Forty-two different schools have been selected to have some of their students ride the first electric schools buses in the Boston Public Schools (BPS) school bus fleet. Mayor Michelle Wu and other city personnel celebrated the arrival of the first two electric school buses on Feb. 6. Eighteen more buses will be coming to Boston in the coming weeks and are expected to be used following the February school vacation, according to a press release. “I’m grateful to the many people who have been instrumental in getting Boston to this point and helping us demonstrate the many overlapping benefits of moving to a green economy and ensuring that our kids and our workforce are at the center of that transition,” said Wu.
Boston Public Schools Superintendent Mary Skipper sent a letter to the BPS community asking staff and students to wear masks to limit spreading COVID, RSV, and other illnesses, for the first eight days of school in January. "This is our ask and expectation of students and staff, not a mandate—which will be in effect during the school day on school premises and school buses," wrote Skipper. She emphasized that no one will be disciplined or sent home if they refuse to wear a mask. Skipper said the hope is to "maximize our ability to keep students healthy and minimize staff absences during this high-risk period," and that it's a temporary ask for students from Jan. 4 to Jan.
The Mission Hill K-8 School allowed students to be sexually and physically abused, harassed, and bullied for years, as school staff ignored repeated parental allegations, according to a 189-page external investigation. In a letter to the Boston Public Schools community, Superintendent Brenda Cassellius said she called for multiple investigations last fall after receiving additional complaints last summer. Cassellius is recommending that the School Committee vote in a special session next week to close the school at the end of the school year. Cassellius said that a change of leadership at the school would not change the culture of the school due to, "...lack of accountability shown by school leadership leaves no hope that simple changes in leadership or governance structure would address the pervasive, underlying issues that contributed to the unsafe conditions at the school." Shortly before this school year began, BPS removed the school's two leaders.
It's no secret that many teachers spend their own money on supplies to help students succeed. With that in mind, Iron Workers Local 7 recently donated supplies to hundreds of Boston teachers and families. Iron Workers Local 7 NEXT Committee host its 2nd Annual Mid-Year School Supply Drive on Feb. 26 to replenish school supplies for Boston students and teachers. Hundreds of Local 7 families and Boston area students and teachers stopped by the union hall in South Boston to pick up new supplies.
Boston Public Schools Superintendent Brenda Cassellius submitted her resignation on Monday to transition out of her role at the end of school year. "When I arrived in Boston in July 2019, I couldn’t have predicted that eight months later the world as we knew it would change. Since then we’ve confronted a global pandemic, reckoned with escalating racial division and civil unrest, and worked to repair community relationships that had eroded trust in our schools and confidence in our city," wrote Cassellius in her letter. "It is nothing short of remarkable that in the midst of it all we also developed a community-wide vision for equitable and excellent schools in every neighborhood of Boston; made historic steps forward in expanding access to our nation-leading exam schools; implemented a rigorous set of high graduation standards for every high school in the district with adoption of the MassCore; and put in place more just and transparent attendance, code of conduct, student privacy and grading policies." Cassellius thanked former Mayor Marty Walsh for hiring her, acting mayor Kim Kaney, and Wu in her letter.
State Education Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education Jeffrey Riley said the state will not accept all remote learning days as official days that Curley K-8 School will take while facing a COVID-19 outbreak. It's fair to say that the Curley School community and the general public is incensed by Riley and Boston Public School leaders. Curley School parent Jocelyn Stanton created a change.org petition to honor all of the remote learning days. The Twittersphere has been packed with opinions about Riley, BPS leadership, Curley School teachers, science, math, and more. People are really not happy with Riley.
The Curley K-8 School and the Joseph P. Manning Elementary School have both had outbreaks of COVID-19 this week. The Curley K-8 community received an email around 5:30 pm today saying "that 24 members of the Curley K-8 community recently accessed the building and tested positive for COVID-19." The email said school officials are working closely with the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC), and due to the advice of the BPHC "one or more individuals are now in quarantine and have been provided with specific next steps according to their situation..." The email did not provide information about whether those who tested positive are students, faculty, or staff. This news comes on top of the Manning School having 16 confirmed cases in a school of 175 students, according to WBUR.
Effective Thursday, all Boston Public Schools are suspending in-person learning due to a jump in COVID-19 positive test results. The city’s seven-day average COVID-19 positive test rate was reported at 5.7%, an increase from last week’s rate of 4.5%, according to Boston Public Schools (BPS) press release. All students will receive remote education until there are two full weeks of falling infection rates. “We have said all along that we will only provide in-person learning for students if the data and public health guidance supports it, and this new data shows that we are trending in the wrong direction,” said Mayor Martin Walsh. “We will continue to monitor the metrics and work towards our goal of welcoming students back into our classrooms, learning among their peers, supported and educated by our dedicated staff.”
BPS officials made the decision in consultation with public health officials, and reviewing data that showed two weeks of increased confirmed positive cases across all of Boston.
All Boston Public School students will begin remote learning for the school year on September 21, and report back to school in phases. On Friday, Boston Mayor Martin Walsh, Boston Public Schools (BPS) Superintendent Brenda Cassellius, and Boston Chief of Health and Human Services Marty Martinez, announced BPS' plan for the year. “This plan was developed with the input of families, educators and public health experts, and every step will follow science and public health data," said Walsh. "For many of our students, school is not just a place to learn, but also a place for nutritious meals, care and mentoring, and social development. Throughout the school year and beyond, we will continue the work that began long before COVID-19: to close opportunity and achievement gaps, and give every single child the quality education that they deserve.”
Students with the highest need will start in a hybrid model on Oct.
Boston Public Schools has extended the deadline for the Second Priority Registration Period due to closures from the Coronavirus.
Students in K2, and all other grades, may register for the 2020-2021 school year by pre-registering online at https://sis.mybps.org, and scheduling an appointment to complete the process. You can also call and register via phone with one of our registration specialists. To schedule an appointment please visit https://booknow.appointment-plus.com or call the BPS Welcome Center at 617-635-9010. This information was provided by the Boston Public School district.