“Our school community has been greatly impacted by the pandemic this past year in multiple ways.”
The virus rate in East Boston consistently was much more elevated compared to the city of Boston average, resulting in the majority of our students and their families infected by the virus starting last March. Supporting students, families, and staff with social emotional needs as well as academic recovery plans will be crucial for PJK next year.
– Kristen Goncalves, Principal
Patrick J. Kennedy Elementary School
Kristen Goncalves graduated from Emmanuel College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education in 2009 and began her career in Boston Public Schools at the Richard Murphy K-8 School teaching 5th grade. In 2010 she transitioned to the Henderson Inclusion School where she found her passion for inclusive education and collaborative data driven instruction. In 2012, Kristen received her Master’s of Education from Northeastern University in Special Education with a focus on planning within the UDL framework to increase student engagement and provide access to high standards for all learners.
While teaching at the Henderson, she served as a New Teacher Developer and as the Mathematics Facilitator, developing and coordinating mathematics professional development and serving as a liaison between the Mathematics department and staff. In 2013, Kristen was chosen as a Field Advisor to SWIFT, a Department of Education funded organization focused on promoting equity in schools for all learners. During her time as a field advisor, she was appointed to represent Henderson at the SWIFT National Conference in Washington D.C. where she shared instructional practices that have led to achievement of all learners.
In 2015, Kristen completed her Principal Fellowship at the Joseph P. Manning School through the Lynch Leadership Academy. Kristen has served as the Principal of the Patrick J. Kennedy School in East Boston since 2016. For the last 5 years Kristen has worked to expand inclusive practices within her school, designing a new method of delivering English as a Second Language instruction to increase student agency in learning and opportunities within the community. Kristen has also served on the Inclusion Task Force and as a member of the Superintendent’s Principal cabinet.
About the PJK Community
The Patrick J. Kennedy Elementary School is nestled in the heart of East Boston. It is our mission to educate our students by providing a safe, healthy, and nurturing environment that is rooted in strong student, family, and staff relationships. At the PJK, we value the importance of family engagement and host monthly family activities. We offer a character education and social justice curriculum that focuses on the “Kennedy Keys to Success”. We encourage our students to adopt these core values and apply them to their daily lives while building an understanding in individual identity, advocacy and community activism. We believe it is our duty to keep our students motivated and inspired. We do not settle for mediocrity, we expect all of our students to strive for personal excellence. Our goal is to provide our students with the opportunities, skills, values and knowledge they need to be tomorrow’s leaders.
The Pandemic Impact on PJK
Our school community has been greatly impacted by the pandemic this past year in multiple ways. The virus rate in East Boston consistently was much more elevated compared to the city of Boston average, resulting in the majority of our students and their families infected by the virus starting last March. With families out of work, and many unable to qualify for unemployment, we immediately focused on supporting basic needs for families. PJK organized grocery deliveries on a weekly basis as well as converting our Fresh Truck partnership into a COVID friendly market. Additionally, access to broadband internet as well technology fluency was a massive barrier last spring. We developed videos to support our families for the fall and have benefited greatly from the Comcast Internet Essentials coupons. Mental health also continues to be a challenge throughout the school as well.
How will the Re-Centering Cohort help your school community?
Supporting students, families, and staff with social emotional needs as well as academic recovery plans will be crucial for PJK next year.