Friday, May 28, 2010

Boston Celtics honor BPS middle school students

Governor Deval Patrick, Superintendent Carol R. Johnson, Boston Celtics Legend Dana Barros, and Celtics President Rich Gotham honored more than 800 Boston Public Schools middle school students yesterday at the 19th annual Celtics Stay In School Awards held at Northeastern University's Matthews Arena. Students were recognized in the categories of writing, art, and attendance, including 15 students who made it into the "Three Year Club" (8th graders who have never been late or absent in their entire middle school careers). Each school also celebrated an "M.I.P." or "Most Improved Pupil" -- the student who made greatest progress this year in regards to attitude, effort, behavior, and academics.The event, which featured student performances by the Edwards Middle School step team and chorus as well as a performance by Boston rapper Akrobatik, was sponsored by Arbella Insurance Group.

Photo: Horace Mann School M.I.P. Julia Damon Goodman shows off her autographed photo of Paul Pierce.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Dr. Johnson speaks at Boston Bar Association's Law Day Dinner

Superintendent Johnson last night gave the keynote address at the Boston Bar Association's Law Day Dinner. Below is an excerpt from her remarks:

Tonight, I am reminded that throughout our nation’s history, the work that you do and the work we carry out on a day-to-day basis has often intersected. So tonight, I’d like to say a little bit about how we got to this place, tell you how we are changing to create the kinds of schools that most of you attended and that each of you would choose for your own child - and then finally, I hope to end with a few thoughts about how together we can be the change we want to see for all of our community’s children. Our collective work in Boston is all the more significant because Boston’s history begins our nation’s history and our nation’s pursuit of educational opportunity for all of its children began with the first school - Boston Latin School, founded in 1635, and who this year celebrates it 375th anniversary. BLS was followed in 1647 by a decree that every town in the Commonwealth of 50 families or more should have an elementary school and every town of 100 families should establish a “Latin School.” The Mather elementary school opened in 1639, the English high school in 1821; and yet the universal free public education system that is a ubiquitous part of the fabric of our American democracy and the one we know today is one that has been sacrificed for and fought for.

Read the entire speech here.

Friday, May 14, 2010

News from the schools

Here is a roundup of recent events and news from around the Boston Public Schools:

Thanks to a $13K generous donation from Old Mutual Asset Management Foundation, Monument High School's Mu Alpha Theta (M.A.T.) mathematics honor society was able to take a field trip to Chicago, Illinois, recently. The trip to Chicago gave the students the chance to explore another city rich in history, culture, diversity, food, music, and architecture and also exposed students to the role of mathematics in architecture and engineering, as well as logistical planning (budget, itinerary, and fundraising). Photo: Mu Alpha Theta Students.

On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Boston AIDS Walk, AIDS Action is recognizing 25 community heroes. Boston Public Schools Student Support Coordinator Phil Robinson is among them. Mr. Robinson has raised many thousands of dollars to end the AIDS epidemic by participating in each and every AIDS Walk Boston.

Fox 25 visited the Trotter Elementary School in Dorchester recently for a story about Playworks, the national nonprofit organization that provides structured recess programming for schools.

Nora Tsoutsis, an English teacher at John D. O’Bryant School of Math & Science in Roxbury, was recently named by the National Math and Science Initiative as one of 18 teachers to receive its first annual All American Teacher of the Year Award. The awards, which recognize outstanding math, science, and English teachers for remarkable contributions to their students and to the teaching profession, are presented to teachers in each state participating in NMSI’s Advanced Placement Training and Incentive Program (APTIP).

Monday, May 10, 2010

Boston part of statewide campaign seeking outstanding teachers for positions in Turnaround Schools

Boston is one of nine cities in the Commonwealth seeking outstanding teachers to apply for positions in “Level 4” or Turnaround Schools next year. For more information about these opportunities, visit

This website is designed to inform teachers about career opportunities in the state’s Turnaround Schools, which are located in nine districts: Boston, Fall River, Holyoke, Lawrence, Lowell, Lynn, New Bedford, Springfield and Worcester. The site provides information about the first group of 35 “Level 4” schools and the nine urban public school districts in which they are located, with a focus on supports and incentives for teachers.

The website includes videos of outstanding teachers who currently work in Level 4 schools and also allows visitors to recommend great teachers to be considered for teaching positions in Level 4 schools.

Boston teachers featured in the videos include English High School history teachers Efraim Toledano and Caitlyn Murphy, Trotter Elementary School 5th grade teacher Joanne Douglas, and Trotter science teacher Brenda Richardson. Students also have a chance to share their thoughts on their amazing teachers.

Read today's Globe article about the state's new recruitment campaign for Turnaround Schools.

Friday, May 07, 2010

BPS in the News

Many news outlets, including the Globe, Herald, and WCVB-TV, covered the ceremony officially renaming BPS's Health Careers Academy as the Edward M. Kennedy Academy of Health Careers.

Both the Globe and the Herald wrote about the first ArtScience Innovation prize awarded this week to Boston high school students who have spent the past year working on innovative ideas and inventions. A team from the John D. O'Bryant won the contest and an opportunity to travel to France to further develop their project.

Boston Arts Academy headmaster Linda Nathan, Charlestown High School Arabic language teacher Steven Berbeco, and BPS literacy coach Elizabeth MacDonald are featured in a recent Boston Globe Magazine article about reinvigorating education for students of all ages.