North End Parents Announce Email Campaign to Expand the Eliot School

A message from Jen Bowen Flynn, regarding an email campaign for the expansion of the Eliot School:

Hi neighbors!

Welcome back from school vacation (for those of you who enjoyed last week off!).  After a recent conversation with Martha Pierce (Mayor’s Education Advisor), we learned that she received about 100 calls on Thursday, April 14th.  That’s double what we originally thought, so awesome work, everyone!

Let’s keep building on the momentum we started earlier this month.  We submitted the Eliot expansion petition with nearly 1,000 signatures on April 5th and launched a successful phone campaign on April 14th.

The next few steps in support of the Eliot expansion will be an email campaign THURSDAY, APRIL 28TH and attending the Mayor’s North End/Waterfront Coffee on WEDNESDAY, MAY 4TH at 9:30 AM at Christopher Columbus Park.  PLEASE MARK YOUR CALENDARS!


On THURSDAY, APRIL 28th, we’re asking you to email the city offices listed below.  These are the public officials who received copies of the petition earlier this month.  This email campaign will continue to strengthen our message and show our resolve in supporting the Eliot School.


Write from the heart about the Eliot School and what it means to your family, neighbors, friends, and fabric of the neighborhood.  Or tell your story about your child’s experience at the school or desire to attend. You can also write that the Eliot is over capacity and that there is a critical and time-sensitive need to find additional space. Additionally, you can use the same talking points from the phone campaign (see below).


Why the Eliot expansion is good for the school, students, and community

•   Neighborhood schools work. Parents are able to support neighborhood schools and become part of the school community – and help the school reach its potential.

•   We want to go to a school where we can walk our children. We do not want to send our young children on long bus rides across the city when there’s a fantastic school right here in our backyard.

•   We need to expand to create seats for the growing downtown families who want to stay in the city. Families don’t want to move – but will if they cannot go to their neighborhood school.

Why does the Eliot need to expand?

•   Over the past few years, the Eliot School added a middle school, a Kindergarten-1 grade, and an additional strand (an additional class per grade).  The result is 320 students (and growing every year) in a school without the capacity.

•   The Eliot has been forced to cut its library, computer lab, music classes and other key enhancement programs to accommodate the additional students.

•   The Mayor and the Superintendent have committed to expanding schools that have demonstrated success.  The Eliot School had the most improved MCAS scores in the district in 2009 and has been highlighted by national and local media and the Mayor and the Superintendent as a success story.

•   The North End is the ONLY Boston neighborhood (outside of Fenway) to have only ONE public elementary school. The average number of public schools per Boston neighborhood is 6, with some neighborhoods hosting upwards of 12 to 21 schools serving elementary and middle schoolers.

•   120 middle schoolers share 1 toilet!  That 1 toilet is used by both boys and girls.

Where could the Eliot expand?

•   Several options for Eliot School expansion exist.  Some that have been proposed include renovating the City of Boston Print Building and/or former District A-1 Police Station on North Street, a trade of the North Bennett Street School to the Eliot for the Print Building, purchasing and renovating 585 Commercial Street, and various vacant commercial properties around the neighborhood.


Mayor Thomas Menino:

Superintendent Carol Johnson:

Councilor Sal LaMattina:

Councilor John Connolly:

Councilor Felix Arroyo:

Councilor Stephen Murphy:

Councilor Ayanna Pressley:

Please forward me your email if you participate.  Please be assured that your information and email will not be shared with anyone.  Much like the phone campaign, we’d like to have a count of how many emails were sent.  (



7 Replies to “North End Parents Announce Email Campaign to Expand the Eliot School

  1. I think it is INAPPROPRIATE for this group to try to corner the Mayor at a function meant to be a celebration of spring and a way for the residents of a neighborhood to receive a plant and enjoy coffee and donuts with the mayor. Contrary to what this group thinks not everything is about them and the Eliot School. They should focus on helping the NBSS get the print building first and then concentrate on getting the NBSS. Sound like a bunch of self centered people who only care about getting their kids into a neighborhood school and not about anything else in the neighborhood they claim to love.

  2. Why is it inappropriate for these parents to advocate for their children when the Mayor comes to the neighborhood to meet with residents? Are we all supposed to pretend that there are no pressing issues to be discussed just so that we can get a free plant? It is not as if this is a memorial dedication or some other solemn occasion which would be disrupted. I would like to think that the Mayor wants to know about concerns such as these. Wanting a good education for your children is not self-centered – it is basic good parenting. I very much want the NBSS to stay in the neighborhood but I am not sensing any will on the part of our politicians to make it happen – they simply mouth platitudes about the City tax base. I don’t blame the parents for forging ahead with their own initiative.

  3. @Mary…It is not about the plants or the Dunkin donuts coffee ( although I myself have gone a few times over the years just for the donuts). And nobody is suggesting ignoring anything that is an issue in the North End.


    There is a time and place for this type of "discussion" and the Mayor's coffee hour should not be hijacked by the parents or any other group for their personal agenda. There are lots of people who go to the coffee hour to see the Mayor and have a chance to speak with him for 15 sec. The parents group should make an appointment and go to City Hall to make their case.

    As far as the NBSS goes it was my understanding that the ESS principal has been talking with the NBSS. It just seems like this parents group wants the NBSS immediately turned over to the Eliot and could care less that the NBSS has been here for decades and will leave Boston if they cannot find a suitable space. The printing building would need major renovations to make it an elementary school . Unless the city changes the school assignment system, even if the Eliot is expanded there is no guarantee that these parents will get their kids into the neighborhood public school.

  4. Maybe the best way is for just a couple of parents to rep the group & go to the coffee hour to talk to the Mayor. That way their concerns will be heard, they can also call for an appt. – & there will time for everyone else to also talk to the Mayor.

  5. I don't understand why the concern of these parents is any less appropriate than the concerns of others to be shared in their 15 seconds with the mayor. Do you object simply because there are many of them? If that's the case, I hope someone has been appointed to make sure that no two people with similar concerns (pest control, late closing hours for neighborhood establishments, street cleaning. . .) are allowed into the coffee hour to monopolize His Honor's time.

  6. I know the parents want the NBSS to stay in the neighborhood. They have been very generous to the Eliot School students and the NBSS is just as much part of the neighborhood as the Eliot School. The parents simply want more seats available in order for downtown families to stay in the city. The Eliot School parents are working with the NBSS to help make this happen. I don't think the parents are planning on doing anything at all inappropriate at the Mayor's coffee hour – they simply look forward to talking with the mayor about issues that concern them with the neighborhood. Anonymous (above) obviously does not have young children and hasn't been through the Boston Public School lottery. I think it is important for the mayor to know how many families are now here in the neighborhood and want to stay and raise their children in the neighborhood. Go parents! Nothing happens if no one knows people want things to change. These parents – I know – would never be disrespectful and inappropriate in any way to the mayor.
    Last year at the coffee hour I talked with the mayor for a minute about getting more street cleaning – was that inappropriate? He's our mayor – we should be able to talk with him about our city.. ??

  7. I agree. What is inappropriate about citizens attending a Mayor's coffee? No where in this email did it state, "Everyone go as a group, corner the Mayor, hijack and monopolize his time?" It is a reminder that 1, a coffee hour exists in our neighborhood and 2, if you have concerns about schooling, you may want to attend and try to speak with the Mayor. No, not everything is about the Eliot or about the parents; it is about a plethora of things, among many, neighborhood cleanliness, dog feces and recent off-leash biting issues, burglaries, recent break-ins, AND a future as a family in the North End. I am a parent in the North End and my child attends the Eliot, so expansion of the school is a non-issue for our future here. However, how is it self-centered that MY particular 15 second neighborhood concern for the Mayor is about expansion for my neighbor's child? This is about improving a neighborhood and continuing the great success of a neighborhood PUBLIC school. Everyone wants the NBSS to stay in the neighborhood, and in fact, the parents are working with the NBSS to figure out how to make this happen for all of us.

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