“Getting In” Series Continues

The Boston Globe ran another installment in its “Getting In” series about the Boston Public Schools’ lottery, this time concentrating on two families: one whose child didn’t get into the school across the street, and one who didn’t want their children to go to the school across the street. Meet these two families in “An early education in the meaning of ‘no’.”

The Eliot, a City Connects school in Boston’s North End, plays a prominent role in the story–watch the video for a cameo by Eliot principal Traci Walker Griffith!

Eliot School on the Today Show

The pre-k program at Boston’s Eliot K-8 School, a City Connects school, was featured on the Today Show this morning during their special Education Nation coverage. Principal Traci Walker Griffith invited Matt Lauer into the school to see how preparing children for the routines and rituals of being a student sets them up for success in kindergarten. Watch the clip here.

For more information:

2010 Statewide Test Scores Released

Yesterday, Governor Patrick released the 2010 school and district MCAS results and congratulated 187 newly-named “Commendation Schools” for their progress in closing achievement gaps and improving academic achievement. We are very excited that two of those schools, the Eliot and the Gardner, are City Connects schools!

“There are so many great success stories in schools across this Commonwealth because of the efforts of administrators, teachers, students, and parents who are united and committed to making every effort to ensure that every child that walks through the door receives a high quality education,” said Governor Patrick.

For more information:

Part 2: City Connects on Public School Insights

As a follow up to his recent interview with City Connects’ Executive Director Mary Walsh and Director of Practice Pat DiNatale, Claus von Zastrow of the Learning First Alliance spoke to two people experiencing City Connects in Boston’s schools: Traci Walker Griffith, principal of the Eliot K-8 School, and Kathleen Carlisle, site coordinator at the Mission Hill School. Read about how City Connects is implemented in schools and the impact it has on students and their families:

Helping the Whole Child: A View from Two Schools

City Connects was also recently featured on the Future of Teaching blog as an example of a positive shift that is catching on in the context of school reform.

Eliot School Kicks Off Walking Club

On May 4, 33 seventh grade students from the Eliot School clipped on  pedometers and set off for a two-mile walk down the Rose Kennedy Greenway in the heart of Boston to launch the school’s Walking Club.

Eliot School seventh graders hang out with Wally the Green Monster before setting off on their Greenway walk.

Developed by clinicians at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center for students and their families, the Walking Club was a pilot program at the Eliot implemented by Amelia Tonkin, the school’s City Connects-New Balance Foundation health and wellness coordinator. Tucked into Boston’s cozy North End neighborhood, the Eliot doesn’t have a gym, so Amelia embraced the opportunity to motivate her students to exercise outside of school. BIDMC provided a pedometer for each student, as well as one for a family member, to help walkers keep tally their steps; the launch yesterday racked up 4,500 steps alone! The students were joined by State Senator Anthony Petruccelli, who represents the North End and applauded the Walking Club’s focus on exercise as a way to prevent future medical conditions like obesity and high blood pressure. Wally the Green Monster, team mascot of the Boston Red Sox, also cheered on the walkers.

“We know that physical fitness is a vital part of a well-rounded education,” said Traci Walker-Griffith, principal of the Eliot. “We are thrilled that Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center is collaborating with our teachers and students on such an important issue. We are also excited that we are able to fold the important educational aspects of this program into our curriculum.”

The Walking Club kit teaches students about the many physical and mental proven health benefits of walking. It includes vocabulary words, a walking quiz, a chart of key muscles used when walking, and a diary to record their exercise. It also explains how to calculate heart rates and evaluate the level of intensity of the exercise.

Despite warm temperatures, the Eliot School students walked 2 miles from their school down the Greenway and back. “The  Walking Club will ensure that our students and families engage in health and wellness initiatives available within Boston’s urban location,” said Amelia Tonkin. “By educating our students about the benefits of walking and how to use pedometers, we look forward to utilizing this partnership to keep the Eliot community healthy in an enjoyable way.”

Watch WCVB Channel 5’s coverage of the walk here.