Boston Parents Work Across Sectors to Examine School Climate
By Elise Swinford, December 18, 2017
After getting home from her full-time job running the The Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department Family Matters program, a program that supports returning citizens and their families impacted by incarceration, Karla Walker turns her attention to another cause: facilitating focus groups of Boston families who are eager to have a voice in their children’s school experience.
Karla is one of 12 parents from across Boston’s district, charter, and Catholic schools to participate in this groundbreaking joint project of the Boston Compact and the Collaborative Parent Leadership Action Network (CPLAN). CPLAN members are reaching out to families in their communities to gather information about what matters most to families about the climate and culture of their children’s schools. For years, the Boston Public Schools have administered a district-wide survey to families, and now that the Catholic Schools Office of the Archdiocese and Boston Charter Alliance also are using their own surveys, the sectors are working together to develop a shared set of questions based on focus group feedback, hopefully providing a broader picture of school climate in Boston. So far, family members’ suggestions for the shared set of questions have ranged from themes of school safety (both physical and social/emotional), to cultural competency, to discipline. [Read more]
Boston Educators Collaborative at Great City Schools
By Rachel Weinstein, December 20, 2017
A delegation from our Boston Educators Collaborative was honored to present at the Council of Great City Schools this week. Superintendent Chang reflected at the panel, “We often let governance get in the way of just good work. The focus of the Boston Compact is professional learning for adults.” Ms. Caroline Jones, third grade Math teacher at Saint John Paul Catholic Academy - Lower Mills Campus, underscored the learning that happens even for the Teacher Leaders in the BEC, noting that, “all our facilitators embrace a growth mindset. I grow not only as a facilitator and leader of teachers, but as a teacher for my students.” Paul Toner, Executive Director of Teach Plus MA, summed it up nicely when he said, “The only way we’re going to move forward is through the people doing the frontline work working together.”
By Elise Swinford, December 15, 2017
On an early November morning, a group of educators gather in a school library to share strategies for supporting Black and Latino boys, and especially to learn from our host, Mildred Ave K-8 School, the recent winner of EdVestors “School on the Move” prize.
A day-long event organized by the Teacher Collaborative and sponsored by the Boston Compact, this cross-sector initiative in support of Black and Latino boys brings together teachers, administrators, and parents to learn from schools who have proven success in closing the opportunity gap for our underserved boys and young men. [Read more]