As the Assistant Superintendent for Opportunity and Achievement Gaps of the Office of Opportunity and Achievement Gaps (OAG) for the Boston Public Schools (BPS), I work to eliminate cultural and structural barriers and promote culturally affirming practices for student populations who have been marginalized, helping to create the opportunities needed for achievement.
Each year as school registration rolls around I’m reminded of my parents’ efforts to select schools for my five siblings and me. My parents took the time to find schools that met the needs of each of their children. They felt that it was one of the most important decisions a parent could make: providing your child a strong educational foundation is critical for long-term success.
For eleven years I have been honored to lead the nonprofit Boston Partners in Education. We have been a partner of the Boston Public Schools for 50 years with the goal of making sure students in every neighborhood of our city succeed inside and outside of their classrooms.
As we begin a new year, I would like to express my gratitude for all of you. You - our families, teachers, school leaders, staff, and community partners - are dedicated to our students’ success. I continue to be humbly honored to serve alongside you. As we continue to strengthen opportunities and experiences for our students so they can become strong leaders for Boston and the rest of the world, I would like to take a moment to reflect on how far we have come in the past year.
The Boston Public Schools (BPS) is strong because of the passion and diversity among our students, teachers, staff, and families. Urban school systems are complex, and it takes more than well-intentioned people to make a meaningful difference in the lives of all our children.
My wife and I first enrolled our son in Boston Public Schools, at the Russell Elementary School in Dorchester, in January of 2012. He was three years old and needed assistance with speech, sensory issues and fine motor skills development, which qualified him for placement in the kindergarten special needs curriculum.
BuildBPS, the district's 10-year educational and facilities master plan, offers us a chance to reimagine how we see education in the future, to revamp our aging learning facilities and infrastructure to support that, and to align that vision with our district-wide goals of equity, coherence, and innovation. To achieve equity for all schools, we must create learning environments that allow students to prepare for higher education, and ensure they have the skills necessary to thrive in the workforce of the future.
By Laura Benavidez - “Buen provecho” is something my family always says at meal time. We say it after the family prayer and before we start to eat. In Spanish it means, “Enjoy your meal!” This is something I take to heart as the Executive Director of Food and Nutrition Services for Boston Public Schools.
By Dr. Frances Esparza - While October is “Celebrating The Bilingual Child Month,” the Office of English Language Learners (OELL) supports our schools in giving students access to an education while affirming and honoring their culture year-round. The primary function of our office is to identify students with language-learning needs and to ensure that they receive the instruction necessary to achieve proficiency in English.