4 JP Public Schools to Benefit from $450K in Arts Expansion Grants

The Hennigan K-8 School, English High School, JFK Elementary School and Community Academy are four of dozens of schools that are receiving more than $450,000 in grants to provide arts instruction. The grants are part of the Boston Public Schools (BPS) Arts Expansion initiative, which has schools working with more than 30 arts partners to provide long-term direct arts instruction for the 2018-2019 school year. These grants are supported by BPS Arts Expansion funders including the Barr Foundation, the Boston Foundation, Katie and Paul Buttenweiser Foundation, Klarman Family Foundation and Linde Family Foundation. Boston officials, BPS and EdVestors announced the latest round of grants as part of this week’s BPS Citywide Arts Festival on June 14. “We believe that all Boston residents should have the ability to engage in creativity and be part of Boston’s rich arts and culture scene, so it is so exciting to have so many of our BPS students showcasing their talents throughout the Citywide Arts Festival this week,” said Mayor Martin Walsh via press release.

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Opinion: Boston Public Schools Make Your Kids Interesting

Two friends, Kristin and Kieran, were in a coffee shop on Centre Street in Jamaica Plain with two of their friends. Both sets of friends had kids who were two or three years old, and the kids were running around unchecked. Nearby sat an older man, who was rustling his newspaper. My friends were in the midst of a conversation with their friends about whether to stay in JP or move because their kids were getting old enough that they needed to consider schools. They talked on: “Oh my God, BPS, are we going to keep our kids here or are we going to just yank them and move?” As they talked, Kristin noticed the newspaper rustle more and more while the kids ran around.

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JP Resident Named Massachusetts Elementary Principal of the Year

Jamaica Plain's Craig Martin has been named the Thomas C. Passios Elementary Principal of the Year from the Massachusetts School Administrators’ Association. Martin has been the principal of the Michael J. Perkins School in South Boston since the 2013-14 school year, will also represent the Commonwealth in the National Distinguished Principal Program, sponsored by the National Association of Elementary School Principals, in Washington, D.C., in October. “I am greatly honored and humbled to be named Massachusetts Elementary Principal of the Year,” said Martin via a press release. “The students at the Perkins School have made tremendous strides, and it could not have happened without the growth of positive relationships and teamwork between the students, teachers, families, and administration.”

Leadership reflects attitude and Martin's attitude has filtered into Perkins' students, as they have demonstrated steady gains in performance during Martin’s leadership. One example is that Latino students and English Learners at the school surpassed the state average for these groups in English language arts and mathematics in this year MCAS.

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Curley School Plant Sale on Saturday to Fund School Programs

The weather looks awesome for the 18th Annual Curley School Plant Sale this Saturday, and proceeds go to supporting arts, music and enrichment programs at the school. This is a wonderful community event organized by parent volunteers who create a popup nursery with a great selection of annuals, herbs and vegetables. Some of the parents have great green thumbs and can help with selections. There is also bake sale and art activities for the kids.  The sale is from 10 am to 2 pm in the municipal parking lot across from the Curley School. Get there early because last year everything sold!

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JP’s JFK STEM Innovation School’s Pilot Program Honored by Non-Profit EdVestors

The John F. Kennedy STEM Innovation School was honored at non-profit EdVestor's 16th Annual Urban Education Showcase on April 10th. The JFK STEM Innovation School, located on Bolster Street in JP, was one of 10 Boston school-based projects recognized at the showcase that previously received seed investments of $10,000 each from EdVestors’ School Solutions Seed Fund. The John F. Kennedy STEM Innovation School shared results of its pilot program, Engineering Design in Literacy, that integrates the Engineering Design Process into their literacy curriculum, according to a press release. Through the program students design solutions and create functioning prototypes to address challenges faced by characters in the books they are reading. The pilot program includes a partnership with Tufts University’s Novel Engineering program, teachers and students to create solutions found in fiction and non-fiction books.

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