Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Win a trip to Cape Cod!

Hostelling International USA invites Boston-area high school students to enter the “Your Community, Your World” contest. Submit entries by April 15 in writing, art, or multi-media that answer the question, "What are you doing in Boston or beyond to promote a greater understanding of the world and its people?” Winning students and their teacher will win a trip to Cape Cod and the Islands. Download application materials here.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Dr. Johnson's video message to the community

Superintendent Carol R. Johnson describes the district's academic goals and priorities in the context of fiscal challenges.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

BLA library wins prestigious federal grant

The federal Institute of Museum and Library Services has presented a prestigious $5,000 grant to the Hapgood Library at Boston Latin Academy. The "History Revised @ your library" grant, awarded through the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners, supports teacher planning and student learning in the area of United States History. Funds will be used to expand the library's collection and strengthen students' skills and knowledge in History research and writing.

Submit school improvement projects for Boston Shines

On April 24 & 25, thousands of Boston residents will once again roll up their sleeves to help beautify the neighborhoods during Boston Shines, a two-day service event. Coordinators invite school communities to suggest projects on school grounds -- such as a schoolyard garden or a colorful outdoor mural. If you have an idea and are looking for volunteers and resources, contact Allison Rogers: or 617-635-3251.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

McKinley students honor Harlem Renaissance

Students at the McKinley Preparatory High School are paying tribute to artists of the Harlem Renaissance in a special exhibit this month. Now through February 27, student work is displayed in Sparring Partners Window Gallery at the Massachusetts College of Art & Design, 635 Huntington Ave. Pictured here is "Harlem Jazz," created by Damien Jones, a ninth grade student at McKinley Prep.

On February 27, the student artists will be featured in a special exhibit, along with an art auction and reception, at the college. At the event, students will be selling a music CD, featuring original positive rap songs. Proceeds from CD sales will benefit the restaurants that were destroyed in the recent Fenway neighborhood fire, located across the street from the school.

Friday, February 13, 2009

New investments in BPS arts education

City and civic leaders yesterday released a new report yesterday, "The Arts Advantage: Expanding Arts Education in the Boston Public Schools." The report examines current arts offerings in schools and includes recommendations about expanding arts programming.
A new $1.5 million Arts Expansion Fund will direct private dollars to schools and community organizations to serve more students. The fund recently awarded grants to 18 schools and 8 arts partners. Guidelines for a second round of funding will be released in March.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

NEA advertisement: Schools need more federal money

The National Education Association (NEA) has produced a short television advertisement urging Congress to provide additional resources to cities and towns to invest in public education.

Channel 5 gives Risa McKenzie an "A+"

WCVB News recently featured English High School senior Risa McKenzie in its A+ Student segment. Risa is at the top of her class, President of the National Honor Society, Co-Editor of the school newspaper, and Executive Producer of the school's award-winning television program, ETV.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Debaters face off in city championship

More than 60 students from eight Boston public high schools participated this weekend in the 5th annual Boston Debate League City Championship. A team from the Academy of Public Service successfully defended its championship title, with runners up from the Urban Science Academy. See coverage in the Boston Globe.

Friday, February 06, 2009

More students graduating in four years

A new report shows Boston Public Schools outpacing statewide gains in the percentage of students graduating from high school in four years. Boston's 59.9% rate is a 2-point increase over last year, with improvements in nearly every student subgroup.

BPS striving to close $107m budget gap

Superintendent Carol R. Johnson this week presented a preliminary budget to the Boston School Committee for the 2009-10 school year, including major reductions to schools and central offices in order to close a $107 million gap between revenue and expenses. Citing rising costs and declining state and federal resources, Dr. Johnson presented an initial plan that exceeds the $787 million target by more than $24 million.

She and the School Committee echoed Mayor Menino's call for all BPS employees to accept a one-year wage freeze next year to reduce the need for teacher layoffs. The Superintendent also proposed changing the student assignment plan from a 3-zone to a 5-zone model in order to reduce transportation costs while preserving school choice. For updated information about the budget, as well as a schedule of public hearings, visit the BPS website.

Watch the Superintendent on Fox 25 morning news describing the challenge: