Boston Public Schools Schedules “What We Are Hearing” Community Meetings in July 2012

News release from Boston Public Schools is shown below. The nearest scheduled meetings to the North End / Waterfront are Downtown at Suffolk University, 73 Tremont Street and in Charlestown at Warren-Prescott K-8, 50 School Street.

Boston Public Schools (BPS) will host additional community meetings in July to talk about ‘what we are hearing’ in our analysis of community feedback and the next steps in the student assignment redesign process. A report on the feedback is available on our new website,

In 25 meetings and in an on-line survey BPS heard from residents living in every ZIP code in Boston, with two exceptions: 02163 (the Harvard campus) and 02199 (the Prudential Center). About half the people who participated are current BPS parents, and the other half do not have children in school. A 27-member External Advisory Committee is helping the District develop a new school choice plan.

In July, BPS will host these additional meetings to talk about ‘what we have heard’ and the next steps:

Downtown: Wednesday, July 11, 6-8pm
Suffolk University 9th floor conference room, 73 Tremont St., Downtown
Chinese interpretation provided

Mattapan: Thursday, July 12, 6-8pm
Mildred Ave. K-8 School, 5 Mildred Ave., Mattapan
Haitian Creole interpretation provided

East Boston: Tuesday, July 17, 6-8pm
Mario Umana Academy, 312 Border St., East Boston
Spanish interpretation provided

Roxbury: Wednesday, July 18, 5-7pm
O’Bryant School of Mathematics and Science 1st floor library, 55 Malcolm X Blvd., Roxbury
In partnership with Phillips Brooks House Association Summer Programs
Chinese, Haitian Creole, Spanish interpretation provided

Charlestown: Thursday, July 19, 6-8pm
Warren/Prescott K-8 School, 50 School St., Charlestown
Spanish interpretation provided

Chinatown: Saturday, July 21, 10am-Noon
Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Association, 38 Ash St.
Cantonese and Mandarin interpretation provided

Allston/Brighton: Tuesday, July 24, 6-8pm
Edison K-8 School, 60 Glenmont Rd., Brighton
Chinese, Spanish interpretation provided

Earlier this week BPS hosted meetings in Dorchester, West Roxbury and Roxbury. Publishers, please feel free to use the attached photos taken at our community meeting Sunday, June 24 at St. Peter’s Teen Center in Dorchester. At the meeting, Mayor Menino and Dr. Johnson visited with parents and students.

Among the findings in the community engagement process so far:

·       When asked about the factors that make a family want to choose a school, most participants chose “strong academics,” “safe environment/welcoming culture” and “proximity to home” as the top three elements.

·       Participants from Charlestown, Downtown, parts of North Dorchester, the North End, East Boston (in forums) and West Roxbury tended to ask for the ability to choose a school in their neighborhood. In Jamaica Plain, Mattapan, Roslindale and Roxbury, participants were more likely to select “safety” over “close to home” when asked about choice preferences.

·       Respondents urged BPS to ensure all children have access to the same types of choices and opportunities for quality schools. Participants identified equity as a fair distribution of types of choices and equal access rather than as a set number of choices.

Child care is available at all meetings except the July 11 meeting. This summer, BPS will use community feedback to develop proposals for a new student assignment plan. In the fall, BPS and the External Advisory Committee will analyze the drafts, solicit more feedback and develop a final proposal. The School Committee is expected to vote on a plan this winter.

Our new website,, will help keep the community informed and engaged in the process of improving school choice in Boston; it is not designed to help families choose schools for the upcoming school year.