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.
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.
Boston Mayor Michelle remained outside during her early morning visit on Tuesday to the Margarita Muniz Academy. Wu visited to understand the school experience regarding COVID during the recent surge. Wu said "it's been a very difficult time" for school communities, students, staff, school leaders, and administrators during the recent surge of the omicron variant. Wu said the variant has "effected everything that needs to logistically happen." Wu was joined by At-Large Boston City Councilors Erin Murphy and Ruthzee Louijeune, BPS Superintendent Brenda Cassellius, and Muniz Headmaster Dania Vazquez
Cassellius said there are three key things they're looking at to make sure of safe operations: a) staffing b) health and safety in the schools c) operational effectiveness of schools.
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 decision by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education's commissioner to only count a portion of the Curley K-8 School's at-home learning days following a COVID-19 outbreak doesn't do right by the school community -- and the Boston community at large -- and ought to be reconsidered. Boston Public Schools Superintendent Brenda Cassellius announced this past Tuesday, November 9, that the Curley K-8 School would close for 10 days and switch to remote learning due to a proliferation of COVID-19 cases in the school. That day, BPS officials said they had identified 46 cases spread across 21 Curley classrooms. Given the infection spread, the entire school closed on the advice of the Boston Public Health Commission. On Friday, BPS announced another 17 positive cases, bringing the total to at least 63. This news came on top of BPS announcing that the Manning School in Jamaica Plain had at least 17 positive cases.