Year 1, Newsletter 2: BSF's First Grantees!

Dear Boston Schools Fund community,

“This school has made my daughter’s dreams bigger.”

A parent said this to me while I was on a school visit a few weeks ago. 

As you read this letter (and maybe peek ahead to meet our grantees below), I ask you to briefly reflect on any comfort or success you have achieved in your life. Inevitably, you can trace it back to an outstanding school, either in your life, or in the life of a previous generation.

I do not believe that an excellent education should be seen as an “opportunity” or a gift  – I believe it is a right, and it is the obligation of schools to provide this right to every child that walks through their doors.

It is a privilege to work with so many talented and committed individuals across Boston to provide a seat in a high-quality school for over 7,000 more children and families over the next five years. Today, we are taking our first step.

Our first round of grantees represents the important work we plan to do. We support high-quality district, charter, and Catholic schools and policies that drive those schools’ expansion and sustainability.   

We grow outstanding schools. We invest for Boston’s children.

See below to learn more about the outstanding organizations we are lucky enough to work with.

Gratefully,

Will Austin

 

MEET OUR GRANTEES

Boston Arts Academy: There is no other place in Boston like Boston Arts Academy (BAA), our city's first and only public high school for the performing arts. BAA's students come from all over the city for the school's rigorous arts and academics program and excel by any measure –  over 80% of BAA students, for instance, have matriculated to college over the last two years. Over the next four years, BAA will undergo a significant planning process to ensure more students can attend a permanent BAA facility with the performance space and equipment that matches their exceptional talents.

Excel Academy: Excel Academy’s East Boston middle schools are among the highest performing in all of Massachusetts - in fact, Excel’s founding school has been in the top five performing middle schools in the state for the last seven consecutive years. This success earned Excel the opportunity to open a new high school to provide its students with a direct path to college. Excel’s high school will reach scale over the next five years, and next fall will move into a new state-of-the-art facility.

Generation Teach: Over 75% of Generation Teach’s first cohort of Boston teaching fellows are Black and Latino, and 77% are local. Boston needs teachers like these who are bright, committed, and reflect the communities they serve. After running pilot programs in Denver and Boston, Generation Teach (GT) plans to expand in Boston over the next five years. GT uses a program of summer academic classes to recruit, train, and inspire college students to become teachers while also providing a great learning resource for Boston's students and families. 

The Boston Compact: In 2010, Mayor Thomas M. Menino endorsed a historic and innovative collaboration between Boston's district, charter, and Catholic schools. For the last five years, the Boston Compact has brought together educators from across the city to collaborate and develop common approaches to shared problems. Now, Mayor Martin J. Walsh and education leaders are recommitting to this Compact, including a proposed unified enrollment system that would ease the process for families to sign up for district and charter schools.