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Bringing Community Together to Envision the Future Impact of BuildBPS

By Makeeba McCreary, Chief of Staff of Boston Public Schools


We want the best for Boston Public Schools (BPS) children. We are not yet delivering high-quality education across the district in an equitable way, and BuildBPS is part of the solution. While some students have access to science labs, others do not. While some students shift around their tables and chairs to access gym space (and later convert the space back into a cafeteria), others have large gymnasiums solely dedicated to healthy physical activity.

 
BuildBPS Imagination Board
 
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.

Last weekend, we hosted the first-ever BuildBPS Open House, an exhibition of theBuildBPS Open House current state of our school infrastructure and how it limits the educational experiences of some of our children. Mayor’s Office and BPS leadership were present at various stations, and community members were able to ask questions and dive deeper into each topic. We also hosted a series of panel discussions, on topics ranging from preparing students to fully engage in STEM (Science, technology, engineering, and math) opportunities, to how to use the new Boston Student Advisory Council app called “Know Your Rights,” to equity and excellence in designing students’ futures. Meanwhile, residents from all neighborhoods across the city were able to participate in early voting for the first time. Children were able to play in a "Popup Playground,” which featured interactive art and play structures, including a giant slackline nest, LED stackable light cubes, a box art maze, and a classic geo-dome climber. It was truly a blast!

If you were unable to join us for the BuildBPS Open House, the exhibition will be on display in various places over the next few months. It is worth visiting!

If you are asking yourself what comes next, the answer is simple. Share your thoughts on how you imagine our future school buildings and programs! Let us know your hopes and expectations for improvements in the future. The facilities assessment will be coming out later this year, and your input will help us to inform our analysis of our school facilities, and by filling out our community engagement survey you will be entered into a drawing for a Nook electronic reader. The deadline for this round of feedback is Wednesday, November 30, 2016. For more information, visit: bostonpublicschools.org/buildbps.



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