“We believe, as a community, that we are all lifelong learners who are consistently learning and growing.”
We had to build strong conditions for all learners who are disproportionately affected by the pandemic. We have seen that many of our students’ families have been financially impacted by not having consistent supports at home while family members were working outside of the home, therefore we had to build systems to deploy Chromebooks, hotspots and food to students in the most challenging situations.
– Courtney Sheppeck, Principal
Murphy K-8 School
Courtney Dahill-Sheppeck is deeply committed to the Boston Public Schools. She graduated from Boston Latin School and then earned a degree in Elementary Education from the University of Vermont. Ms. Sheppeck began her career teaching 6, 7 and 8th grade Spanish and Latin at the Willauer School, a private school for boys on Thompson Island in Boston Harbor. She earned her Master’s degree in Urban Education at Simmons College. She then began teaching sixth grade at the Richard J. Murphy School in 2002 during its first expansion year to a K-8.
Ms. Sheppeck has been an active member and head of the Instructional Leadership Team. She has been trained as an intermediate Literacy Coach at Lesley University’s Literacy Collaborative program. Mrs. Sheppeck has also been a BPS middle school E/LA leader for many years and has worked with the Literacy department to write district wide literacy curriculum. Mrs. Sheppeck created the Murphy School’s Academic Learning Night, which has now become a well- attended annual event. She has supported teacher –interns as part of the Boston Teacher Residency program and Teach Next Year.
For the past seven years, Ms. Sheppeck has been the Principal of the Murphy School and has demonstrated a strong willingness to work with families, strengthen the school climate to include various health and wellness initiatives. Her passion is to provide both academic and social opportunities for all Murphy students. She is a mother of three, a Boston Public Schools parent and has been an active leader of her children’s Boston Public School’s Parent Council.
About the Murphy K-8 Community
The Murphy K-8 is a large school with over 900 students annually with a student population that is culturally and linguistically diverse. Our Mission: The Mighty Murphy School promotes a safe, respectful community with rigorous academic standards where diversity, creativity and integrity are the foundations for lifelong learning.” To further this mission we aim to give all our students from K-8 a strong, well-rounded program complete with increased learning and enrichment opportunities.
We believe, as a community, that we are all lifelong learners who are consistently learning and growing. We have adopted Carol Dweck’s Growth Mindset idea as a fundamental idea that we all learn from pushing our limits and through failure. We call this #Murphymindset. We are located in Dorchester and have a great campus with a library, pool and playground with turf and inclusive play structures. We are committed to ensure the Murphy K-8 remains a “First Choice for all Families” because we work hard in our teaching teams to provide a safe, supportive and anti-racist environment for our learners.
The Pandemic Impact on Murphy K-8
Specific challenges we have faced is to build strong conditions for all learners who are disproportionately affected by the pandemic. We have seen that many of our students’ families have been financially impacted by not having consistent supports at home, while family members were working outside of the home, therefore we had to build systems to deploy Chromebooks, hotspots and food to students in the most challenging situations. From these actions, a team atmosphere developed, as well as empathy overall for our students’ challenges. This initiative also strengthened our connections to families.
The COVID-19 safety measures made it difficult for students to collaborate and work in teams without the use of a screen. However, we can now boast that 100 percent of our students have one to one Chromebook access, which we believe is necessary for future-ready learning. The pandemic has allowed us to be more creative with scheduling, grouping of students, as well as use of software tools to boost students’ grade level skills, like the increase of the use of Lexia to support foundational reading instruction.
How will the Re-Centering Cohort help your school community?
We want to think creatively about the overall school day and schedule, specifically with our middle schools to build an engaging and differentiated day overall. We also have a grade 4 opportunity to build in small group, targeted learning times based upon students’ entry points. Finally, we want to use data to drive daily instruction and receive supports and tools for teachers to differentiate based upon the needs of the students in a systematic cycle.