Friday, November 15, 2013

Hidden Gem: The King

Boston Public Schools “hidden gems” are schools that go unnoticed or are undiscovered; they may not have the highest test scores or be highly chosen by families, but when you visit the school/community you will notice that they are offering great opportunities for families and changes are happening at the schools. We hope the “The Hidden Gem Series” help families uncover their great talents and attributes.

This month we are featuring The King K-8 School:

Hidden Gem: The King K-8 School

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Japan's famous mascot visits BPS

While the governor of Japan's Kumamoto Prefecture attended suit-and-tie events here in Boston Wednesday, his wide-eyed and bubbly diplomatic emissary was busy spreading fun at two of the city's public schools.

The furry Kumamon, already a big hit in his homeland, brought giggles and dance to Taylor Elementary and Boston Latin Academy. His high-energy was infectious inside 4th and 5th grade Advanced Work Classes at Taylor. Kumamon led a do-as-I-do dance and invited the students to pose with him for the accompanying Japanese media, which included the Fuji Television Network, one of the largest networks in Japan.

The two schools have strong Japanese language programs, and students greeted Kumamon by saying "Ohayougozaimasu," which is Japanese for welcome.

"This just enhances their whole Japanese program," said Julie Caldarone, the BPS Senior Program Director for World Languages.

"This brings a piece of Japan into their classroom, opens their eyes to the rest of the world, that's what it's all about…that's what we want," Caldarone said.

By Brian Ballou

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Madison's Cupcake Queen

Lisa Daniels started her own online business, Queen Cupcake Creations, and she owes much of her success to her learning experience at Madison Park High School. Madison Park is Boston’s only technical/vocational high school. It’s also a fully accredited college preparatory high school offering a selection of academic courses.

Recently Lisa stopped by Madison Park to visit her former culinary art teacher, Mr. Lucas. While there, she talked to students and encouraged them to never give up on their dreams and to peruse the career that best suits them.

I asked her to elaborate on Madison’s influence on her career choice and she said, “Madison helped me reach my goals. I was able to do a co-op, which prepared me for my field. My vocational teachers, Mr. Lucas, Mr. B , and Mrs. Lambert taught me a lot and made learning fun for me! Their support encouraged me to further my career goals by attending college."

After graduating from Madison she attended a culinary college in Pennsylvania and soon after that started her own business. "Business has been great ! I've learned that customer service is very important and one should always be prepared with his/her best!"

To learn about courses offered visit

You can also check out Lisa Daniels site at

Friday, November 08, 2013

Play Me, I'm Yours!

Play Me, I'm Yours was in Boston from September 27th -October 14th. 75 pianos were scattered throughout the city to celebrate the Celebrity Series of Boston. This wonderful event brought communities, friends, and even strangers together. The pianos were painted by local artists and students from the Boston Public Schools (which are featured in the video). The piano locations featured in this video are: Boston Common (artist Arielle Bremby), Old State House (artist from Youth Design), Museum of Fine Arts (artist Hilary Zelson), Copley Square (artist from Huntington Theatre Co. Production Crew), Castle Island (artist from Murphy K-8 School), Esplanade (artist from More Than Words Youth), Faneuil Hall (artist Gina Heeren), and City Hall Plaza (artists Michael Crockett and Frank Casazza).


Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Math made me want to learn English!

Former 8th grade student Tuyet Nguyen scored 280 (perfect score) on the 8th grade Math MCAS last year while a student at the Rogers Middle School. What makes this especially remarkable is that she was an ELD 1 student (non-English speaker) when she started last year at the Rogers.

Tuyet Nguyen came to the United States from Vietnam in May 2012. After her arrival she enrolled at the Rogers Middle School, which was a hard transition for her. Since she was unable to understand English, making new friends and understanding class instruction was hard for her.

Math, however became Tuyet’s favorite subject and class. Her Math teacher, Steve Mook, encouraged her to learn English and not give up.  “Mr. Mook was a great teacher. When I didn't understand something he tried to help me understand his lessons by connecting it to life. Math made me want to learn English!” says Tuyet.

Tuyet is currently a 9th grader at Excel High in South Boston. “Last year was both a difficult time and a rewarding time for me. I came to school with no English; I didn’t even understand my teachers. Soon my English got better and I was happier and excited to learn,” says Tuyet. She owes much of her success at Excel to her experience at the Rogers Middle School, particularly Mr. Mook’s class.

Thanks, Mr. Mook, for going above and beyond as a teacher!