Mayor Menino Announces Action Plan for “Circle of Promise”
Mayor Thomas M. Menino and Boston Public Schools (BPS) Superintendent Carol R. Johnson today were joined by community partners to announce the implementation of a comprehensive community integration plan to transform public education in Boston. Gathered at the Jeremiah E. Burke High School in Dorchester, the Mayor and Superintendent introduced The Circle of Promise as the vision for the future of how Boston educates its youth. It is a strategy to provide greater opportunity for young people and their parents by implementing place-based supports, boosting student achievement and eliminating the cycle of poverty.
“One of the unique things about Boston is that we have so many programs serving a wide variety of needs, from after school programs to community health centers,” Mayor Menino said. “The challenge is preventing kids from falling through the cracks. It should be just as easy to move from one out of school program to another as it is to move from 4th grade to 5th grade.”
Included in a 5 square mile area that encompasses some of Boston’s most impoverished neighborhoods in Roxbury and Dorchester are 10 of the 14 Boston Public Schools identified as underperforming by the BPS. The City’s initial inventory found over 140 community, government and nonprofit organizations within that area that operate mostly independently of one another, making it a challenge for families to navigate the system.
The Circle of Promise would connect the comprehensive resources that are already in place to provide a “conveyor belt” for neighborhoods to seamlessly deliver services to the community. The plan calls for city programs and community organizations to share data and become one integrated network that would educate and guide students and families throughout their development and education – from birth to college, dawn to dusk.
The Mayor encouraged the BPS and community leaders to “step up” and commit to working together to transform the lives of Boston youth. Using an interactive mapping tool to illustrate the location of existing schools, community centers, and non profit organizations within the Circle, the Mayor urged community partners to help fill in the gaps by sharing data and resources.
The “Circle of Promise” schools include:
· William Blackstone Elementary School, South End
· English High School, Jamaica Plain
· John F. Kennedy Elementary School, Jamaica Plain
· Ralph Waldo Emerson Elementary School, Roxbury
· John Holland Elementary School, Dorchester
· William Monroe Trotter Elementary School, Dorchester
· Orchard Gardens K-8 School, Roxbury
· Maurice Tobin K-8 School, Mission Hill
· Henry Dearborn Middle School, Roxbury
· Harbor Middle School, Dorchester