Boston Teacher Wins Presidential Award for Excellence in Math & Science

Congratulations are in order for Wai Chin Ng, a 5th grade teacher at Josiah Quincy Elementary School, who is one of 85 educators from across the country to receive the prestigious Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. The White House has announced President Barack Obama will honor these selected teachers next week.

 “Our students are so fortunate to have some of the very best teachers in the country working in their schools,” said Boston Public Schools (BPS) Superintendent Carol R. Johnson. “A great teacher, such as Mr. Ng, can inspire students for years to come. As we continue to talk about school reform and transformation we can’t take for granted the importance of a great teacher at the head of every classroom. I am honored to call Mr. Ng a colleague.”

Winners of this Presidential honor receive a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation to be used at their discretion and travel to Washington, D.C., for an awards ceremony and several days of educational and celebratory events, including visits with members of Congress and the Administration. Congratulations to Mr. Ng and the Quincy School!

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Back-to-School News

Superintendent of Boston Public Schools Dr. Carol R. Johnson was featured in two interesting WBUR radio stories focused on the opening of Boston Public Schools tomorrow:

Questions For Carol Johnson, Chief of Boston Public Schools

Next week, more than 56,000 Boston public-school students will walk into the classroom for the first day of school. And while classrooms may look the same, much has changed behind the scenes. Radio Boston talks with Boston School District Superintendent about Race to the Top funding, turnaround schools, merit pay, and the contract negotiations with the Boston Teachers Union. Dr. Johnson mentions City Connects, formerly Boston Connects, about 3 minutes in.

In the South End, a Last-Ditch Effort to Save a School

An important experiment is underway this school year at some of the state’s lowest performing schools. The state has given the city unprecedented authority to essentially push the “restart button:” the students will largely be the same, but new teachers and principals are meant to bring new energy and ideas into the classroom. A lot is at stake as these public schools try to prove they can educate poor students.

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Summer Break Begins for Boston

KidsBoston Public Schools have wrapped up the 2009-10 academic year and students are on their way to enjoying the summer. In an end-of-year message, BPS Superintendent Carol R. Johnson commended students and teachers and pointed out some gains made during the past school year:

  • Boston Public Schools’ graduation rate rose to its highest level ever
  • The drop-out rate fell to its lowest level in more than two decades
  • BPS’ new Re-engagement Center assisted more than 500 teenagers who had left the classroom in their return to school

With that said, City Connects wishes all BPS students and staff a wonderful and safe summer!

Quincy & Mission Hill Schools Win National Healthy School Awards

The Josiah Quincy Elementary School and the Mission Hill K-8 School have just been named recipients of bronze level National Recognition Awards from the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, a partnership between the American Heart Association and the William J. Clinton Foundation. The Healthy Schools Program National Recognition Award is an honor given to acknowledge schools that have implemented changes in order to create healthier school environments.

With one in three US children or teens overweight or obese, the Alliance for a Healthier Generation is working reduce the nationwide prevalence of childhood obesity by 2015.  The Alliance aims to empower kids to make healthy lifestyle choices and to positively affect the places that can make a difference to a child’s health: homes, schools, doctor’s offices, and communities.

Seven Boston Public Schools were recognized. In response to the award, BPS Superintendent Carol R. Johnson said:

“The health and wellness of students in the Boston Public Schools is among our top priorities, and we are pleased to see our schools receiving national recognition for their efforts to fight childhood obesity . These awards reflect the results of an innovative collaboration among the schools, central departments, and partner organizations to increase physical activity and promote good nutrition among students.”

Congratulations to the Quincy and Mission Hill schools!

Education Secretary Visits Boston’s Quincy School

Secretary Duncan
Secretary Duncan

On a day-long visit to Boston today, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will be holding a round-table discussion about school-community partnerships at the Josiah Quincy Elementary School in Boston’s Chinatown neighborhood. The Quincy school is one of City Connects’ largest elementary schools with nearly 800 students and two site coordinators.

Josiah Quincy Elementary School, Boston
Josiah Quincy Elementary School, Boston

Mary E. Walsh, executive director of CCNX and the Kearns Professor of Urban Education and Innovative Leadership at Boston College, and Pat DiNatale, CCNX director of implementation, will be representing City Connects in the discussion, which will also be attended by Boston Mayor Thomas Menino and Superintendent Carol R. Johnson.  Following the discussion, second- and third-grade Quincy students are scheduled to perform a traditional dance in honor of Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month. Secretary Duncan is also planning to pay tribute to Boston Educators of the Year as part of a discussion with them about effective strategies for academic success.