BPS Announces Proposed New North End School. Who can go?


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One thing BPS committed to during the shool choice reform process was finding a space for a downtown school. Last week the city announced a plan to buy 585 Commercial St. in the North End for around $13 million. Some are happy to see another school downtown, others feel that the location is less than ideal given how close it is to the Eliot school. In the mean time, there are no elementary or middle schools in the Back Bay, Beacon Hill, or the Fenway.

Who would be able to go to the new school? That question isn't so easy to answer under the newly approved assignment plan. In fact, it raises an interesting question. Given the fact that the new plan is based on school quality as measured by MCAS scores, how will a new school be classified? As far as I know, there is no plan to deal with this.

However, I did want families to be able to get some idea of who would have access to the new school. So I added an option to the Find Your Home-Based Plan Schools page to include this proposed new school. In order to do this I had to make some assumptions. I assumed that the school will be classified tier 1 and that it would not be a capacity school. These assumptions may or may not be valid, but they do allow us to get some idea of who could apply to the school.

So try it out. Search for an address and click the check-box in the lower-right corner to include the proposed school. Then double-click on any location to see if it would have access.

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Josh, I think your assumptions are good. Though between now and 2016, many things are probably possible with BPS.

It's a little obscure but …

In the press release, "Children from downtown neighborhoods would have access to the school, as well as families from East Boston and other neighborhoods identified in the BPS facilities long-term strategic plan if needed. " (4th paragraph).

I read that as - it will follow the assignment plan, but it may be adapted somewhat.

As far as the tier - I think that at the announcement Carleton Jones said something to the effect that it will be a quality tier school, and I took that to mean it would be treated as a Tier 1 school.

Here's a link to the video, I can't find that reference right now, but FWIW:

Where is this long range plan that Bruce references? I have not been able to locate it and I think it is key to understanding how this building fits in the overall plan for new schools. I'm especially curious to know how the City and BPS plan on addressing the facilities if their current buildings before taking on renovations of a new school building. There are 2 schools that have been designated as the lowest quality facilities wise in the BPS, The Holmes and The Mather. BAA is desperate for renovations to accommodate their programs- and many other schools that need major work.

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