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Boston Public School Committee discusses summer 2024, approves grants

The Boston Public School Committee discussed summer plans and approved five grants during its Wednesday meeting. 

People enter the Boston Public Schools headquarters in the Bruce C. Bolling Municipal Building in Roxbury. The Boston Public School Committee approved five grants during a meeting on Wednesday.

Summer Learning, or “5th Quarter,” offers 128 different programs for students K-12. This summer, there will be an increase of 5,000 program seats to the approximately 20,000 open seats last summer. 

“Students thrive in the summer through project-based learning opportunities and through exploring Boston,” said Ana Tavares, a deputy superintendent of equity, community and family advancement. 

BPS will bring back its Exam School Initiative this summer, which aims to support exam school access for students with historically marginalized backgrounds. This year’s program will target ELA and math instruction, MAP test preparation and project-based learning in STEAM and the arts. 

Superintendent Mary Skipper reminded the committee about the continually changing admissions criteria for BPS Exam School invitees. The admission process underwent several changes since it was shifted during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“We’ve had different versions of admissions criteria in the last five years,”  Skipper said. “My team is continuing to analyze additional data to better understand the impact of this year’s policy change and we’ll share that at a later date.” 

Magaly Sanchez, the chief family advancement officer, also discussed futureBOS, the 2024 Summer Youth Employment Program launched by Mayor Wu and the Office for Youth Employment.

“[Wu] is guaranteeing a summer job for every BPS student that meets the qualifications … with the goal of increasing the number of BPS students placed in summer jobs from 5,000 last year to 10,000 for summer 2024,” Sanchez said.

Families can enroll in summer programming by using the School Mint link to open the summer registration portal on the BPS website, said Sanchez. She said families will get to choose up to three summer programmatic offerings, and placements are prioritized for students experiencing homelessness, multilingual learners and certain socioeconomic statuses.

BPS also approved five grants totaling $5,652,972 for various programs, including funds towards accelerative programs and green initiatives. 

The BPS Committee will meet next on May 8 at 6 p.m.

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