School Accountability 

  • BPS schools are held accountable by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) for the outcomes of all students in their school. These outcomes include how well students perform on English, math, and science standardized tests; how much their test scores improve in English and math; how much progress English learners make towards becoming proficient in English; and the percentage of students considered chronically absent (missing 10% or more of days enrolled). These factors apply to all schools. High schools have additional outcomes, including high school graduation rates, extended engagement rate, annual dropout rate, and the percentage of students who complete advanced coursework such as Advanced Placement classes. 

    Schools and districts are then placed in accountability categories based on the progress that schools are making and the type of support or assistance they may receive from DESE.


Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and Title I

  • The Every Student Succeeds Act was signed into law by President Obama in 2015. ESSA includes provisions that will help to ensure success for students and schools and ensure opportunity for all of America’s students.

    The  Every Student Succeeds Act…

    • holds all students to high academic standards
    • prepares all students for success in college and career
    • provides more children access to high-quality preschool
    • guarantees that steps are taken to help students, and their schools, improve
    • reduces the burden of testing while maintaining annual information for parents and students
    • promotes local innovation and invests in what works

    ESSA includes eight ‘Titles,’ most of which provide funding to states and school districts. The largest is Title I, which funds programs to improve the academic achievement of disadvantaged students. Every Title I school must develop a Home-School Compact, a written Parent Engagement Policy, and a Schoolwide Project Plan (Quality School Plan). See below.

    Learn about how DESE implemented ESSA in Massachusetts here.


Early Childhood Education NAEYC Accreditation

  • The K0’s, K1’s, and K2’s in many Boston Public Schools are accredited through the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). NAEYC accreditation is a national, voluntary accreditation system.  Administrators and K0, K1, and K2 teachers in NAEYC accredited schools have received specialized training to ensure they are meeting these national standards of best practices and are providing a high-quality early childhood program.

    For more information and a list of NAEYC accredited schools visit www.bpsearlylearning.org/naeyc-accreditation.

    If you have further questions about NAEYC accreditation call the Early Childhood Department at 617-635-9063.


School and District Report Cards

  • Each year, all states and school districts must distribute report cards for each school. These report cards are different from student report cards. School and district report cards are designed to show how a school or district is doing in different areas. 

    The School Report Card includes information about :

    • academic opportunities available to students
    • the amount of money spent per student
    • how many teachers are licensed to teach what they are teaching or how many are considered experienced (taught for at least 3 years)
    • how well students in your child’s school did on the last round of statewide tests for English Language Arts and math
    • how different groups did on those tests:
      • students from different racial and ethnic groups
      • students eligible for free and reduced lunch
      • students with limited English proficiency
      • students in special education classes
    • the percentage of students in each of the subgroups that took the tests
    • how the school district and the state did overall on the tests
    • attendance and discipline rates
    • graduation rates for high schools.

    The District Report Card also includes information on how all the different groups of students did on statewide tests compared to the average of all students in the state.

    Why are school and district report cards important? 

    These report cards give parents information to help them make decisions about their child’s education before the next school year. 

    How and when do I get a copy of my child’s school and district report cards?

    Schools must send school report cards to parents, either by email, mail, or by giving them to the students to take home. Schools must give parents district and school report cards if they ask for them. They are also available in BPS Welcome Centers and on each school's webpage. Find a school at bostonpublicschools.org/schools.

    Where can I get help reading my child’s school and district report cards?

    The report cards should be parent-friendly and give information in an easy-to-understand way. Ask the school principal if you do not understand something on the report card.


Parent Engagement Policy

  • Parents are important to their children’s success in school. Title I schools must have a written Parent Engagement Policy, developed with and approved by parents. This policy should spell out how parents will be involved as partners in their children’s education. This plan should be reviewed every so often as parents’ concerns change. Parents should be included in developing, reviewing, and evaluating the policy.

    What information is in the Parent Engagement Policy?

    The policy must cover three main areas: 

    (1) policy development, (2) shared responsibility for student success, and (3) the ability of educators and parents to work together to help all students meet learning goals.

    • Policy development. The policy must say how parents will be involved in developing the school’s Parent Engagement Policy. It should describe how parents give input and approval for the policy and the Title I program plan. For example, there should be a plan for consulting parents on major decisions about how to use Title I money. This policy should say how the school supports parents to attend important meetings about Title I, such as by providing transportation, food, and child care.
    • Shared responsibility. The policy must include a copy of a Home-School Compact that says how the school will work with parents to help students improve academically. The policy should give the goals of the compact. It should also say how parents and the school create the compact together. (For more details on the compact, please see page 55, “The Home-School Compact.”)
    • Skills and knowledge of educators and parents. The policy should address the training and information needs of parents and educators. Parents should have a chance to learn about:
      • the standards and specific learning goals students are expected to meet
      • how student progress is measured
      • how students will be assessed
      • how parents can work with teachers to improve their children’s achievement
      • the materials and training opportunities are available to help parents work with their children.

    Staff should have a chance to learn about the importance of including parents as equal partners. Whenever possible, parents should be part of the staff training sessions.

    Who writes the policy?

    Schools must involve parents in writing the Parent Engagement Policy. Your child’s school will hold a meeting at the beginning of the school year to get your input.

    How can I get a copy of my child’s school’s Parent Engagement Policy?

    Ask your child’s principal or the school’s parent liaison for a copy of the policy. The policy should be easy to understand. If you need help to understand the policy, ask your child’s principal. The policy is translated into other languages besides English.

    How can I get involved in writing my child’s school’s Parent Engagement Policy?

    The school must explain the Title I program at an annual meeting—often called an Open House—for parents. Most schools hold their Open House early in the school year. The school must let parents know that they have the right to be involved and let them know how they can be involved in the school as a whole, and in writing the Parent Engagement Policy. If you cannot attend this meeting, your involvement still matters—to your child and the school. Call the principal and ask how you can participate.


The Home-School Compact

  • Every Title I school must have a Home-School Compact.  The Home-School compact is a document that clearly defines how the school and parents will build a partnership to help students succeed academically. A compact outlines how the school will meet the needs of its students, and the roles and responsibilities of parents and students. It serves as the basis for a written agreement between individual students, their parent/guardian, and the school. The parent/guardian, the student, the student’s teacher, and the school principal all sign the agreement. 

    What does the compact include?

    The compact includes all the responsibilities and tasks that parents, students, and teachers,l agree to do to help students learn. Compacts are school-specific and should be translated into the home languages of the families.

    It should cover what the school will do to:

    • provide high-quality instruction to all students
    • monitor the progress of all children
    • make certain that all students get challenging work and high-quality instruction
    • create ways for parents and teachers to be in good working relationships
    • communicate with families about student progress
    • make sure that parents have reasonable access to school staff
    • make sure families get the information, materials, and training they need to help students with complex subjects such as math and science

    The compact will also outline how parents will: 

    • Support learning at home
    • To the extent possible, avoid tardiness and absences
    • Communicate with teachers 
    • Engage in the shared decision-making process 

    The compact will also outline how students will: 

    • To the extent possible, avoid tardiness and absences
    • Show respect for themselves and others
    • Complete all work to the best of their ability, on time
    • Engage in the shared decision-making process 

    How can I get a copy of the Home-School Compact?

    You should receive a copy to sign at the beginning of the school year. You can also request a copy from your school.


Quality School Plan

  • Quality School Plan (QSP) is the plan that your child’s school has in place to guide teaching and learning for the school year. The plan says what the school is doing to improve outcomes for all students. 

    The QSP is also the school’s Title 1 Schoolwide Project Plan and must meet all the Title 1 requirements.

    What does QSP include?

    • a needs assessment that includes achievement data
    • instructional goals and strategies
    • school reform strategies
    • student support strategies to help struggling learners
    • how the school will include parents in their children’s learning
    • the training that teachers will get to help them do a better job
    • how the school can make the best use of all its resources
    • how student test score information will be used to improve teaching
    • what type of support is best for students
    • what the school will do to close performance gaps among groups of students
    • the school’s budget for local funds and for all the school’s grants
    • the school’s plan for wellness efforts called the Wellness Action Plan.

    How can I look at my child’s school’s QSP?

    You are welcome to read it at school. 

    Schools should have summaries of their plan to give parents and others who want to know the school’s plans. Schools should translate their summaries for the major language groups in their school. 

    If you need help understanding your child’s school’s QSP, ask the principal to review it with you.


English Learners

  • If you are the parent of an English learner (EL), you can expect that:

    • Your child’s level of English will be tested each year until they become proficient. You will receive the language assessment report every year. If your child is not meeting state benchmarks, you will be notified and asked to provide recommendations for how your child’s school can help your child to meet language goals. For more information, visit doe.mass.edu/ele
    • If the Boston Public Schools thinks that your child should be in a program to learn English, you have the right to choose the program you think best. Click here for information on the different EL programs offered in the BPS.
    • EL programs for students with disabilities should also meet the needs of their Individualized Education Programs (IEPs).
    • In addition to learning English, your child should be taught the same content as all other students in mathematics, history, and other subjects.
    • The information you get should be easy to understand. Information about your child’s academic progress, special education or other education services, health and safety, and other essential information should be available in the language you know best.
    • For more information on your rights to translation and interpretation services, please contact the school leader or visit the BPS Translation and Interpretation website