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04/29/20

Inclusion Done Right Meeting Notes 4_28_20

Dear Educators and Parents,

It was great to see so many of you at yesterday’s Inclusion Done Right meeting! We had 83 people in attendance, our largest meeting yet!

We promised to send out the instructions for how to sign up to testify at the City Council Hearing on Inclusion, Special Education and English Language Learners – scheduled for Tuesday, May 5, starting at 1:00pm.

Instructions for Signing up to Testify

You can testify “live” via zoom by  emailing michelle.a. goldberg@boston.gov.  Your testimony should be 2 minutes max.

You can also appear at the Hearing by uploading a 2 min. video.  Your video testimony will be played at the Hearing if it is received by 12:00 pm this Friday, 5/1.  Instructions for how to upload a video can be found under #3 in this document. Here is the link:

https://www.boston.gov/departments/city-council/how-testify-city-council-budget-hearing .  (It is also possible to email your remarks, however, testimony connected to a person is far more powerful!)

The Hearing will begin with a presentation by BPS where we’ll hear their version of how inclusion, special education and ESL services are being implemented in the district.  Our comments will follow.

Please contact me if you would like support with crafting your testimony. We’d be delighted to provide assistance.

Reaching out to City Councilors

We want to strongly encourage that every member of the City Council be present at next Tuesday’s Hearing, sponsored by Councilor Essabai-George.  At the meeting yesterday, participants volunteered to be point people for emailing/calling each City Councilor to urge them to show up.  It would be great if everyone could reach out to one or more  members of the City Council.  Here is the link we provided yesterday for info on contacting City Council members:   https://www.boston.gov/departments/city-council.  We encourage you to email, and then follow up with a phone call if you don’t get a positive response.

Sample message:

My name is _________ and I am an educator/parent at the ___________ in your district (or I live in your district.) I am emailing/calling to say how important it is to me that you attend the upcoming City Council Hearing on Inclusion, Special Education and English Language Learners, Tuesday, May 5 at 1:00.

School closures have made it even more challenging for our most vulnerable students to receive the education and services they deserve.  We are counting on your support for Inclusion Done Right!  Please let me know that you will attend the Hearing. Thank you.

Slides on DESE Findings on BPS Special Education

Here is the link to the slides on the DESE Findings prepared by BTU member and Inclusion activist, Emma Fialka-Feldman.  There were a number of requests to share these slides.

Please reach out with any questions!   Hope to see you many of you next Tuesday!

Thanks,
Ilene

01/10/20

Horace Mann School for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing

 

January 9, 2020

Open Letter to Horace Mann School for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Community

I am writing to you as a parent and as the Horace Mann School for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (HMS) School Site Council Chair. I am asking all parents, teachers, para professionals, staff, administration, alumni, and anyone connected to the HMS Community to immediately contact your elected officials, BPS School Committee, Boston Teachers Union representatives, business leaders, friends and family to tell them BPS, under the leadership of Superintendent Brenda Cassellius, does not have a plan for your child and your future at the Horace Mann School for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. HMS requires a new, free standing building that accommodates the highly specialized needs of the students. We must mobilize and take control of the future of our Community. Superintendent Cassellius is unable to confidently communicate that a positive outcome is on the horizon for you and your child.

As a parent, I advocate for my daughter. As your HMS School Site Council Chair, I advocate for the school and Community at large. I do not want to see anyone leave HMS, be given less than deserved, or lost in the BPS system that is supposed to nurture us through education.

On January 8, 2020 a public meeting was held at HMS by Superintendent Cassellius. In attendance were HMS Community members, elected officials and community people representing Allston, and BPS leadership. Superintendent Cassellius announced the Allston building will be closed at the end of the 2020/2021 academic year and a new school will be built on the property. HMS is not in the new building plan. As Superintendent Cassellius continued, she clearly demonstrated BPS leadership is not aligned on the next steps for HMS. Most alarmingly, Superintendent Cassellius conveyed that BPS leadership does not have any internal experts in deaf and hard of hearing to begin a plan for HMS. This is very disappointing as the announcement for the HMS building closure was in April 2019. HMS Community formally offered to help BPS leadership with their knowledge deficits. We received no response.

I have met and spoken with Superintendent Cassellius four times since her first day on September 5, 2019. In each of the meetings, I reminded her the HMS building is being closed, HMS is a priority on the BuildBPS plan, and BPS leadership is ill-equipped to manage an HMS plan on their own. Each time Superintendent Cassellius asked me to be patient and will let us know her intentions. Last night Superintendent Cassellius asked for six more weeks as the BPS Strategic Plan will be released. At that moment, I believed Superintendent Cassellius is not making HMS an immediate priority as authorized previously. HMS is in an emergency situation and needs to be managed as such. A Strategic Plan is for slow moving, long term ideas. Asking for more time for her Strategic Plan that may include HMS is highly unusual. This is not acceptable for HMS children and the HMS Community.

In closing, I strongly believe that now is the right time for us to mobilize. We have respected Superintendent Cassellius’ request for time to settle into her new position. However, she has not returned our patience with an HMS plan. I am personally disappointed in Superintendent Cassellius as someone who is supposed to give me and my family comfort that everything will be okay at HMS.  Please help us take the next steps for HMS.

Respectfully submitted,

Charlie Kim

Parent and HMS Site Council Chair

Spanish

9 de enero de 2020

Carta abierta a la escuela Horace Mann para la comunidad sorda y con problemas de audición

Le escribo como padre y como el presidente del Concilio Escolar de la Escuela Horace Mann para personas sordas y con problemas de audición (HMS, por sus siglas en inglés). Les pido a todos los padres, maestros, ayudantes, personal, administración, ex-alumnos y cualquier persona relacionada con la Comunidad HMS que se comuniquen de inmediato con sus funcionarios electos, el Comité Escolar de las BPS, los representantes del Sindicato de Maestros de Boston, líderes empresariales, amigos y familiares para decirles que las BPS, bajo el liderazgo de la superintendente Brenda Cassellius, no tiene un plan para su hijo/a y su futuro en la escuela Horace Mann para sordos y personas con problemas de audición. HMS necesita un nuevo edificio independiente que se adapte a las necesidades altamente especializadas de los estudiantes. Debemos movilizar y tomar el control del futuro de nuestra comunidad. La superintendente Cassellius no puede comunicar con confianza que un resultado positivo está en el horizonte para usted y su hijo/a.

Como padre, abogo por mi hija. Como presidente del Concilio Escolar de HMS, yo abogo por la escuela y la comunidad en general. No quiero ver a nadie dejar el HMS, recibir menos de lo merecido o perderse en el sistema de las BPS que se supone que nos alimenta a través de la educación.

El 8 de enero de 2020, la Superintendente Cassellius celebró una reunión pública en HMS. Asistieron miembros de la comunidad de HMS, funcionarios electos y personas de la comunidad que representaban a Allston y líderes de las BPS. La superintendente Cassellius anunció que el edificio de Allston se cerrará al final del año académico 2020/2021 y se construirá una nueva escuela en la propiedad. HMS no está en el nuevo plan de construcción. A medida que la Superintendente Cassellius continuó, ella demostró claramente que el liderazgo de las BPS no está alineado en los próximos pasos para HMS. Lo más alarmante es que la superintendente Cassellius expresó que el liderazgo de las BPS no tiene expertos internos en personas sordas o con problemas de audición para comenzar un plan para HMS. Esto es muy decepcionante ya que el anuncio del cierre del edificio de HMS fue en abril de 2019. La comunidad HMS se ofreció formalmente a ayudar al liderazgo de las BPS con sus déficits de conocimiento. No recibimos respuesta.

Me he reunido y hablado con la Superintendente Cassellius cuatro veces desde su primer día el 5 de septiembre de 2019. En cada una de las reuniones, le recordé que el edificio de HMS será cerrado, HMS es una prioridad en el plan BuildBPS y el liderazgo de las BPS está deficientemente equipado para administrar un plan HMS por su cuenta. Cada vez la superintendente Cassellius me pidió que fuera paciente y que nos haría saber sus intenciones. Anoche, la Superintendente Cassellius solicitó seis semanas más para la publicación del Plan Estratégico de las BPS. En ese momento, me di cuenta que la Superintendente Cassellius no está haciendo de HMS una prioridad inmediata, como expresó anteriormente. HMS se encuentra en una situación de emergencia y debe gestionarse como tal. Un plan estratégico es para ideas de largo plazo y movimiento lento. Pedir más tiempo para su Plan Estratégico que puede incluir HMS es muy inusual. Esto no es aceptable para los niños HMS y la comunidad HMS.

Para terminar, creo firmemente que ahora es el momento adecuado para que nos movilicemos. Hemos respetado la solicitud de tiempo de la Superintendente Cassellius para establecerse en su nuevo puesto. Sin embargo, ella no ha devuelto nuestra paciencia con un plan HMS. Personalmente estoy decepcionado con la Superintendente Cassellius como alguien que se supone que debe darme a mí y a mi familia consuelo de que todo estará bien en HMS. Ayúdenos a dar los siguientes pasos para HMS.

Respetuosamente,

Charlie Kim

Presidente del Concilio de Padres y HMS

01/5/15

2015 Boston Public Schools Budget – An 11-Minute Guide

bps_budget_vid


The 2015 Boston Public Schools Budget – An 11-Minute Guide

A guide to the Boston Public Schools (BPS) budget for BPS parents by BPS parents.

Part 1 – 2015 Budget Timeline at Schools, the City, and State – 00:42
Part 2 – Weighted Student Funding – 03:12
Part 3 – City and State Funding Problems – 06:27

The pdf version may the found here:
http://www.curleyk8.com/budget/bpsbudget_guide.pdf  Large File 6Meg
BPS_Budget_2015-Small File – Lower Quality