By - 1/10/13 - 7:18 am

Our own eeka reports that while the state health-insurance system properly accounts for her spouse as her spouse, it's decided said spouse is the "stepmother" of their kid:

They also have me listed as our child's "mother" and spousal unit as child's "stepmother." "Stepparent," while often someone who provides amazing parenting to a child, is not someone who is fully a legal parent to said child.

By - 12/12/12 - 7:26 am

The Mayor's Office of New Urban Mechanics produced this video to support its proposals to rejigger school-assignment zones for elementary and middle-school students: If you totaled up all the miles students in the Bowdoin/Geneva area travel to school each morning, it would be the equivalent of a trip from Boston to Cheyenne, WY (the city has used Bowdoin/Geneva as its poster child for its proposals throughout the current evaluation process).

What the brief video doesn't mention, however, is that the city plans to turn one of the neighborhood's schools, the Marshall Elementary, into a privately run charter school, open to students from across the city, which means the city will have to bus many of its students, and which means one less local option for Bowdoin/Geneva parents.

Teresa Harvey, retiring Marshall principal, tears into school officials at a School Committee meeting over the conversion to a charter school:

Boston School Choice - Background on proposals to change school-assignment zones.

By - 12/4/12 - 7:30 am

Saggy bridge

A concerned citizen parent complains:

Frog Pond playground. Is this ramp supposed to hang so far below handrails? Seems dangerous. Have seen lots of kiddos fall through, including mine today.

By - 11/30/12 - 7:31 am

A task force looking at ways of revamping how Boston kids get assigned to elementary and middle schools says it needs more time to let experts from Harvard and MIT run simulations and analyses of various options, from no assignment zones at all to 23.

The External Advisory Committee on School Choice had originally hoped to have a proposal to city official by year's end, but the mayor's office announced yesterday the committee would continue its work through at least January:

By - 10/29/12 - 8:39 pm

Boston Public Schools will be open tomorrow, the city announced. In contrast, Newton, Somerville, Chelsea and Revere will be closed.

The MBTA, meanwhile, announced it expects to run normal subway and trolley service tomorrow, except between Reservoir and Riverside, where buses will be swapped in. On commuter rail, downed trees will mean no service on the Providence/Stoughton line past Mansfield. Other lines will run, but likely with delays.

By - 10/27/12 - 12:31 pm

A BPS advisory committee is now considering a plan in which low-income students would get a better shot at elementary schools selected by their parents as a way to deal with the fact that too many Boston schools don't measure up, the Globe reports.

By - 10/18/12 - 8:48 pm

The Metropolitan Area Planning Council weighs in on the Boston school-zone process, basically says there are just not enough decent schools in Boston no matter how you slice up assignment zones. Their report has copious maps and charts.

By - 10/4/12 - 4:55 pm

Rocco the BunnyBoston Police report they are doing everything they can to reunite a California girl with her stuffed dog, Rocco, which went missing in a cab on Sept. 10.

Addison Ocker, 13, was in Boston with her brother, Aiden, a brain-cancer patient flown here for a Red Sox/Yankees game by the Make a Wish Foundation because he really wanted to see a game at Fenway. Unfortunately, Aiden's condition worsened on his arrival in Boston and he spent the night in Children's Hospital instead of at the ballgame - and then he was airlifted back to California, where he died two days later.

Somewhere between the hours of 10:00pm and midnight, Aiden’s mom and 13 year-old sister Addison took a cab (possibly Metro Cab) from the Back Bay Hotel to Children’s Hospital. Upon exiting the cab, Aiden’s sister, Addison, inadvertently left behind her stuffed dog, Rocco. To say the least, Rocco has tremendous sentimental value to Addison and, as anyone who has ever loved a favorite toy or stuffed animal can imagine, Rocco means the world to Addison. In fact, according to family friends, Rocco and Addison have been all but inseparable for the past 10 years and we at the Boston Police Department are seeking your help in reuniting Addison with her stuffed friend – Rocco.

If you know where Rocco is, contact the BPD Hackney Unit at 617-343-4475 or the BPD Office of Public Information at 617-343-4520.

By - 10/3/12 - 7:48 am

The Globe reports the Boston School Committee tonight is expected to get a recommendation from Superintendent Carol Johnson on how to grandfather thousands of students who might find themselves in new school assignment zones come the fall of 2014.

The meeting begins at 6 p.m. at school headquarters on Court Street downtown.

By - 9/24/12 - 5:58 pm

Boston Public Schools officials formally released five possible plans for re-aligning assignment zones for elementary and middle-school students today, but promptly said three of the proposals - for 11 or 23 zones or pure neighborhood schools - were too extreme for the goals of ensuring quality education with a diverse student population.

By - 9/21/12 - 3:13 pm

The Swellesley Report reports.

By - 9/13/12 - 7:18 am

At-large City Councilor John Connolly discusses the proposed teacher contract announced yesterday; calls it "a very mediocre contract" that doesn't go far enough to improve education, "close the achievement gap" and bring more middle-class students back into Boston public schools. "If we want to close the achievement gap, we need to transform the system."

By - 9/12/12 - 9:34 am

After more than two years, the Globe reports.

By - 9/7/12 - 10:03 pm

Pouring at State Street.Pouring on State Street.

Paul Levy, who lives near a soccer field in Newton, looked out and saw something disturbing:

By - 9/3/12 - 12:52 pm

The Globe reports on efforts by the school department to prevent the fiascos of the past two years, which led to thousands of students getting to school late - if at all.