English High School, the first and oldest American public high school, launched "The Great Missing Alumni Hunt," as it seeks 9,000 alums as it nears its 200th birthday. But there’s no need for the authorities to issue any missing person reports or all-points bulletins, or post flyers in the post office.
As The English High School Association gears up to celebrate the Boston school’s 200th birthday on October 2 (a virtual event), the group is using the milestone to update alumni profile information and reconnect with those who have fallen off the rolls of America’s first and oldest public high school.
“Our records include over 17,000 alumni but we don’t have the latest profile info for about 9,000 of them," said Michael Thomas, English High’s Class of 1967, President/CEO of the Alumni Association and Chair of the 200th anniversary celebration. "We’re asking class leaders to redouble their efforts to locate as many fellow alumni as possible before the virtual birthday party. There’s a fresh sense of excitement in the air at English and we want everyone to participate.”
Thomas is asking anyone who graduated from English High in Boston and anyone related to or friendly with alumni to tell them about the 200th birthday and to forward their contact info.
Teachers working on their TikTok dances, reading Mary Oliver poetry, dancing with their children, lip synching to pop hits, and more dancing. Those are some of the scenes that are part of an inspiring video made by English High School faculty and staff for students. ESL teacher Cristina Hernandez-Persia dropped the breaking news video to her personal YouTube page on Monday. "As we finish this school year with remote learning, we want our students to remember that physical distance does not keep us apart. So, to our students, and to those who may not be our student, we will finish strong, together," wrote Hernandez-Persia.
YouthHarbors recently announced the expansion of its services to English High School to support students who are homeless or at-risk of homelessness, with the support of a two-year grant from The Stone Foundation. YouthHarbors will soon have a full-time case manager at the Jamaica Plain high school to provide students with support in the areas of housing, education, employment, health and independent living skill development. The case manager will work closely with the school’s student support team to identify the needs of students and assess any barriers that may prevent a student from graduating. Support from the case manager will be offered both in and outside of the classroom for 35 or more students and their families. The case manager will spend five days a week at English High meeting one-on-one with students, and developing a service plan to measure progress toward achieving their individual goals.
With English High School students gathered in a packed gym, Governor Charlie Baker signed a bill into law that boosts investment in public schools by $1.5 billion annually over the next seven years. Baker was joined by numerous elected officials and business leaders, including Mayor Marty Walsh, Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo, Boston School Committee Chairman Michael Loconto, State Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz, City Councilors Matt O'Malley and Annissa Essaibi-George, and more on Nov. 26. The Student Opportunity Act will particularly provide new funding to school districts with high percentages of low-income students and English Language learners who often live in some of the highest-need communities. “This is a monumental moment for the future of our Commonwealth.
English High School will be the site for an at-large Boston City Council candidates public forum on Oct. 28. Seven out of the eight candidates are confirmed that they will attend as of Oct. 25. The lone candidate not confirmed is incumbent At-Large City Councilor Althea Garrison.