Friday, August 31, 2007

Carol Johnson in the media spotlight

Dr. Carol Johnson spent the day yesterday introducing herself to members of the Boston media, conducting interviews with print, radio and television reporters about her educational philosophy and experience, as well as her entry plan for her first 90 days on the job as the new Superintendent of the Boston Public Schools. See stories in the Boston Globe and South End News, listen to audio on WBUR Radio and watch video clips on Fox 25, WBZ-TV 4, and New England Cable News. Pictured here, Dr. Johnson welcomes two new kindergarten students to the annual Countdown to Kindergarten celebration at the Boston Children's Museum. Click here for additional photos from the event.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

It's almost back-to-school time!

On Thursday, September 6, the Boston Public Schools will welcome nearly 57,000 students and their families back to school for the 2007-2008 academic year. The BPS website features important information for parents, students and staff about the start of the school year, including the back-to-school hotline (617-635-9046), calendar, school hours, school bus safety tips, a video welcome message from the new Superintendent, events and activities hosted by Countdown to Kindergarten, and more. Have a great start to a wonderful school year ahead!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

BPS welcomes nearly 500 new teachers

Nearly 500 teachers began their careers in the Boston Public Schools today, with the kickoff of the three-day New Teacher Institute at UMass Boston. The educators include teachers new to the profession, as well as veteran teachers coming to Boston from other school districts. Mayor Menino, School Committee Vice Chair Marchelle Raynor, Superintendent Contompasis, Boston Teachers Union President Richard Stutman and incoming Superintendent Carol Johnson welcomed the teachers in an opening ceremony. Watch video clips on New England Cable News and WBZ-TV. Photo of Dr. Johnson by Nathan Fried-Lipski, Boston Metro.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Boston teacher "blasts off" to Space Camp

Wilma Marrero-Crespo is well prepared to teach her students at the Lewenberg Middle School about space travel this year, thanks to her participation in a week-long astronaut adventure. Ms. Marrero-Crespo, a math, science and social studies teacher, was one of only three teachers from the Boston area to be selected for the Honeywell Educators @ Space Academy program, which sends teachers to space camp to help them engage students in math and science learning.

Ms. Marrero-Crespo was among 268 educators from 21 countries and 43 U.S. states who traveled to the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama earlier this summer for a week packed with 50 hours of classroom, laboratory and field training. Teachers had the opportunity to participate in real-life astronaut training exercises, including a high-performance jet simulation, scenario-based space missions, land and water survival training, and a state-of-the-art flight dynamics programs.

ACC students study in Ghana

Six students from Another Course to College (ACC) recently returned from a two-week trip to Ghana, West Africa, as part of a cultural exchange program between ACC and the Achimota Secondary School, a boarding school in Ghana’s capitol city of Accra. The students, all members of the Class of 2008, spent two weeks immersed in the culture and history of Ghana, living with Ghanaian students in dormitories and attending classes at the school. The Boston students made day trips outside the city, met with U.S. embassy officials, visited museums and historic sites, and participated in workshops on traditional Ghanaian arts, crafts, music and dancing. They also had the opportunity to spend several nights living with Ghanaian host families. ACC teacher Bethany Wood, who was recently named a 2007 Boston Educator of the Year, spent a school year at Achimota as part of a Fulbright exchange, and organized the trip for her students. Pictured here, left to right, are ACC students in traditional Ghanaian dress: John Gilmore, Matt Ruggiero, Terah Jackson, Eliza Williams, Alanna Loring-Donahue and Dejon Rice.

Dorchester High School examined in new book

The former Dorchester High School is the subject of New Hope for Urban High Schools, a new book co-authored by Dr. Jack Leonard, Headmaster of Noonan Business Academy, and Dr. Lisa Gonsalves, Assistant Professor at the Graduate College of Education at the University of Massachusetts Boston. The authors provide a case study of the former Dorchester High School in the context of national and local history from 1945 to 2006, including the 2003 redesign of the building into three small schools. They offer lessons learned and recommendations for urban high school reform work. The book is available from Greenwood Publishing Group.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Pay tribute to Michael Contompasis

After 42 years of dedication and service to the families and staff of the Boston Public Schools, Michael Contompasis will step down later this month as Superintendent. Mike has been an integral part of the district for his entire life: as a student, teacher, Headmaster of Boston Latin School (classic archive photo pictured here), Cluster Leader, Director of Human Resources, Chief Operating Officer and Superintendent. Although Mike has had many roles, most of us know him best as mentor and friend. Please join us in thanking and congratulating Mike by posting a comment on between now and October 31. The site is designed to gather memories, reflections, and words of thanks from friends, colleagues, students, and others whose lives have been enriched by "Mr. C."

Charlestown High students learn critical Arabic language skills

Arabic is the fourth most spoken language in world, with more than 200 million people speaking it as a first language. Students at Charlestown High School are preparing to become the next generation of translators and diplomats by learning the language in a popular new Arabic program during the summer and school year led by teachers Steven Berbeco and Lama Jarudi. Charlestown High is believed to be one of fewer than 20 public schools nationwide to offer Arabic language instruction. The school's website provides details and multimedia, and the program was featured on National Public Radio. Pictured here are student calligraphy projects on display at the summer academy graduation ceremony.

Arabic, along with Chinese, Hindi, Russian, and Farsi, was recently identified by the United States government as a "critical language," one which is vital to national security and economic interest and of which there are not enough speakers. The U.S. government has committed millions of dollars through its National Security Language Initiative (NSLI) to dramatically increasing the number of Americans learning these languages. Students who completed the five-week summer academy, which was funded through a STARTALK grant, received high school credit and a $500 college scholarship.

Gardner School and Harvard Business School team up for summer fun and learning

Students from the Thomas Gardner Extended Services School in Allston have been participating in a Summer Enrichment Program thanks to a unique partnership with the Harvard Business School. The program has engaged 115 students in kindergarten through grade five in learning literacy, math, science and social studies, as well as physical recreation and the arts. The students also have taken field trips to the Museum of Science and Franklin Park Zoo.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Manny Delcarmen donates $10,000 to Grew Elementary

Boston Public Schools alumnus and Hyde Park native Manny Delcarmen, relief pitcher for the Boston Red Sox, recently donated $10,000 to the Henry Grew Elementary School. The donation was generated through a fundraiser held by Mr. Delcarmen earlier this year through his “Bowlin’ Strikes for Schools” charity bowling tournament held at Ron’s Gourmet Ice Cream and Bowling in Hyde Park. The money will be used to supplement the Hyde Park school’s library and the school district’s athletics offerings. Mr. Delcarmen attended Boston Public Schools from Kindergarten all the way through graduation from West Roxbury High School in 2000. He made his major league debut in 2005. Pictured here, left to right: Red Sox mascot Wally, Superintendent Michael Contompasis, Grew Principal Ronald Jackson, Manny Delcarmen, Manny’s wife Ana Delcarmen, and from Hyde Park Cooperative Bank, President and Chief Operating Officer Carol McClintock and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Norman B. Williamson.