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.

By - 2/11/13 - 4:57 pm

But for now, Boston Public School students can rejoice: No school on Tuesday.

By - 2/10/13 - 5:24 pm

Snow ballet

Lola Bean and friends weren't going to let the snow barre them from ballet practice in Watertown today.

Chris Adams, meanwhile, reports his son decided that once some of the driveway was clear, it was hockey time:

Hockey kid

By - 2/10/13 - 12:44 pm

Boston Public Schools are shut. All extracurricular and sporting events canceled as well. The city is opening community centers in Hyde Park, Jamaica Plain, East Boston and Mission Hill for parents who aren't as lucky as their kids to drop them off for the day.

By - 2/5/13 - 10:49 pm

The Swellesley Report alerts us to the five-month agreement - under which she also has to give him her password so he can change it. On his blog, dad says it was all her idea.

Philip Borenstein is aghast:

By - 2/5/13 - 7:57 pm

The Dorchester Reporter gets a copy of his letter to the advisory committee looking at changes in how to assign students in lower grades to public schools.

By - 1/28/13 - 7:08 pm

VelazquezA Roxbury man was ordered held in lieu of $50,500 bail at his arraignment on charges he abused an infant and beat the baby's mother in the woman's apartment on Old Colony Avenue in South Boston, the Suffolk County District Attorney's office reports.

According to prosecutors, Steven Velazquez, 19, assaulted the two-month-old in his mother's sometime between Jan. 12 and 14, breaking his rib and leaving him with two bite marks on his right arm, and a third bite mark on the inner left leg. However, the child received no medical care until Jan. 22, when police arrived at the apartment to investigate a report of child abuse. EMTs then took the infant to Children's hospital. Prosecutors said that Velasquez broke the boy's rib by squeezing him.

By - 1/22/13 - 9:15 pm

MissingUPDATE, 10:40 p.m. He called his mom from the KFC in Edward Everett Square in Dorchester. Police quickly found him; EMTs were called to take him to the hospital for evaluation.

By - 1/22/13 - 7:31 pm

Playground Hopping is "a playground hopper's guide to the coolest playgrounds in and around Boston."

H/t Bill Ritchotte.

By - 1/22/13 - 6:49 pm

Because Boston doesn't have enough quality schools, the External Advisory Committee on School Choice tonight released three proposals to try to give as many elementary-school students a shot at entry to one of the ones it does have: A proposal to split the city into ten assignment zones and two that would do away with zones altogether but let parents apply to either six or nine schools that include at least two that have standardized test stores near the top of city rankings.