Manning School Adding a Grade in 2020, Will Be K-6

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Ask and ye shall receive. At least that's the case for the Joseph P. Manning Elementary School. As the school will be adding a sixth grade starting in 2020, just as the school's administration wanted.

Joseph P. Manning Elementary School in Jamaica Plain

The Manning School's grade expansion is one of many changes announced by the Boston Public Schools in regards to numerous school expansions and reconfigurations as part of the BuildBPS plan.

The Manning School is one of 17 elementary schools transitioning from K-5 to K-6 in September 2020.

When news broke in November 2018 that BPS was looking to make more elementary schools into K-6, the Manning School submitted a letter to the Boston Public Schools Interim Superintendent Laura Perille. Since that time BPS has hired a full-time superintendent, Brenda Cassellius.

In the beginning of 2019, BPS provided criteria to K-5 school site councils for schools wanting to expand to K-6, which included a guarantee to accommodate all general education and specialized student populations.

“Our community has worked diligently over many years to create an environment in which ALL students, including students identified as having emotional impairments, can succeed,” wrote Ethan d’Ablemont Burnes, principal of the Manning School in the letter. “We therefore want to extend our programming to the 6th grade for the fall of 2019.”

“Making sure our schools have long-term, sustainable learning spaces and programming is critically important to closing opportunity and achievement gaps, and is responsive to the needs of students and families,” said Cassellius via press release. “BuildBPS offers an incredible opportunity to achieve a goal of having high quality schools in every neighborhood. I am proud of the commitments already made and look forward to engaging with the entire BPS family soon to continue this important strategic work in ensuring an equitable and excellent school for every BPS student.”

No other Jamaica Plain schools were directly affected in the new plan. Click here to read more about individual schools being expanded, reconfigured and more.