North End parents made a full-court press this week at two neighborhood meetings to advocate for the expansion of the Eliot School. Doug Bowen Flynn, North End resident and parent, gave a formal presentation to the Neighborhood Council (NEWNC) on Monday, April 11, 2011 and then again to the Residents’ Association (NEWRA) on Thursday evening, April 14, 2011.
Highlighted in the presentation is the neighborhood demand for public education, how the downtown area is woefully underserved, how not getting into the Eliot adversely affects residents and potential solutions. The presentation at the NEWRA meeting is shown in the video below. (Apologies for the grainy picture quality, the room was nearly pitch black.)
Much of the debate surrounds the expansion of the public K-8 Eliot into a nearby building owned and occupied by the North Bennet Street School (NBSS), a private trade school in the North End since 1881. NBSS has said that it would be willing to give up their current property to the Eliot, in a swap with the now vacant printing buildings on North Street. In the video clip below, the public discussion is shown from the NEWNC meeting.
In addition to the neighborhood meetings, parents and other residents submitted a petition to City Hall with over 1,000 signatures to support the expansion of the Eliot School. And just this past Thursday, a phone campaign to the Mayor and Superintendent’s office generated over 50 calls for the cause.
Coming up will be more meetings, an email campaign and a group attending the upcoming Mayor’s Coffee Hour at Christopher Columbus Park on May 4th at 9:30 am.
City Council Meeting Comments by Councilor Sal LaMattina
Parents and residents may be interested in a recent March 30, 2011 City Council meeting where comments on this issue were made by the North End’s City Councilor, Sal LaMattina. Use the link below to view the video.
Councilors Connolly, Murphy, Consalvo, Ciommo, O’Malley, Pressley, Linehan, LaMattina and Feeney offered the following: Order for a hearing to examine Boston Public Schools’ policies regarding school transportation, student assignment, and the school lottery process.
Councilor LaMattina’s comments on school busing are at 43:55 in the meeting video with specific reference to the Eliot School at 57:15. The entire school discussion starts at 26:20 and runs through 1:02:20.)