Saturday, October 31, 2009

First day of school at Parent University

Approximately 300 Boston Public Schools parents gathered at the University of Massachusetts Boston today for the first session of BPS Parent University, a new year-long program to help parents and caregivers support their children's education. The program is mentioned in a Time magazine story about parent academies across the country. See coverage in the Boston Globe, on Channel 5, and on New England Cable News:

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

BPS-TV Video: Showcase of Schools

Rain didn't stop families from attending the citywide Showcase of Schools, with every BPS school represented with colorful displays and energetic staff eager to describe what makes their school unique. Visit the photo album and watch a video from BPS-TV:

New growth model highlights students' MCAS gains

For the first time yesterday, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education reported student and school MCAS progress using a "growth model." Instead of comparing how different groups of students perform on the same test (e.g., 2009 4th graders vs. 2008 4th graders), the growth model follows the same students' progress from one year to the next. Today's Boston Globe highlights the O'Donnell Elementary School in East Boston showing tremendous student gains under the new model.

Monday, October 26, 2009

$2.4m federal grant to expand Advanced Placement in BPS

City and school officials today announced continued expansion of Advanced Placement (AP) offerings in the Boston Public Schools, thanks in part to a new $2.4 million federal grant. Superintendent Johnson's "Acceleration Agenda" includes strategies for more students completing AP, Honors and dual enrollment courses in order to be prepared for success in college.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

BAA graduate to compete on "So You Think You Can Dance"

Russell Ferguson, a 2007 graduate of the Boston Arts Academy (BAA), is one of the Top 20 finalists on Fox TV’s “So You Think You Can Dance.” Russell came to BAA with no formal dance training. During his four years at the school, he studied Ballet, Modern, Jazz, Tap, African, Repertory, Choreography, and Dance History, in addition to the school’s rigorous college preparatory academic curriculum. Russell is now a sophomore at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. Watch his audition video. Tune in Tuesday at 8:00 to cast your vote!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

BCLA wins "School on the Move" Prize!

EdVestors has presented the 4th annual $100,000 Thomas W. Payzant "School on the Move" Prize to Boston Community Leadership Academy. BCLA was one of three finalists, along with the Warren-Prescott K-8 School and Young Achievers Science & Math Pilot K-8 School, recognized for significant school improvement.

Read about past winners:

BCLA is also one of several Boston public high schools featured in a Boston Globe guest column today about WriteBoston's Teens In Print program.

Left to right: Mayor Thomas M. Menino, EdVestors Executive Director Laura Perille, BCLA Headmaster Nicole Bahnam, Superintendent Carol R. Johnson and Former Superintendent Thomas W. Payzant.

Monday, October 19, 2009

MASC presents Tip O'Neill Award to Mayor Menino

The Massachusetts Association of School Committees (MASC) today announced that Mayor Thomas M. Menino is the 2009 winner of the Tip O'Neill Award for leadership in public education.

Target transforms Mather Elementary School library

The Mather Elementary School has a brand new school library -- complete with new furniture, books, computers and more -- thanks to an extreme makeover from Target and the Heart of America Foundation. Watch the video from BPS-TV:

Friday, October 16, 2009

New school choice options for BPS families

It's time to start choosing schools! October marks the start of a series of opportunities for families to learn more about educational options in the Boston Public Schools, including exciting new programs throughout the city. School choice activities include:
So come discover all that BPS has to offer your family!

New middle school football league is underway

Student-athletes from the Gavin and Irving middle schools faced off yesterday in the first game of the "Play Ball! Football" program, the district's new middle school football league. Along with teams from the Rogers and Edwards middle schools, the boys will play nine regular season games leading up to the playoffs and championship game on Thanksgiving Day. Pictured here, Gavin 7th grader Larry Andrade runs the ball for the first touchdown of the season. Irving went on to win the game at White Stadium, 30-22. See coverage in the Boston Globe.

Roosevelt earns gold rating from U.S. Green Building Council

Mayor Menino visited the new annex of the Roosevelt K-8 School in Hyde Park today to announce a $100,000 award from the U.S. Green Building Council to build more green schools. The addition to the Roosevelt building includes a green roof and other environmentally friendly features that earned the project a gold rating for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED).

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Parents: get involved!

There are two great opportunities coming up for Boston Public Schools parents to have a greater voice in their children's education...

Superintendent Johnson has launched a national search to hire the Assistant Superintendent for Special Education Services. On Monday night (October 19) at English High School, families of students with disabilities are invited to a parent forum to share their views about the qualities needed in the next special education leader. Parents who are unable to attend the forum may complete an on-line survey.

Registration is underway for the new Parent University. The first session will take place on Saturday, October 31, at UMass Boston.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Two BPS employees earn Shattuck Awards

The Boston Municipal Research Bureau tonight will award Henry L. Shattuck Public Service Awards to eight City of Boston employees, including two Boston Public Schools staff. Among the winners are Mary O'Brien, a second grade teacher at the Agassiz Elementary School (right), and Kevin Moriarty, custodian at the Blackstone Elementary School. See coverage in the Boston Globe and Herald.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

October is College Month!

October is College Month in the Boston Public Schools. Throughout the month, schools will host activities and events for students of all ages to begin preparing for higher education. High school students will participate in college fairs and other opportunities to learn about college readiness, admission, financial aid and more. The district's "Next Stop, College" campaign is designed to keep students engaged in college planning throughout the year, and Mayor Menino's Success Boston initiative helps ensure that BPS graduates earn a college degree.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Atlanta newscast highlights Nathan Hale success

WSB-TV in Atlanta recently produced a series of reports about the challenges in Georgia's public schools, which included a segment about Massachusetts as a state making more significant progress. The story featured Boston's Nathan Hale Elementary School as an example of a successful turnaround school, including an interview with principal Sandra Mitchell-Woods. Watch the video of part 6 of the series (the segment about Massachusetts begins at 30:42).

Local media profile Boston principals

Several BPS principals have shone in the media spotlight recently, as local newspapers have profiled these hard-working school leaders in back-to-school stories. They include:

* Kelly Hung (pictured here), Bates Elementary School, Boston Globe;

* Louise Kuhlman, Winship Elementary School, Allston-Brighton Tab;

* Eileen Nash, Beethoven and Ohrenberger Schools, West Roxbury Bulletin;

* Arthur Unobskey, Irving Middle School, Roslindale Transcript; and

* Alexandra Montes McNeil, Umana Middle School Academy, East Boston Times (no online story).