Scaling Successful District-Wide Programs
Targeted Investments District-Wide
Targeted funding across the district is critical to identiftying gaps, and making targeted investment to improve student outcomes and close achievement and opportunity gaps. To that end, the FY19 budget increases proven programs to benefit more students and families.
Increasing access to rigorous coursework
BPS is investing $700,000 to grow Excellence for All for the third year. Excellence for All aims to match the high-quality rigor that many students receive in the Advanced Work Class (AWC) program in an inclusive setting that also provides for enrichment, such as foreign languages and robotics. In FY17, the program debuted serving fourth graders in in 13 schools. In FY18, it was rolled up to 5th grade classrooms. In FY19, the program will serve 6th graders, both in K-8 programs and in feeder middle schools. The additional funding will support world language teachers, STEM supports, and capstone project supports.
Excellence for All improves equity of access to rigorous academic programming. The program is more likely to include Black and Hispanic students, English learners, and students with special needs than Advanced Work Classes. With a total investment of $2.6 million, Excellence for All will now serve 1,700 students at sixteen schools.
Supporting young men of color
Becoming a Man is a Chicago-based, nationally-recognized program that successfully serves young men of color using school-based group counseling and mentoring to teach valuable life skills. Now serving four schools in BPS due to a $600,000 philanthropic donation, Becoming a Man will receive an additional $549,000 in the FY19 BPS budget to expand to three more schools.
Boston Public Schools is the first district outside of Chicago to adopt this program, which research has shown increases school engagement, social-emotional skills, and graduation rates, while decreasing arrest rates. The program guides young men in 7-12th grades to learn, internalize and practice social cognitive skills, make responsible decisions for their future, and become positive members of their school and community.
Expanding innovative curriculum
BPS is making a $500,000 investment in curriculum development. This investment will support a core ESL curriculum for English language learner classrooms and professional development for teaching staff, as well as investments in social and emotional learning curriculum for students in grades K-2.
The funding will also expand successful curriculum pilots. These include 9th grade math curriculum, expeditionary learning for sixth to eighth grade, and Focus on Second, which allows second graders to investigate science and engineering topics.