The following note and petition is being circulated by members of the North End / Waterfront Mothers Association (NEWMA).
Dear North End community:
The North End has one public elementary school – The Eliot. This past week many North End families received word that their North End child will not be able to go to school in their own neighborhood. Many did not receive an assignment in the system at all. These families are now facing very difficult decisions balancing their hopes for their children’s education and being able to continue to live in the city.
Below is a petition being sent to Mayor Menino, Superintendent Carol Johnson, and Councillors LaMattina, Connolly, Arroyo, Murphy, and Pressley asking them to expand the Eliot School immediately to serve downtown and North End families. Our goal is to have every person who cares about families in the North End sign this petition. Copies are at the North End Branch Library, Prince Postale, Lincoln Wharf, Harbor Towers, and the Nazzaro Community Center. Please forward this to your neighbors in the North End. This petition would be most effective if it represents all parts of the North End and downtown: families, seniors, businesses, lifelong residents, and new transplants. Families driven out of the city impacts public safety, neighborhood cleanliness, city tax resources, etc.
Another way to support this movement is to call the following contacts in the Mayor’s office and let them know that you want to expand the Eliot School immediately.
Martha Pierce, Education Advisor to the Mayor: 617/635-4476
Nicole Leo, North End/West End Neighborhood Coordinator: 617/635-3485
All petitions will be picked up on Friday, April 1 and delivered to our local representatives. The text of the petition is shown below for you to review. Please help us work towards expanding the Eliot School and keeping our families in the neighborhood.
The petition states:
Dear Mayor Menino, Dr. Johnson, Councilor LaMattina, Councilor Connolly, Councilor Arroyo, Councilor Murphy and Councilor Pressley:
The downtown Boston area has only one public school to serve its many communities. Specifically, in the North End, there are many families who wish to remain in our unique and special downtown neighborhood; the need for access to a quality public education for children has never been greater here. The recent Boston Public School lottery assignments left many of our families with no placements in the system. These displaced North End families are now facing very difficult decisions regarding their ability to raise their children here.
We are proposing to expand the Eliot School so it can accommodate the growing families of the North End as well as the surrounding neighborhoods it already serves – West End, Beacon Hill, Charlestown, East Boston, etc. Expanding the Eliot would not only benefit the North End families, but also families all over the city who have hopes to send their children to the Eliot. We sincerely request that the expansion be completed for the 2011-2012 school year.
In the interest of a great downtown Boston, with opportunities for the families that live here, and most importantly the children, we need to expand the Eliot School! Please work with us to keep the families in this special neighborhood!