Madison Park Students Still Waiting On Class Schedules A Week Into School

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It's been a full week into the new school year and many students at the city's only vocational-technical high school say they are still waiting for class schedules.

Students said Wednesday was another day of doing nothing at Madison Park Technical Vocational High School in Roxbury.

"We're supposed to have new schedules and classes, but we don't know what they are yet, so we can't actually start our academic year."

Justice Jackson, Madison Park senior

"We're supposed to have new schedules and classes, but we don't know what they are yet, so we can't actually start our academic year," said Justice Jackson, a senior at the school.

Harold Reyes, another senior, said school officials do not know which classes to put students in.

"We're going to be far behind in academic work, and this is our senior year, and we can't really have that," said senior Yves Pierre. "We've got to get everything set up for next year."

Stephen Gray, a junior majoring in sheet metal work, said he got a schedule that made no sense.

"The first schedule I got this morning had no classes on it. Just had my name on it. It said 'sheet metal, sheet metal, sheet metal.' It's not supposed to. And we had about 30 students with blank schedules," Gray said.

One faculty member said even teachers are waiting for their schedules.

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said he had been promised by the school department that the schedules would be ready by now.

"This is unacceptable," he said. "We should have had the schedules, but a little bit in defense, we did want to change the schedules so we can address the needs in the school that haven't been addressed in a few years."

Madison Park High School in Roxbury (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Madison Park High School in Roxbury (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

Last spring, all Madison Park teachers were asked to reapply for their jobs, but the headmaster was not given permission to rehire until mid-August.

Walsh discussed the challenges he said factor into the wait until late summer to begin hiring teachers.

"We're changing a whole administration of the school. It's difficult to do that. There's issues and there's policies and a way to do things," Walsh said. "We basically replaced 61 people in the school."

"It's easy to be Monday morning quarterbacks. It's going to take time. It's going to take some patience," he added. "I don't accept the fact of the schedules not being ready, but I need help from the community to be patient with us."

Activists, looking for leadership in the school department, have been calling for the mayor to fill the long-vacant post of permanent school superintendent. Walsh says he expects to name a new superintendent, but not until January.

Earlier Coverage:

This segment aired on September 11, 2014.

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Delores Handy Reporter
Delores Handy was formerly a host and reporter at WBUR.



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