Parenting

By - 9/3/13 - 9:02 am

Schools open tomorrow with a new policy that lets any student get a free lunch, regardless of income eligibility or whether their parents have filled out paperwork.

"Children can focus on learning when they are well-fed, and families can focus on education when they don’t have to budget for school meals every week," said BPS Interim Superintendent John McDonough. "This program makes sense for students. We expect that every major city will join this national program in the next few years - and we are able to put Boston’s families at the forefront."

By - 8/15/13 - 3:25 pm

The Dorchester Reporter posts an update from the family.

By - 7/23/13 - 11:51 am

The New York Times looks at the odds of somebody's kids heading up the economic ladder, finds that can still happen in places such as Boston, not so much in the South and the Rust Belt.

By - 7/16/13 - 10:40 am

Big slideBig slide. Photo by Rob Bellinger.

Greg Cook explains what makes Chuckie Harris Park, which opened yesterday, different:

By building the slides into the hills at Harris Park, GroundView makes them handicapped accessible. And climbing back to the top of the slide is made into an adventure by asking children to scale the hill with climbing grips or aided by rope. To welcome a variety of ages, two of the park's four swings are set about a foot and a half higher than usual, Dutcher says, to better fit teens and adults. (The big slide is similarly accommodating to larger bodies.) A toddler area offers a third slide, springy cars and a shelter.

By - 6/26/13 - 7:30 am

State law requires 180 days of education for Massachusetts students, but most BPS high-school kids really only get 175. At my daughter's school, finals were last week, so the kids are spending this week watching movies in classes (she reports she saw parts of "Gattaca" and "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" yesterday).

Of course, this is nothing unique to this year - it's been going on forever. But it is especially stupid and even cruel this year, when kids who can't simply skip the entire week (because they were out sick earlier in the year and are bumping up against their limits for absences) have to try to survive extreme heat and humidity in buildings with no air conditioning that were locked tight over a hot weekend.

By - 6/24/13 - 5:03 pm

A West Roxbury District Court judge set bail at $50,000 today for a 16-year-old who allegedly got into a fight with school police at the former Hyde Park High School on Friday when he refused to give up the gun they say he was trying to sneak past them, the Suffolk County District Attorney's office reports.

By - 6/21/13 - 8:53 am

The School Committee is considering making the Haley School a K-8 school, a move some parents fear could undercut plans for an innovative feeder program in which Roslindale fifth graders at six schools were given higher priority for seats at the Irving Middle School.

By - 6/16/13 - 3:03 pm

On Father's Day, a disgruntled citizen complains about a broken streetlight on Melnea Cass Boulevard:

My daughter was very excited when our broken light was fixed. On our Father's Day walk we went to see the repairs. As you can see, nothing has been done. Please restore my 4 year old's faith in city government and her trust in her daddy.

By - 6/6/13 - 11:38 am

Georgy Cohen has started a list of places that are particularly accommodating for breastfeeding mothers.

By - 5/21/13 - 9:32 pm

Updated.

MooreA boy kidnapped by his father at gunpoint in Roxbury tonight was recovered safely by Cambridge Police a few hours later, around 10:30 p.m., at the home of a relative.

Boston Police issued an Amber Alert after the 13-year-old, Jonathan Moore, Jr., was taken.

By - 5/11/13 - 12:37 pm

The North End/Waterfront Mothers Association says fight-happy homeless people in Christopher Columbus Park are becoming a menace to their children and that one answer is a six-foot-tall fence around the park's playground - locked every night from May through November.

In an e-mail to members, organizers say they reached their breaking point last month after a fatally injured man was pulled out of the harbor near the park, possibly as the result of a fight in the park.

By - 5/2/13 - 6:22 pm

NBC News reports on the turnaround of the Orchard Gardens K-8 pilot schools 10 years after it opened.

By - 4/22/13 - 8:55 pm

Luis Matos, who inadvertently left 17-month-old Gabriel Pierre to die in a van will face no criminal charges, the Suffolk County District Attorney's office says.

With the exception only of misdemeanor motor vehicle homicide, Massachusetts law leaves issues of negligence in the hands of civil courts and precludes the criminal prosecution of an accident, even one as terrible and tragic in its consequences as this one.

DA Dan Conley's office says it will work with Gabriel's parents for legislation:

By - 3/18/13 - 8:24 pm

UPDATE, 8:42 p.m.: Our phone rang and the kidlet picked it up. As soon as she began jumping and yelling, I knew: School is canceled in Boston tomorrow. Barring any more snow days, this means Boston Public Schools will get out for the year on June 28. All Boston Centers for Youth and Families sites will be open tomorrow, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

By - 3/17/13 - 9:52 am

Parent Imperfect describes the choice his daughter faces now that she's gotten into both BLS and BLA:

Connie's Mom, to her unending credit, will challenge Connie to remember that both schools have the same curriculum and to think about who she'll be going to school with and to imagine how she will feel in the two schools. She'll do all that challenging, and then she'll listen to what Connie wants and we'll make a decision ... hopefully the right one. Help!

By - 3/13/13 - 9:25 pm

The School Committee tonight voted to approval an overhaul of student assignment for elementary schools that will give parents a choice of six schools - at least two of which have to have among the highest standardized test scores in the city.

The new system, which will go into effect in the 2014-2015 school year, will end the city's current three-zone system - and walk zones.

Students already in the system will be grandfathered in their current schools.

By - 3/13/13 - 12:06 pm

The Supreme Judicial Court today vacated an order that had prevented a British man from seeing the then 16-year-old Massachusetts girl with whom he had had a dalliance while she and her family were on a European vacation.

After the family returned to the US, the two continued exchanging romantic messages via e-mail and Skype - even after the girl admitted she was only 16 and not 18 - and Gregory James Compton, then 24, eventually booked a flight to Boston in October, 2011, to spend more time with his stateside sweetie.

By - 3/9/13 - 2:14 pm

Protest outside Longy School of Music this morning.Protest outside Longy School of Music this morning.

The venerable Longy School of Music, which merged with Bard College in New York last year, told parents this week that programs for children - and adults not seeking degrees - no longer fit its new mission of becoming a world-class "institution for advanced musical study." So, school President Karen Zorn wrote parents, they'll have to find new places to send their kids for the sort of programs the school has long offered.

In a letter to parents, Zorn said the school would work with them to find alternate programs.

Parents, who say the decision came as a complete surprise to them, protested outside the Harvard Square conservatory this morning. One Jamaica Plain mother tells UHub:

What they offer simply can't be replicated by private instruction or at other local institutions - otherwise we might be studying elsewhere. For example we live in JP but take our 12 year old daughter there for a chorus ensemble every weekend, because the hassle is worth the great experience she is having.

By - 2/25/13 - 10:21 pm

An advisory committee tonight approved a proposal to replace the current school-assignment zones with a new system in which each family gets a choice of up to six schools guaranteed to include two that are at the top of standardized-test scores as well as schools within a mile of their homes.

The plan (Home-Based A) now goes to Superintendent Carol Johnson and the School Committee for their consideration. The School Committee is expected to discuss the plan at a meeting Wednesday evening.

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