Friday, May 21, 2021
Recipients will help create critical reopening resource guide for Boston schools
The intense demands of the COVID-19 pandemic have shifted the focus of education away from the teaching of students and instead toward operational demands, from reconfiguring classrooms to meet public health requirements, to acquiring technology infrastructure to implement remote learning.
As Boston students transition to full in-person learning for the remainder of this school year, Boston Schools Fund will support five Boston Public schools, each receiving $20,000 Re-Centering Implementation grants to equip these school leaders with the tools, extra resources, and capacity they need to re-center on what matters: the social-emotional wellness of all students, staff, and families; individualized understanding of student learning needs; and evidence-based, therapeutic approaches to learning that acknowledge more than a year of trauma. In addition to convening the city’s first-of-its-kind principal cohort focused on re-centering, Boston Schools Fund has committed an additional $150,000 to support post-pandemic return and recovery across its full portfolio of 37 partner schools.
“Students, families and educators have lost so much in the last 14 months,” says Will Austin, Chief Executive Officer of Boston Schools Fund. “We can’t wait. We need to put resources towards these kids now.” In addition, Boston Schools Fund will make substantial investments to provide its full portfolio of 38 schools — representing the public, charter public, and private sectors serving 19,000 students from underserved communities — with targeted reopening guidance and planning support uniquely tailored to Boston’s post-pandemic reality as leaders begin their planning for the start of school in Fall 2021.
The five BPS schools initially selected for Re-Centering Implementation grants will apply their funds toward critical recovery efforts in their communities, including high-dosage tutoring, mental health counseling, family engagement, and staff training. The schools selected to receive grants include:
- William E. Channing Elementary School, Hyde Park
- Patrick J. Kennedy Elementary School, East Boston
- Mendell Elementary School, Roxbury
- Richard J. Murphy K-8 School, Dorchester
- Charles H. Taylor Elementary School, Mattapan
“Our school community has been greatly impacted by the pandemic this past year in multiple ways,” says Kristen Goncalves, Principal of Patrick J Kennedy Elementary School. “This grant will help us support students, families, and staff with social-emotional needs and develop academic recovery plans that will be crucial for our school next year.” Goncalves joins four BPS principal colleagues in a Re-Centering Cohort; meet the full Boston cohort here.
Boston Schools Fund will track the progress of these schools to provide evidence of the impact of the extra resources on the students at the partner schools. Using feedback from their partner schools, Boston Schools Fund has worked with Attuned Education Partners to design a School Re-Centering Guide and accompanying website at edrecentered.org to serve as a resource any Boston school can use to address pandemic-related learning loss and focus on holistic student recovery.
“Even with massive resources coming in from the federal government, educators need the capacity to ensure they are using their resources as well as possible,” says Austin.