Dear Boston Public Schools Community,
The 2020-2021 school year has been quite the year. This year has been all about you — our beloved community of students, educators, staff, families, and partners — and ensuring your continued growth, well-being, and safety while also learning and supporting each other through such an uncertain time.
In the midst of unprecedented challenges, our commitment to our students and families has never wavered. The students, families, and staff of Boston Public Schools met the challenges of the past fourteen months with tremendous creativity, innovation, and resilience - in more ways than one. Even when responding to crises, the entire BPS community kept our priorities in focus. We focused on keeping our students, their families, and our educators safe and supported while also ensuring that each of our decisions was aligned to the commitments we made in the district’s strategic plan. As a result, the past fourteen months provided a runway for continued progress and transformation. With that, let’s reflect on some of our amazing community successes:
- We successfully provided more than 6 million meals to students and families.
- Educators have created new ways of helping students learn. Please take a look at our Learning Highlights page to see more.
- We provided 55,000 Chromebooks and 6,000 internet vouchers to students and families.
- Nearly 600 families have received housing vouchers directly through BPS referrals.
- We initiated Community and School-based Equity Roundtables to elevate student and family voices and connect with students, families, advocates, and City residents.
- We repaired more than 12,000 school building windows of the 27,000 windows in the district.
- We created the BPS dashboard to increase transparency and access to data for all families, staff, and the larger BPS community.
- We proposed and got approved our $1.3 billion FY22 budget, marking the largest appropriation to BPS by the City of Boston and a projected $36 million increase over last year’s adopted budget.
- We adopted the MassCore curriculum standards to ensure students have access to rigorous curriculum and high standards.
- The high school graduation rate reached 75.4% in 2020, the highest rate on record and a 2.2 percentage point increase in the four-year cohort graduation rate from 73.2% in 2019.
- We sent out more invitations to exam schools to historically underrepresented and disadvantaged students than ever before. Find more information here.
- As we head into the summer months, we have put together a series of programs for students to access support services, academic recovery, and acceleration initiatives, and other enrichment activities over the Summer to ensure that all BPS students receive an excellent and equitable education to continue pushing for student success.
Every child who attends Boston Public Schools deserves a great education and unfettered access to opportunities that will help them learn and thrive. As a community under the leadership of Superintendent Brenda Cassellius, BPS continues to make daily strides to break down the barriers that have kept too many of our students from achieving success in our schools. We know that achieving great outcomes for every student requires us to challenge the status quo and maintain a relentless focus on equity every day and in every decision we make. That is why we celebrate YOU! The BPS community has pushed through the many challenges this year, proving to be resilient and showing your unwavering commitment to making sure we all get through this pandemic together.
Let’s celebrate these successes and continue to move forward with our incredible commitment and dedication to our students and their well-being.
While it is great to celebrate a year filled with resilience and continued success, we’re only getting started in our work to make sure that every student in every classroom has the opportunity to achieve their dreams. As an entire community, we have so much more to do and a lot to look forward to!
Summer is around the corner, and BPS has many summer learning opportunities for our students to enjoy. We’ll also spend the summer developing a rigorous curriculum and providing our educators with professional development to make sure we’re ready to welcome students back with new opportunities and programs when they return in the fall. Recently, BPS also announced a robust BuildBPS construction plan to create safe, modern, and updated school buildings for our students.
Whether delivering lessons via new technologies, in hybrid classrooms, or newly configured classrooms designed with safety in mind, BPS will continue creating learning environments that keep the needs of our students at the forefront.
There is hope for the future, and we’re excited to see what school year 2021-2022 has in store!