Community Schools

Globe Features North End Parents Seeking To Enroll Their Child in the Eliot School

The Boston Globe’s Jenna Russell writes a feature story in today’s paper regarding the plight of parents trying to get into the North End’s Eliot School. The article specifically tells the story of Sawyer Bowen-Flynn, who lives across the street from the Eliot, but remains on a waiting list for entry. In contrast, a Dorchester family has chosen to send their children across the city to the Eliot instead of their own neighborhood school. The video clip from shown below sums up the article.

The article mentions efforts of North End parents such as the Bowen-Flynn’s:

They have collected close to 1,000 signatures on a petition that calls for the city to expand the Eliot School, and organized a phone campaign that resulted in more than 100 calls to the office of Mayor Thomas M. Menino, they said.

“This should be a huge concern for the mayor and superintendent, that people want to stay in the city and send their kids to public schools, and they’re feeling forced out,’’ said Jen Bowen-Flynn.

In an interview last month, Menino said he encourages frustrated North End families to consider other good schools, like Harvard/Kent Elementary in Charlestown.

“When I first became mayor, the Eliot wasn’t one of those chosen schools,’’ Menino said. “Now it is.’’

The Bowen-Flynns have occasionally crossed paths with Menino during his visits to the Eliot, and he has asked them whether they plan to send their daughter there.

“We’ve always said yes,’’ Doug Bowen-Flynn said. “Now we have to ask him: Will you let us?’’

Doug Bowen-Flynn recently presented a slide show of the Eliot situation to the neighborhood groups, arguing for an expansion to allow more children to go to school in the North End. Expansion options in the North End include the vacant city buildings on North and Richmond Streets along with a potential swap with the North Bennet Street school. View the video below for more details.

Why has the North End’s Eliot School become so sought after by parents? Many credit Principal Traci Griffith and the Eliot’s pre-K program recently featured on the Today Show.



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