A turtle, a lizard, a fish, crickets, a dove, and a full-size rowing skiff greet you as you walk into the large entrance area of the Haley Pilot School in Roslindale. The Haley is a full inclusion pilot school that uses its budget autonomy to make sure there are two teachers in every classroom.

Read more about the Haley Pilot School, featured in this month's We're Learning Here.

Boston Adult Technical Academy's mission is to meet the needs of students aged 19-22 who have recently entered the US or returned after dropping out of school. In recognition of their success with meeting the needs of an extremely diverse, English language learning population, the school received the 2014 Office of English Language Learners Acquisition Award from the Newcomers Assessment and Counseling Center.

Read more about the Boston Adult Technical Academy, featured in this month's We're Learning Here.

It was a treat to visit just about every classroom during the first week of the school year at the Curley K-8 School in Jamaica Plain. The Curley has a new set of school-wide expectations that came out of School Climate meetings throughout last year, creating a common language for the first time since it became K-8 school: “We care about ourselves. We care about each other. We care about our school.

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

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."


BTU News Updates

When does this year's salary increase take place? A 3% salary increase for all BTU members takes effect on November 1, but as our paycheck cycles vary by job category and within job category (whether or not we get paid over the summer), the timing of the pay raise differs and is as follows:Teachers on the 22-paycheck cycle will see their raise in their fifth check, on November 7. It will be a partial raise as the pay cycle overlaps date of the raise.
This animated feature on school privatization stars little Timmy, a kindergartner who likes his public school. Timmy gets a confusing lesson in corporate education reform, starting with the rightwing mantra "Public Schools have failed." 
In the first week of December the Boston Globe detailed the comeback of the citywide marching band at English High School. What a great story! "The uniforms finally arrived a week before Thanksgiving. It was a big moment for the fledgling English High School marching band, believed to be the first at a Boston public high school in about four decades.  
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Upcoming Events

Tuesday, December 30, 2014 - 12:00pm to 2:00pm
Happy Holidays! Please join us for the BTU Children's Holiday Party. This event is sponsored by the BTU Social Committee. Join us for:
Friday, January 9, 2015 - 4:00pm to 7:00pm
Blarnery Stone
THE NEW EDUCATOR Underground: An event for new and early career educators in the Boston Teachers UnionFriday, January 9, 2015 • 4:00-7:00 pm at the BLARNEY STONE1505 Dorchester Avenue, Dorchester (Fields Corner), MA 02122Come:
Saturday, January 10, 2015 - 12:00pm to 5:00pm
Youth Career Workshop: Propa City Community Outreach is hosting VISIONS: The Youth Career Workshop & Fair on January 10 at the BTU.
Wednesday, January 14, 2015 - 4:15pm
BTU Hall