Outlining her strategic vision for Boston Public Schools over the next five years, Superintendent Brenda Cassellius says she wants to focus on providing equitable funding for schools and improving access to high quality academic programming.
Cassellius provided a broad overview of her plan to school committee members Wednesday night, but the details of the plan — like which schools will see additional funding and resource investments — will be released Feb. 5.
The proposal will be open to public input. District officials have set up a community feedback portal on their website that will be open until Feb. 14.
Cassellius says her strategic plan builds off of those used in previous years, with a stronger focus on priorities and concerns raised during her community engagement tour this fall. It boils down to five main initiatives.
Eliminating Opportunity Gaps
The district wants every student to have equal access to academic programming like AP courses and internship programs. Cassellius also wants to improve diversity among its teacher workforce so that it better reflects the city of Boston.
Cassellius plans to adjust graduation requirements at all district high schools. That will better align them with the state's recommended program of study, known as MassCore. She says teachers are currently working to create a curriculum framework that can be implemented across the district. Cassellius' plan also seeks to offer more inclusionary opportunities for English Language Learners and students with disabilities.
Amplifying All Voices
The superintendent says this goal was largely influenced by feedback she received during her community engagement tour. District leaders hope to create more youth decision making opportunities and expand the district's parent liaison system so that more of these staffers are based out of schools rather than just district headquarters.
District leaders say one of the first changes that parents will notice is a change in the distribution of funding. Schools that are struggling the most will be targeted first with district resources.
"Equity is not equality," Cassellius explains. "Equity is about getting kids that need it the most the resources first."
Cassellius says she hopes to create more opportunities for students and parents to give the district feedback.
"Showing up every day giving our best is what our parents are going to feel different," she says. "The excitement and the joy in learning I'm hoping will return."