Review and Provide Feedback on the STRATEGIC VISION 2020-2025
Click each section below to read the details of the Strategic Vision and leave your comments.
Boston Public Schools (BPS) has a long, rich tradition and commitment to education as the birthplace of America’s public education system. BPS is a leader in urban education. Nationally recognized programs and initiatives such as universal preschool, early childhood education, an equitable school-based funding formula, and policies specifically focused on creating greater racial equity are but a few of BPS’s signature accomplishments.
Even with this rich history, there is a growing sense of impatience to address longstanding, systemic barriers that hamper our students’ ability to reach their full potential. The Mayor, School Committee, Superintendent, staff, and community are collectively committed to urgent, courageous action that will advance our best hopes and aspirations for our students.
Our definition of educational equity is clear. At BPS, every child in every classroom is entitled to an equitable, world-class, high-quality education. Each child should have the same unfettered access to every conceivable tool to unlock the greatness within them. For this to happen, we must eliminate the structural and institutional obstacles to educational opportunity based on race, socioeconomic status, and other social conditions. This requires a commitment to systemic change in the way we allocate funding, provide access to information, deliver instruction, and make resources available to meet students’ needs.
Providing all students access to opportunities to learn and develop their full potential must be guaranteed. This plan aims to accelerate our efforts to offer excellent, equitable, highly relevant education for all.
Mission and Vision
Every child in every classroom in every school gets what they need.
A nation-leading, student-centered public school district providing an equitable and excellent well-rounded education that prepares every student for success in college, career, and life.
Theory of Action
If we give every student what they need, earn the trust and true partnership of families, community members, and stakeholders through authentic engagement and shared leadership, deliver excellent service to students and families, and provide educators and staff with professional development and clear expectations...
1. Eliminate Opportunity and Achievement Gaps - Equitable and excellent student outcomes
Every student - regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion, citizenship status, socioeconomic status, or zip code - deserves an excellent education and opportunities that help them achieve their full potential.
Nearly 30,000 BPS students (more than 50% of our student population) have specific needs as English Learners and/or students with disabilities, and/or experience economic disadvantage. Black and Latinx students comprise 76% of BPS enrollment. Historically, Black and Latinx boys, English Learners, and students with disabilities have been excluded from access to more rigorous coursework and inclusive general education settings at disproportionate rates. We will take bold, deliberate, and explicit action to eliminate opportunity and achievement gaps for our most vulnerable students.
- Equitably fund our schools to ensure robust academic programming and social-emotional supports to give every child what they need
- Hire and retain a workforce that reflects the racial, ethnic, and linguistic diversity of the students and families we serve
- Develop staff to review curriculum for cultural bias and relevance, culturally relevant curriculum for new purchases, and ensure that new curricular purchases meet expectations
- Implement the LOOK Act to expand programs that promote bi/multilingualism including bilingual programs, dual language, and cultural heritage programs
- Support schools by implementing culturally and linguistically sustaining practices and Ethnic Studies through professional development focused on classroom educators first, then other staff reach their full potential social-emotionally and academically
- Schools will have explicit goals around implementing strategies to eliminate opportunity and achievement gaps (especially for ELs and students with disabilities), and central office will be responsible and accountable for monitoring progress and providing support
- Eliminate disproportionality in the implementation of the Code of Conduct by ensuring welcoming and affirming classrooms and applying restorative practices
2. Accelerate Learning - High-quality schools and joyful classrooms district-wide
All of our schools should be joyful learning environments that leverage the rich assets that exist in every community.
BPS has a working definition of “quality,” as expressed through the School Quality Framework (SQF). However, from our work with communities and through our listening sessions, we know that our aspirations for quality are not experienced or available to our city’s many cultures, neighborhoods, and communities. We believe high-quality schools should include core elements that meet the needs of the whole child, including health education and physical education, arts programming, and social-emotional skill development. We will transform the way we fund, support, and offer programming to our schools in a way that establishes consistent standards of quality, leverages unique community assets, and meets the needs of every student.
- Redesign secondary schools, including alternative schools, to prepare students for college, career, and in alignment with MassCore, other advanced coursework opportunities, and career preparedness.
- Educators will be trained to deliver high-quality inclusionary opportunities to ensure students with disabilities are served in the general education setting to the extent possible
- Provide access to rigorous culturally and linguistically affirming curriculum and instruction that includes learning opportunities in the arts, science, literacy, physical education, health, and civics, access to athletic programs and technology, and fully integrates student wellness into the educational experience
- Fully implement universal pre-kindergarten through a mixed delivery model that ensures quality
- Implement rigorous and consistent elementary expectations and curriculum that prepare students for high school including strong science and math programming
- Reduce chronic absenteeism by ensuring that students are welcomed into joyful and engaging classrooms and meeting the unique needs of each child
3. Amplify All Voices - Shared decision-making, mutual accountability, and partnerships
Students, families, and communities are integral partners in all decisions made in the service of students’ social-emotional and academic development. Parents and caretakers are their child’s first teachers and bring critical knowledge needed by schools to create relevant and culturally-affirming learning experiences. Our community, nonprofit, faith-based, higher education, philanthropic, corporate, and city partners serving our youth and families are essential to their social, emotional, and cognitive development. Every school and central office will proactively engage and incorporate the voices of students, families, and their communities, and strategically collaborate with and leverage partners to ensure strong student and school outcomes.
- Engage youth voice in decision-making and leadership by leveraging BSAC and creating additional opportunities including the Superintendent’s Youth Cabinet
- Welcome and value all families and students in our schools, including them as partners in school-based decision-making and management
- Increase feedback systems for families and central office staff through the institution of regular regional and central office meetings respectively
- Make every school will be a safe space for every student and will offer the support and protection needed to learn, grow, and thrive
- Engage students in decision making in a timely and transparent manner
4. Expand Opportunity - Fair and equitable funding and welcoming environments
Ensuring that our schools receive fair and equitable funding and investment will provide students greater access to more rigorous and enriching learning opportunities. How schools are resourced greatly affects student outcomes. Each community and neighborhood has different needs, which requires a tailored approach to meet them. Resources will be equitably and transparently allocated based on the unique needs of each school, community, and neighborhood. We will strategically, equitably, and responsibly transform our budget and facilities landscapes to ensure access to high-quality education in 21st-century learning environments.
- Fund all schools in a manner that meets the unique needs of the students they serve, with consideration given to English Learners (ELs), students with disabilities, economically disadvantaged students, students at risk of dropping out, off-track youth and other marginalized groups
- Improve funding formulas and create mechanisms to ensure equitable distribution of resources generated through fundraising, partnerships, and grants
- Uphold a standard of organizational effectiveness and excellence to ensure that we are meeting students’ needs
- Make substantive progress with BuildBPS to create equitable, 21st-Century, safe and nurturing learning spaces and ensure safe, equitable pathways and connectors between schools
- Ensure that every BPS school and department will collaborate with families, local youth- and family-focused partners and service agencies to ensure that families are aware of and have access to the resources they need to support student growth inside and outside of the classroom
5. Cultivate Trust -Caring and competent staff that reflect our students and are focused on service
Every student deserves to have caring, competent, and professional educators and staff to help them reach their full potential. Research continuously proves that effective educators enable better outcomes for students. The district will continue to recruit, retain, and develop talent that is culturally proficient and diverse and demonstrates the skills and knowledge necessary to serve our diverse student body effectively. Our culturally and linguistically diverse, talented, and well-trained workforce will be highly engaged, high-performing, and recognized for their exceptional care towards our students and families. We will transform the central office by ensuring the organizational structure supports the work of schools in a way that is collaborative and easily navigated. We will invest in the development of staff to create a culture of culturally proficient and welcoming service for our students, families, and community. We will successfully pursue operational excellence by identifying performance challenges and implementing solutions that address inefficiencies and ineffectiveness. Addressing these areas will help us re-establish trust with students, families, educators, leaders, and community stakeholders.
- Hire, support, and retain a workforce at every level that reflects our students’ diverse cultures and languages
- Structure and hold central office accountable and for better serving and supporting schools and stakeholders through a customer service approach
- Support and hold school leaders accountable for creating inclusive, culturally and linguistically sustaining, high-performing school communities
- Make BPS a place where educators and staff want to be employed because they are focused on serving our students and feel valued and supported in their work
- Revamp central office operations to ensure the highest quality of services to families, including school registration, transportation, food and nutrition services, and safety.
6. Activate Learning Beyond School
Schools can’t be expected to close opportunity gaps on their own. In order to address these gaps, we must adopt a broader perspective on when and where learning happens. We recognize that there are important skills that cannot be developed fully within school buildings, classrooms and during the school day. We will engage community organizations, institutions of higher education, and the business community to make the entire city a classroom. In doing so, we will draw on Boston’s diverse array of resources, talent, and expertise in order to enrich learning for our students.
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- Connect students to high quality after-school and summer programs and, in high school, work experience and internships in order to activate learning, build skills, and develop social capital.
- Collaborate with partner organizations and agencies to provide learning and skill-building experiences, particularly to focus on social and emotional skills that are essential for youth development as well as the professional skills that are critical to college and career success.
- Coordinate with partner organizations that can work with students and school personnel during the school day to provide more opportunities and services for more students, particularly in the way of college advising and student support.
- Focus on college and career awareness that leads to visible pathways to postsecondary education, training, and career opportunities.
- Engage key partners in decision-making processes in order to guide programming and to develop a coherent school year and summer experience for students.