It was a joy to watch kindergarteners engaged in active play at the Ellison-Parks Early Education School, just one block from Mattapan Square. A compact brick building dedicated in 1998, it houses just twelve classroomsone SEI and one Inclusion class at each grade level, K0-3.

Read more about the Ellison-Parks Early Learning School, featured in this month's We're Learning Here.

The McKinley South End Academy is an alternative school for 178 middle and high school students with severe behavioral challenges.  I felt truly welcomed by everyone and appreciated the opportunity to showcase the learning that goes on in this school.

Read more about the McKinley South End Academy, featured in this month's We're Learning Here.

The Community Academy of Science and Health (CASH) is located near Fields Corner in Dorchester. It is the one surviving “small school” from the former Hyde Park High School Complex, and moved into the former Grover Cleveland building three years ago.

Read more about the Community Academy of Science and Health, featured in this month's We're Learning Here.

On the “far side” of West Roxbury and less than a mile apart, the Beethoven (K-2) and the Ohrenberger (3-8) have been transformed over the past few years into a K-8 “Pathway School” serving nearly 1,000 students.

Read more about the Beethoven and the Ohrenberger Schools, featured in this month's We're Learning Here.

Classes at Mission Hill K-8 are project-based, multi-grade, and served by a lead teacher plus one or more assistants, including parent and community volunteers. The school's more than 200 students gather for a weekly community meeting on Friday mornings. This is a school with a focus on habits of mind, practicing democratic processes rather than test-taking skills.

Read more about Mission Hill K-8 School, featured in this month's We're Learning Here.

Word study and movement are valued at Curtis Guild Elementary School in East Boston, located near Belle Isle Marsh. Nearly 90% of the school's 300 students are Latino, and many are English language learners. Teachers are happily focused on the children throughout the school.

Read more about Curtis Guild Elementary School, featured in this month's We're Learning Here.

Snowden International High School, where classes are held in two buildings near Copley Square, has always taught several world languages (currently Japanese, Mandarin, French and Spanish). Snowden has recently added an International Baccalaureate Program, which helps give this academically challenging program even more focus and inspiration.

Read more about the Snowden International High School, featured in this month's We're Learning Here.

The combined Dever-McCormack K-8 School has to be one of the largest in BPS, with approximately 1,200 students. As I walked through the halls, I noticed the message “Work hard. Work together. Panther Pride.” just about everywhere.

Read more about the Dever-McCormack K-8, featured in this month's We're Learning Here.

With “Be Responsible, Be Respectful, Be Safe and Be Kind” as the school’s guiding principles, the Eliot K-8 School is providing a warm and welcoming environment for student learning in the North End, one of Boston’s most historic neighborhoods, where the school has recently expanded into a second building.

Read more about the Eliot K-8, featured in this month's We're Learning Here.

Photo of new teachers talking together

Incoming teachers to BPS were treated to inspirational talks and a wide selection of workshops at this year’s New Teacher Institute, held at English High School in August. New Teacher Developers, who are the primary designers of this Institute, were on hand to welcome everyone and to give out copies of keynote speaker Rick Smith’s classic book, Conscious Classroom Management.

Read more about the New Teacher Institute, featured in this month's "We're Learning Here."

With only 94 students in grades K1-1, tucked into a corner of the Hennigan Elementary School in Jamaica Plain, the West Zone Early Learning Center is perhaps the smallest school in Boston! There were 2-3 adults in each classroom to provide individual and small group instruction as needed.

Read more about the West Zone Early Learning Center, featured in this month's "We're Learning Here."

The Patrick J. Kennedy Elementary School is a small elementary school in East Boston, established in 1893, where 97% of students walk to school. This has been a clear advantage in establishing relationships with the mostly Latino families who live in this tight-knit neighborhood.

Read more about Patrick J. Kennedy Elementary School, featured in this month's "We're Learning Here."

Google Maps sent our author over the Charles, Mystic, and Chelsea Rivers to East Boston High School. It sits high on a hill and is one of the largest schools in Boston, serving nearly 1,400 students!

Read more about East Boston High School, featured in this month's "We're Learning Here."

The Roger Clap Innovation School has fewer than 150 students. It sits on a tiny one-way street just off Dorchester Avenue. Just two years ago the school was slated for closure when a group of parents proposed reopening with “innovation” status – the state’s “pilot” school program.

Read more about the Roger Clap, featured in this month's "We're Learning Here."

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BTU News Updates

On July 16 the Massachusetts Senate voted 26 to 13 to keep the cap on Commonwealth Charter school growth. This was not a vote for teachers unions, as some might say, but it was a vote for equity and fairness for all children.The vote effectively killed charter school expansion for this legislative session. BPS will still lose $105 million from its budget next school year, or roughly $2,000 per child, to reimburse Commonwealth charter school tuitions.
On Bunker Hill Day, June 17, the BTU will host the the Professional Learning Conference, an opportunity for Boston Public Schools educators to learn with and from one another about the work we do every day. Come to learn about how BPS educators innovate in ways great and small in order to benefit the learning and well-being of our students. The day promises to provide concrete takeaways to improve your practice and inspiration to sustain you in the future.
The Chicago Teachers Union has come out against the Common Core. In their statement, released on May 7, they state:"Today, members of the House of Delegates (HOD) of the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) passed the following resolution that enjoins the city's educators to growing national opposition to the Common Core State Standards, saying the assessments disrupt student learning and consume tremendous amounts of time and resources for test preparation and administration.
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Upcoming Events

Monday, August 4, 2014 (All day) to Friday, August 8, 2014 (All day)
BTU
The Boston Teachers Union will again be sponsoring a week-long summer institute to assist educators who are having evaluation issues or difficulties. The purpose of the institute is to review your evaluation and prescriptions and to develop a plan...
Monday, August 4, 2014 (All day) to Friday, August 8, 2014 (All day)
BTU
The BTU will run the third summer institute for educators who are having evaluation issues. This is a week-long institute that will run from 8:30 to 12:30 daily from August 4-8 at the BTU Hall. This program is designed to provide individual...