every grade tested, Boston students made gains comparable to or greater than improvements statewide. However, like school districts throughout Massachusetts, Boston’s English Language Arts (ELA) scores remained flat or declined in most grades. Boston students continued to make some of the greatest improvements at the high school level, with performance in both Math and ELA outpacing State gains. Two Boston high schools -- Brighton High School and Madison Park Technical Vocational High School -- made double-digit gains in percentages of students scoring at the "proficient" level or higher. See coverage in the Boston Herald.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Have you visited the new BPS website?

Boston Public Schools started a brand-new school year with a brand-new website!

It offers many new and improved features, including:
• updated, dynamic content about schools and major education initiatives;
• “Welcome” pages in eight languages, with translations of publications;
• podcasts, video library and other digital media content;
• redesigned “Careers” section for on-line recruiting and hiring;
• new “School Choice” section for school selection and registration;
• email notification systems; and
• improved search capabilities.

Visit to test drive the new model. Then you can take a short survey to provide feedback and be entered into a drawing to win a $50 Target gift card.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Three schools vie for "School on the Move" Prize

Three Boston Public Schools have been named finalists for the annual Thomas W. Payzant "School on the Move" Prize: Rafael Hernandez K-8 School, Samuel W. Mason Pilot Elementary School, and F. Lyman Winship Elementary School. EdVestors will announce the winner of the $100,000 prize at its annual gala on October 17. Read about previous winners: Sarah Greenwood K-8 School and Excel High School.

UPDATE: Congratulations to the 2008 winner, the Mason Elementary School!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Harvard Letter highlights BPS principal leadership

The current issue of the Harvard Letter features profiles of five former BPS principals who successfully led school transformation efforts. "Creating a Culture of Reciprocal Accountability" describes how these new school leaders engaged their faculty and students to institute change.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Four at BLS named National Merit semi-finalists

Four seniors at Boston Latin School have been named semi-finalists in the National Merit Scholarship Program: Juncheng Dong, Paul E. Kreiner, Yukun Li, and Hannah S. Mogul-Adlin. Students are selected based on their PSAT and SAT scores, academic record, letters of recommendation, and personal essays. They will compete with approximately 16,000 students from across the country for college scholarships.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

O'Bryant graduates are ready for MIT

Bruno Piazzarolo (left) and Alban Cobi, 2008 graduates of the John D. O'Bryant School of Mathematics and Science, are beginning their freshman year at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). They are featured in the MIT News section of the university's website.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Back-to-school in Boston!

Students in grades 1-12 begin a new school year today in the Boston Public Schools. (Kindergarten students begin on Monday.) Pictured here, principal Deb Socia (left) welcomes students back to the Lilla G. Frederick Pilot Middle School in Dorchester. For more back-to-school information, visit the new BPS website.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

A new beginning for the Burke High School

Teachers and other staff returned yesterday to the new Jeremiah E. Burke High School after a two-year, $50 million renovation. See coverage on New England Cable News and in the Boston Globe.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Come to the Back-to-School Jamboree!

More than 2,000 Boston Public Schools students, families and staff will gather on City Hall Plaza tomorrow for the first Back-to-School Jamboree! The free event takes place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and features fun and informative activities for the whole family. The first 1,500 BPS students to arrive will receive a free backpack filled with school supplies. Enjoy face painting, health screening, family fitness, and much more.

Boston Magazine commends BPS high schools

Congratulations to 14 Boston Public Schools included in Boston Magazine's list of the 141 best public high schools in the area, ranked both for academic performance and cost efficiency:
  • Boston International High School
  • Boston Latin Academy
  • Boston Latin School
  • Brighton High School
  • Jeremiah E. Burke High School
  • Charlestown High School
  • Community Academy
  • East Boston High School
  • Excel High School
  • Fenway High School
  • Monument High School
  • New Mission High School
  • Odyssey High School
  • Snowden International School

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Boston Schoolyard Intiative earns national attention

Officials from cities across the country visited Boston recently to tour our unique outdoor classrooms: the schoolyards refurbished through the Boston Schoolyard Initiative. Since 1995, the program has helped reconstruct 71 schoolyards, with plans to invest in at least 16 more over the next two years. The Christian Science Monitor highlighted the initiative in a recent feature story, touting Boston as a national model for schoolyard design and construction. Pictured here, Isiah Davis (left) and Giovany Perez enjoy the refurbished schoolyard at John P. Holland Elementary School and Community Center (Photo by Ann Hermes for the Christian Science Monitor).

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Shop at Whole Foods on August 20 to support kindergarten!

On Wednesday, August 20, the three Whole Foods Markets located in Boston will donate 5% of all net sales to Countdown to Kindergarten. Shop at the Whole Foods at 15 Westland Avenue (near Symphony Hall), 181 Cambridge Street (near Mass. General Hospital), or 15 Washington Street (Brighton), and a portion of your spending will support Countdown to Kindergarten's work to help families and students make a successful transition to kindergarten!

Boston principals gather for August Institute

The 143 principals and headmasters of the Boston Public Schools are gathered this week for professional development at the annual August Institute, held this year at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. Superintendent Johnson addressed the group this morning, reflecting on her first year in Boston and outlining goals for the year ahead. For the first time this year, school leaders were joined by other members of their administrative team and some teacher leaders. During the spring and summer, Dr. Johnson announced the appointment of new principals and headmasters in 27 Boston Public Schools.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Financial aid workshops for BPS graduates

The City of Boston and Boston Public Schools, in partnership with the Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority (MEFA), are hosting two workshops for BPS families and students about financial aid for college. Details about the forums (to be held on August 11 and 18) are posted on the district's new web page, "Paying for College," which includes a variety of resources about financing higher education. The workshops will include opportunities for participants to have personalized assistance from counselors about financial aid options.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

MWRA honors BPS students' posters and essays

Several Boston Public Schools students were honored recently for outstanding entries in the annual poster and essay contest sponsored by the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA). Pictured here is a poster by Samantha To, a second grade student at the Bradley Elementary School, whose entry earned an Honorable Mention (click to enlarge). Other winners include students from the Warren Prescott K-8, Boston Latin School, and Quincy Elementary School.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Students dance their way through summer

BU Today profiles students participating in the REACH summer dance camp at the Boston University Dance Theater, including Boston Arts Academy students Julie Jean and Fernanda Novelle Ruddy. Students will perform in Central Square, Cambridge, next week.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Margaret Angell named a White House Fellow

Margaret Angell is one of only 14 professionals from around the country selected for the 2008-2009 class of White House Fellows. Margaret is a former Broad Resident working in the Boston Public Schools as Special Assistant to the Chief Operating Officer, most recently with the Early Childhood Education Department. The White House Fellows Program, founded in 1964 by President Lyndon B. Johnson, offers exceptional men and women first-hand experience working at the highest levels of the Federal government.

Reuters highlights technology at the Frederick

The one-to-one laptop initiative and other technology innovations at the Lilla G. Frederick Pilot Middle School are highlighted in a recent Reuters feature, "Technology reshapes America's classrooms."

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Mildred Avenue theater troupe wins a gold medal

The theater troupe from the Mildred Avenue Middle School in Mattapan recently brought home a gold medal from the Massachusetts Middle School Drama Festival. The troupe impressed the judges with their performance of The Dancers, a one-act play by Horton Foote, at the competition held at the school. Among the 27 participating middle schools from throughout the state, Mildred Avenue was one of only nine schools to earn a gold medal.

Four students from the school also won "Excellence in Acting" awards: seventh graders Julie Vo and Jahmar Lewis, sixth grader Keturah Brewster, all of Dorchester, and eighth grader Ayesha Butler of Roxbury. Pictured, from left to right: Bunnett Bain, Jahmar Lewis, Wilberson Altidor, Theater Director Stephanie Fredericks, Elgino Jean, Diamond Burwell, Keturah Brewster, and Ayesha Butler.

Monday, July 07, 2008

BPS alum reading at Borders this week

Boston Public Schools alumnus Raffi Yessayan will read from his first novel, Eight in the Box, at Borders Books in Downtown Crossing this Wednesday at 12:30 p.m. The West Roxbury native is a 1986 graduate of Boston Latin School who attended BPS from kindergarten through grade 12. He was recently featured on parkwayboston.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

BLA student wins first Turner Broadcasting scholarship

Connie Y. Chan, who graduated this spring from Boston Latin Academy, is the first recipient of the City of Boston / Turner Broadcasting System Inc. Media Communications Scholarship. Ms. Chan, a graphic and web designer, earned $2,500 to pursue higher education at Simmons College in the fall. The scholarship is part of a citywide partnership with Turner Broadcasting to support media communications education in the Boston Public Schools. Pictured here, Mayor Thomas M. Menino (left) and Superintendent Carol R. Johnson (right) present the scholarship to Ms. Chan in a ceremony at City Hall.

School's out for summer!

The 2007-2008 school year has come to a close. Thank you to the students, staff and families for making the year such a success. The Family Resource Centers have begun operating on a summer schedule, and free summer meals for children are available throughout the city. Remember, classes resume for students in grades 1-12 on Thursday, September 4, and for kindergarten students on Monday, September 8. Continue to visit the blog throughout the summer for the latest news!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Congratulations, Boston Educators of the Year!

Fifteen remarkable educators were honored this week as the 2008 Boston Educators of the Year. Mayor Thomas M. Menino, School Committee Chair Elizabeth Reilinger, Superintendent Carol R. Johnson and Boston Teachers Union President paid tribute to these outstanding educators in a ceremony at the Taj Hotel, along with the honorees' families, friends, colleagues and students. Four other BPS employees also were honored at the ceremony with Service Excellence Awards.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Keyla Veloz wins Payzant Scholarship

Keyla Veloz, a recent graduate of Boston Community Leadership Academy, has been awarded the Dr. Thomas W. Payzant Public Service in Education Scholarship. The $2,000 prize, named in honor of the former Superintendent, is awarded annually to a student graduating from a Boston public high school with a record of academic progress who has made significant contributions to improving education. Keyla, who will attend Emmanuel College next year, has been teaching in the after-school program at the Gardner Pilot Academy. Pictured here, School Committee Chair Elizabeth Reilinger (left) and Superintendent Carol R. Johnson (right) present Keyla with a citation.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Harvard-Kent welcomes Dr. Johnson to a "Tea Party"

The Harvard-Kent Elementary School recently hosted a "Boston Art Tea Party" to acknowledge Superintendent Carol Johnson’s continued recognition of the importance of the arts in the Boston Public Schools. Over tea and scones, Dr. Johnson discussed the importance of art with students and teachers, and accepted a framed drawing, "Two Pears Stil Life," from Sophia Liu, a Grade 5 student. Student artwork from teacher Patricia Wilson's Grade 5 class is now on display in the Superintendent's Gallery. Pictured here (left to right) are Ms. Wilson; Sophia's mother, Ms. Liu; Sophia; Dr. Johnson; and Richard Martin, principal of the Harvard-Kent.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Mayor's School Awards honor top students

Nearly 300 Boston Public Schools students were honored with Mayor's School Awards in six ceremonies held recently at Faneuil Hall. Every school in the district was invited to select an academic award winner and a school spirit winner. This is the 24th consecutive year that Mayor Thomas M. Menino has hosted a school awards program, a tradition he began in 1985 when he was a district City Councilor. Pictured here from the Tobin K-8 school are, left to right, Evelyn Perez Landron (school spirit award), principal Cheryl Watson-Harris, and Pedro Pitre (academic award). The complete list of winners is posted on the BPS website.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Blackstone students get lessons in dentistry

Third grade students at the Blackstone Elementary School, including Valeria Alvarez (left) and Angie Carmen, became "Dentists for a Day" through a partnership with the Boston University Goldman School of Dental Medicine. Learn more at Science Metropolis.

Monday, June 16, 2008

All-City Baseball Classic tomorrow

If the rain holds off, the all-stars from Boston public high school baseball teams will take to the field tomorrow at historic Fenway Park for the 6th Annual All-City Baseball Classic. The game begins at 3:00 p.m. and is free and open to the public. Enter at Gate D and take your pick of great seats behind home plate and the dugouts. Students will be honored with scholar/athlete and sportsmanship awards. Check this blog in the morning for news about the weather.
UPDATE: As of 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, the game is still on!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Edutopia profiles visually-impaired BLS musician

Edutopia features a video about Boston Latin School student Albano Berberi, who is visually impaired but excels in academics, violin, and video gaming with help from assistive technology.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Harvard welcomes Conant Fellows

The Harvard Graduate School of Education has selected four Boston Public Schools educators as James Bryant Conant Fellows for the upcoming school year. The fellowship is named in honored of a former President of Harvard University. Every year, educators from the Boston and Cambridge Public Schools are awarded fellowships to earn full tuition scholarships during their one-year leave of absence from the district while pursuing advanced degrees.

Pictured here in a ceremony on campus yesterday, left to right, are Patricia Lampron, Murphy K-8 School; Eugene Roundtree, Madison Park Technical-Vocational High School; and Jalene Tamerat, Quincy Upper School. Not pictured is Kathryn Meyer, Hernandez K-8 School.

BDEA alum meets filmmaker Ken Burns

Kafre Nurse (right), a 2007 graduate of Boston Day and Evening Academy (BDEA), recently met Emmy award-winning documentary filmmaker Ken Burns. A professor at Bunker Hill Community College, where Kafre was enrolled this year, introduced the two as Kafre prepares to transfer to Mr. Burns' alma mater, Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts. Kafre, who will enter the James Baldwin Scholars Program at Hampshire College in the fall, returned to BDEA to address members of the Class of 2008 at the school's graduation ceremony last night.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Schools raise money and have fun at the Nike 5K

Hundreds of Boston students, families and teachers participated in the second annual Nike 5K for Kids run/walk last Saturday at Franklin Park. Runners and walkers of all ages completed the 5K course and the 1-mile “Let Me Play” walk/run.

For the second year in a row, the Dearborn Middle School in Roxbury earned recognition for fielding more participants and raising more money than any other school. With 57 runners, the Dearborn raised $1,140 to support physical education programming at the school. Six other Boston Public Schools were among the top ten: Haley Elementary School; Fenway High School; Otis Elementary School; Irving Middle School; Roosevelt Elementary School; and Lee Elementary School.

Student volunteers from Boston International High School (BIHS) provided support at the event handing out water along the route and giving out medals and prize packs at the finish line. Pictured here, BIHS students take a break from their volunteer duties to pose with their teachers who completed the 5K.

Meet the Boston University Scholars, Class of 2012

Forty graduates from 13 Boston public high schools have been awarded four-year, full-tuition college scholarships through the Boston University Boston High School Scholarship Program.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

BTR a national finalist for innovation award

The Ash Institute at the Kennedy School of Government has selected the Boston Teacher Residency (BTR) program as one of 15 national finalists for the Innovations in American Government Award. The district's teacher preparation program, a partnership between the Boston Public Schools and the Boston Plan for Excellence, had been named one of 50 finalists for the prize in April. A national selection committee will review the finalists and award $100,000 to each of six winners in September. BTR's innovative approach also has been recognized by Edutopia magazine and the Massachusetts Board of Education.

Elementary students enjoy Special Olympics at White Stadium

Nearly 500 students from 20 Boston public elementary schools participated today in the Special Olympics at White Stadium. The athletes included students with disabilities from special education programs as well as children from inclusion classrooms in early education centers. Pictured here, left to right, are Christopher Brum, special education teacher at the Richard J. Murphy K-8 school; Jeron Perez of Dorchester, third grade student at the Murphy; and Carolyn Riley, Senior Director of Unified Student Services, Boston Public Schools. See coverage on New England Cable News.

SBEC students honor veterans on Memorial Day

More than 40 Army JROTC cadets from the South Boston Education Complex spent Memorial Day helping members of the Saunders American Legion Post and the Fitzgerald VFW Post place over 1,100 flags on the graves of South Boston veterans at area cemeteries. This was their 11th consecutive year helping with this task. Cadets from the battalion also participated in other Memorial Day activities, including the Town of Rockland parade, the annual Dorchester Heights ceremony and several rededication ceremonies at squares in South Boston. Pictured here, left to right, Houng Nguyen, Yen Nguyen and John Gregorio place a flag at the headstone of a South Boston veteran.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Boston celebrates Class of 2008 Valedictorians

The top graduates of the Class of 2008 from 38 Boston public high schools were honored yesterday at the 10th Annual Valedictorians Luncheon at the Boston Harbor Hotel. Community leaders, educators and families gathered to pay tribute to the young men and women graduating at the top of their class. Pictured here, left to right, are School Committee Chair Elizabeth Reilinger; John Denzel Nwabugwu, Valedictorian of McKinley Preparatory High School; Mayor Thomas M. Menino; and Superintendent Carol R. Johnson.

In a first for the Boston Public Schools, siblings were named Valedictorians of two different high schools in the same year. See press coverage of sisters Faith Nwaoha (Burke High School) and Chioma Nwaoha (English High School), originally from Nigeria, in the Boston Herald and on New England Cable News and Fox-25 News.

Friday, May 23, 2008

ReadBoston selects best read-aloud book

ReadBoston recently held a competition for the 2007 Best Read Aloud Book Award. A panel of judges selected Those Shoes by Maribeth Boelts. Pictured here, ReadBoston's Sarah Farbo reads The Jewel Box Ballerinas by Monique de Varebbes. Sarah is also the host of ReadBoston's "Read TV" program, produced by David Burt of Boston City TV. "Read TV" and "Cooking With Kirk" were nominated for Emmy Awards.