Dec. 16, 2010
Above: Joe Rowland of BNN-TV's Neighborhood Network News reports.
As a frequently raucous crowd of parents and teachers jeered them, the Boston School Committee late Wednesday voted 7-0 to approve a controversial plan to shutter nine schools, including Dorchester’s Fifield Elementary School, East Zone Early Learning Center and Middle School Academy.
The plan, put forth by Superintendent Carol Johnson, also includes merging Lee Academy Pilot School with Lee Elementary School, which share the same building; moving Dorchester Academy from the Dorchester Education Complex to another building; turning TechBoston Academy into a unified Grade 6 through 12 program at the Dorchester Education Complex; and adding classes to the Holland and Trotter Elementary Schools. Read more
The scene on Tuesday night in Fifield Elementary’s Room 204 was familiar: Emotional parents and staffers, some 30 in all, wearing “Fight for the Fifield” t-shirts and surrounded by pictures of the solar system and the animal kingdom sitting intently as Boston Public School officials clicked through a PowerPoint presentation explaining why they had proposed the closing of the Codman Square school.
“You all can’t close the school,” said Denise Ormsby, the mother of a ten-year-old student, before tearing up and pointing to the several pages of signatures she had gathered in support of keeping the school open. “They care,” she said later. “Teachers, they work with the children, they work with the parents. It’s a family. They care here. And we need more schools like that.” Read more
Dec. 8, 2010
Fourteen would-be charter schools have applied to the State Department of Education to be granted charters to start up new schools in Boston out of 23 across the state. Representatives from several of the applicant schools appeared before a panel of state education officials in Boston City Hall on Tuesday to press their case.
Though plans for the schools are still in the preliminary stages and locations for school facilities are not definite, some of the proponents for the proposals heard Tuesday vowed to serve underprivileged students from Dorchester, Roxbury and Mattapan. Read more
Dec. 3, 2010
Five months after he was installed as principal of Harbor Middle School, Dr. Robert Martin was removed by the city’s school department, parents learned in a letter from Superintendent Carol Johnson.
Johnson’s letter, which parents received last week on the day before Thanksgiving, said the change in leadership was effective that day, Nov. 24.
“We know how critical leadership is to our overall student improvement efforts, and we acknowledge that this decision has implications for you, your children, and the dedicated faculty and staff of the Harbor,” she wrote. “We expect to appoint a permanent principal to the Harbor by no later than mid-January.” Read more
Dec. 2, 2010
Boston schools chief Carol Johnson reversed course Thursday night, proposing to keep open the Roger Clap Elementary School.
The Clap would become an "innovation school," operating similarly to a charter school and providing more administrative flexibility at traditional public schools. The Clap, which would become the city's first "innovation school," was originally slated to close under plans proposed by Superintendent Johnson earlier this fall.
Johnson submitted on Thursday evening revised plans, which added Fifield Elementary School to the list of proposed school closings, to the city’s School Committee at English High in Jamaica Plain. Read more
Nov. 23, 2010
Some parents of special education students at the Harbor Middle School in Fields Corner are raising concerns about the principal with Boston schools chief Carol Johnson, accusing him of creating a “hostile” environment for their children. Read more
Nov. 18, 2010
Any first encounter between two residents of Dorchester is as likely to begin with, “What’s your parish?” as it is with “What street do you live on.” While the neighborhood’s much-celebrated patchwork of Catholic parishes has yielded prominence to include other points of reference over the years, its relevance lives on.
Now comes a major fundraiser scheduled for Thanksgiving week: A “What Parish Are You From?” event to benefit the city-owned Leahy-Holloran Community Center fundraiser will be held next Friday, Nov. 26, at the Victory Road Armory. The evening will include cocktails, a cash bar, disc jockey and, of course, a major lure, in this case a $10,000 drawing. Read more
Nov. 16, 2010
An event on Wednesday afternoon at Mattapan's Mildred Avenue Community Center will help prospective college students connect with financial aid opportunities. The event, sponsored by the Massachusetts Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (MASFAA), will take place from 12:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. Organizers say the main goal is to make students aware of the importance of postsecondary education and the financial aid resources that are available to assist them. Read more
Nov. 4, 2010
Elizabeth Seton Academy will host its annual Autumn Auction and Reunion on Sun., Nov. 7 from 12 to 4 p.m. at Florian Hall in Dorchester. Some of the more popular items are the gift certificates for restaurants, theme parks, historic sites, museums, and more. Other items very readily sought after are autographed sports memorabilia and tickets to Red Sox, Celtics, Bruins and Patriots games. Read more
Nov. 4, 2010
Superintendent Carol Johnson is delaying a vote on plans to close schools, giving parents opposed to the closures a month to regroup. Dorchester schools on the chopping block include Roger Clap Elementary and the East Zone Early Learning Center. School officials had also been pushing to merge the Lee Academy Pilot School and the Lee Elementary School.
“Overall, I’m optimistic that we have the extra month or so to get them to change their minds, and hopefully this opens up more of a debate,” said Kenny Jervis, one of the parents leading the charge to keep Clap Elementary open. “We’re happy we got the extra time but it’s nowhere near a victory yet.” Read more