By Phil Orlandella
First expenditures of Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh’s $1 billion BuildBPS initiative, a $13 million investment in every Boston Public School (BPS) building to provide immediate, tangible, short-term capital investments for the current school year has been announced.
The Eliot K-9 Innovation School recently received tables of alternating heights and movable desks that “nest” within one another, among other items.
“We always say our classrooms have looked the same for the past 200 years, however, this is truly an opportunity to re-think how we design learning spaces with students always being at the Center,” Principal Traci Walker Griffith said.
“Having different configurations in the classroom helps teachers facilitate learning while allowing students of all abilities the opportunity to learn in pairs, small groups, or a larger group.”
After completing the successful major renovation of the Eliot School’s North Bennet Street location in the North End, the city launched the $20 million second phase of the project for the Eliot Upper School on Commercial Street.
“This immediate investment allows our schools to adapt to the ever-changing needs of the 21st century teaching and learning,” the Mayor said. “As we prepare students to be competitive in the global economy, it is important that our instructional spaces are designed for innovation and collaboration,” he added.
Every school in the district will receive an allocation from the fund with principles and headmasters providing input on the types of investments needed and have an opportunity to preview new classroom furniture and professional development sessions before the start of the new school year.
Many North End Eliot School parents are seeking to send their children to the school banded together with elected officials to create the bigger and better school system in the North End.
Funding is made available through the 21st Century School Fund part of the BuildBPS 10 year Educational and Facilities Master Plan that will create more flexible learning spaces with comfortable movable furniture and digital screens.
School leaders have reportedly applauded the investments and the Mayor for these funds that will totally improve education services in Boston.