Friday, December 28, 2007

Pick up your copy of "Introducing the BPS 2008"

Just in time for school registration for next year, Introducing the Boston Public Schools 2008 is now available. This publication provides valuable information about the school registration and assignment process, transportation services, district programs and policies, school profiles, and much more. Copies in English are being delivered this week to all Family Resource Centers, libraries and community centers. Translations in seven other languages will be available in early January.

Abdoul Diallo is featured as an "A+ Student"

Abdoul Diallo, a senior at Boston International High School who was featured in an earlier post on this blog, is quickly becoming a media darling. First he was profiled in the Dorchester Reporter. Then last night, WCVB Channel 5 News highlighted Abdoul in their "A+ Student" segment. (Visit the WCVB website to watch the video on-line.) All this media attention is well-deserved: Abdoul is at the top of his class, is captain of the soccer team, and has volunteered in community service projects throughout the U.S. and abroad.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Boston Debate League featured on CityLine

Members of the Boston Debate League were featured recently on WCVB Channel 5 CityLine. Host Karen Holmes Ward highlighted the group as part of a story about the upcoming film The Great Debaters, about a champion debate team from a historically black college in the 1930s. The Boston league, which includes teams from six Boston public high schools, will host two debate events in January: a tournament on January 12 and a special public debate in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. on January 19. The league is also featured in today's Boston Herald.

BLS jazz pianist headed to GRAMMY Week

Jake Sherman, a senior at Boston Latin School, has been selected to perform in the prestigious 2008 Gibson/Baldwin GRAMMY Jazz Band. An accomplished jazz pianist, Jake is one of only 18 high school students from around the country selected for the group. The GRAMMY Jazz Ensemble program selects top high school instrumentalists and singers to receive college scholarships and an all-expenses-paid trip to perform in the Jazz Choir, Band, or Combo at GRAMMY Awards Week events in Los Angeles in February.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Boston schools are invited to become pilot schools

Superintendent Carol R. Johnson has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) inviting Boston public schools to consider becoming pilot schools. The collective bargaining agreement between the Boston School Committee and the Boston Teachers Union allows for the creation of up to seven new pilot schools. These schools are part of the Boston Public Schools but operate with autonomy from many district and union regulations, similar to charter schools.

The school district and the teachers' union will co-host an information session for principals and teachers, featuring a panel of educators from schools that have become pilots: Friday, January 4, at 4:00 p.m., in the Boston Teachers Union Hall, 180 Mount Vernon St., Dorchester.

Boston is now home to 18 pilot schools, two Horace Mann Charter Schools, and one Commonwealth pilot school. Together, these schools serve more than 7,000 students in pre-kindergarten through grade 12. The schools have autonomy over budget, staffing, governance, curriculum, and the school calendar to meet the needs of students and families.

Speaking of pilot schools, Boston's newest pilot school -- formerly known as the Thomas Gardner Extended Services School in Allston -- got an official name change last night. The School Committee approved the school's request to be named Gardner Pilot Academy. Pictured here are students in Ms. Thomas' fourth grade classroom receiving new books at the Gardner's recent Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) event, featuring community and district leaders serving as guest readers.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

200th posting on this blog...

This entry marks the 200th posting on the "All About BPS" blog since it was launched in October 2006. In the past nine months alone, there have been more than 33,000 visits to the site. Thank you for visiting to learn more about the exciting work taking place in the Boston Public Schools! And don't forget to post comments to extend congratulations, ask a question, or offer your perspective about what you read here.

Tyrone Figueroa one of Fox 25's Top Ten

Fox 25 Sports has named East Boston High School senior Tyrone Figueroa one of the Top 10 High School Football Players this season. Tyrone ended the season with 25 touchdowns, leading the Jets to the Division 3A Super Bowl after winning the Boston North division. Earlier this week, the Boston Herald named Tyrone, who is an Honors student, to the Fall All-Scholastic Team. Between now and January 1, fans can vote on-line at the Fox 25 website for Tyrone to be named the Primetime Player of the Year.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Friday, December 14: All Boston Public Schools CLOSED

Superintendent Carol R. Johnson announced tonight that all Boston Public Schools will be closed on Friday, December 14. All BPS central offices, including Family Resource Centers, will be open during normal business hours. Dr. Johnson issued a statement to all BPS students, families, and staff, apologizing for the late bus arrivals on Thursday afternoon and evening caused by traffic gridlocks. Mayor Thomas M. Menino directed all Boston Centers for Youth and Families community centers to open at 7:30 a.m. on Friday morning to offer Boston parents a safe place to take their children if needed.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 13: All afternoon/evening activities cancelled

Due to weather conditions, all after school and evening activities in the Boston Public Schools are cancelled for Thursday, December 13, including all athletic events and the "Graduation for All" community forum (rescheduled to Thursday, January 10, 6:00 - 8:00 p.m., East Boston High School). Afternoon/evening classes at Boston Day and Evening Academy and Boston Adult Technical Academy are cancelled. Any parent or legal guardian may opt to pick up his or her child from school earlier than the regular dismissal time. Please note that yellow school buses may be delayed because of traffic and road conditions.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Two BPS students "testify" before U.S. Supreme Court

Two Boston Public Schools students recently had the opportunity to learn about the U.S. Supreme Court and Constitution from the experts themselves: justices of the nation’s highest court. Moriah Smith of Dorchester, a junior at Boston Latin Academy, and Adeoye Owolewa of Roxbury, a senior at Boston Latin School, were selected to meet with justices in the marble corridors of the Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C., as part of the Constitution Project, designed to expand understanding of the nation’s democratic institutions and coordinated by the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania. Pictured here at the Supreme Court building, left to right, are Bolade Owolewa (Adeoye's mother), Adeoye and Moriah.

Friday, December 07, 2007

John D. O'Bryant named Vanguard Model

The John D. O'Bryant School of Mathematics and Science is the only school in the state named a Vanguard Model this year for its accelerated rates of student achievement and participation in Advanced Placement (AP) courses. Mass Insight Education & Research Institute selected the O'Bryant and two school districts -- Harwich and Revere -- as models to be replicated throughout Massachusetts. Four other Boston schools, as well as the district itself, have been named Vanguard Models since the program began in 2001.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Kenny marching band tuning up for First Night

The Kenny Elementary School marching band is busy rehearsing for its first appearance in the grand procession for First Night Boston on New Year's Eve. WBZ-TV News entertainment reporter Joyce Kulhawik featured the marching musicians in a segment on tonight's newscast.

Women's World Cup Soccer champs surprise BLA student

A group of celebrity visitors participated in an assembly at Boston Latin Academy this morning to surprise senior Maria Centeio with a special honor. Members of the 1999 Women's World Cup Championship soccer team joined Mayor Thomas M. Menino and Superintendent Carol Johnson in presenting Maria with the "Kevin W. Fitzgerald Giving Back Award," named in memory of the former state representative who died in September. Julie Foudy, Brandi Chastain, Kristine Lilly and other members of the World Cup team will be inducted tonight into the Hall of Fame at Northeatern Univerity's Center for Sport in Society. (Pictured here, left to right, are Mayor Menino, Ms. Lilly, Ms. Foudy, Maria Centeio and Ms. Chastain.)

Born in the Cape Verde islands off the west coast of Africa, Maria moved to the United States when she was five years old. A member of the Class of 2008 at Boston Latin Academy, she hopes to attend Yale University next fall. Maria was recognized for her extraordinary community service. She sits on the board of two non-profit organizations in Roxbury: the Cape Verdean Community Unido and the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative. She is also president of the Uphams Corner Youth Council, a founding member of the Dudley Youth Council, and state historian for the Massachusetts Junior Classical League. Maria is a member of her school's yearbook committee and the National Honor Society. She also finds time to tutor younger students in math, Latin, and Spanish and administers competitive Latin contests.

A four-year varsity soccer player, Maria participated in Sport in Society’s Junior Coaches Academy in 2006 and attended the World Scholar Athlete Games, where she met student athletes from 156 different countries. “It seems as if I’ve lived a lifetime of exploration and excitement, but I know this is just the beginning,” said Centeio of her experiences.
Related post: Brandi Chastain on why sports are critical for young girls.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Vote on-line to support E. Greenwood playground

Boston is competing with nine other finalist cities in the Change the World. Start at Home community makeover contest presented by the HGTV cable network. If selected, the Boston entry would support the transformation of an asphalt-covered parking lot into a playground and green space for students at the Elihu Greenwood Elementary School in Hyde Park. The project also would help renovate the Hyde Park home of Beverly and Manny DePina, who are active in the community and have opened their home to more than 50 foster children in need over the past 30 years. To learn more about the proposed projects, click here.

Please vote here now. You may vote as often as once per day between now and December 21. The four cities with the highest number of votes will be announced during the Rose Parade coverage on January 1.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Brighton High Bengals capture division title

The Brighton High School Bengals capped off an undefeated season with a victory yesterday in the Division 4 Super Bowl. The high school boys' football team defeated West Bridgewater 16-8 at Stonehill College. See coverage in the Boston Herald and Globe, as well as a column by Dan Shaughnesey about the team's perseverence. (Globe Staff Photo by Essdras M. Suarez)

Congratulations also to the East Boston Jets for a great season, which ended yesterday in a 19-6 loss to Greater Lawrence in the Division 3A Super Bowl.