Boston Public Schools plan bumps off middle schools

(North End, MA, 12/15/15) The Eliot School on Charter Street in Boston's North End. Tuesday, December 15, 2015. Staff photo by Ted Fitzgerald

170-page document dump outlines district’s future plans

Friday, November 30, 2018

 

Phase two of the BuildBPS plan was released at the School Committee meeting Wednesday night, with the 170-page document confirming the elimination of middle schools, outlining building renovations and providing a neighborhood analysis of each area.

It outlines the district’s plan to liquidate middle schools to create fewer transitions for students, coupled with the concerns over program sustainability due to recently declining enrollment. The phaseout will begin with McCormack Middle School next year.

Twelve building expansions and renovations are detailed, including the Carter School, Quincy Upper School, Boston Arts Academy and Eliot K-8 School. It expressed interest in a new secondary school at the West Roxbury complex, along with four other new school buildings across the district.

Their long-term goals, educational vision, community engagement plan, fiscal planning and guiding principles also are present in the documents.

While the second set of BuildBPS documents has provided more information, some voiced concerns about the plan.

“With some of it, it’s easier to see their vision,” said the Rev. Willie Bodrick II with the Boston Network for Black Student Achievement. “But there are still some questions on how it affects equity, and what’s the impact on our students and families. … There’s also some broad language with the reconstruction and with the achievement gaps. As they make the transition, what happens in the meantime?”

Bodrick said part of the problem with BuildBPS is the flood of information.

“It has been difficult to engage in the material. To drop hundreds of pages in a few weeks is a lot. I want to make sure I have had the time to really go through it all carefully and that takes time,” Bodrick said.

The documents released total nearly 500 pages.

“The parts of the plan that ensure investments in capital improvements that have been neglected in some cases for decades should proceed,” said Boston Teachers Union president Jessica Tang. “Other facets of the plan require additional time for key stakeholders to vet and review the impact on students and school communities. We think that all stakeholders will benefit from additional time to discuss the latest school closure proposals with a very intentional focus on ensuring the needs of both current and future students are fulfilled under any final plan.”

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