A message from Jen Bowen Flynn, regarding an email campaign for the expansion of the Eliot School:
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!
**WHAT IS THE EMAIL CAMPAIGN?
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.
**WHAT SHOULD I WRITE?
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.
**WHOM SHOULD I EMAIL?
Mayor Thomas Menino: firstname.lastname@example.org
Superintendent Carol Johnson: email@example.com
Councilor Sal LaMattina: Salvatore.LaMattina@cityofboston.gov
Councilor John Connolly: John.R.Connolly@cityofboston.gov
Councilor Felix Arroyo: Felix.Arroyo@cityofboston.gov
Councilor Stephen Murphy: Stephen.Murphy@cityofboston.gov
Councilor Ayanna Pressley: Ayanna.Pressley@cityofboston.gov
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. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Follow up from Jen Bowen Flynn:
Wow…I received notice from *nearly 60 people* (from all over Boston –
North End, South End, Charlestown, Beacon Hill, Back Bay, West End, and
Brighton) that they took part in yesterday’s email campaign. And I’m sure
there are many more that didn’t make my list.
As a result of the outpouring of support, City Council President Stephen
Murphy went on record, “I am in full support of the expansion of Eliot
School in order to continue providing top-level public education to the
children of Boston. My colleague Councilor LaMattina and I are working on
ways in which the City can support and fund the expansion of the school.”
He now joins the company of city officials who, in the past 2 weeks, have
publicly supported the Eliot expansion, including Councilor Sal LaMattina
and Representative Aaron Michelwitz.
Thanks to everyone who participated and shared your powerful and poignant