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Old 03-22-2010, 03:28 PM
66 posts, read 201,477 times
Reputation: 27


I posted about having good public schools in the city. The conclusion was Brookline.
It seems it would otherwise be a hit or miss to move elsewhere within the city, and be in a school with a good reputation.

Here is what I classify to be a "good school"
-not run like a zoo OR a mental boot camp.

Test scores are neither here nor there for me.
My kiddo will be in K4 so whatever.
I take slight issue with putting my kid in a school where the parents of 5 year olds are competitive- from their clothes, to their sports, to the "academics". Which it's their choice to be that way, it's just not for me.
I'm not a hippy mom (not to say that that's bad) but school might come second occasionally, to... whatever comes first at the time. Family, people, my kiddo's sense of self and world view of connectedness. That sounded kinda hippy-ish! ha!

Schools that have that reputation or atmosphere, which I just stated, located in:
-Any other city area that is conducive to life with a small kid.

If it's Brookline, then fine- I would just like some other thoughts on the matter.
Thank youuu!
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Old 03-22-2010, 10:36 PM
Location: North of Boston
2,718 posts, read 4,408,732 times
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You are aware that Brookline is a separate town from Boston, right? Not a neighborhood within Boston.

May as well consider Newton and Milton too.
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Old 03-24-2010, 03:06 AM
41 posts, read 104,929 times
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I am reposting a post I made on the Cambridge Public Schools thread in the Mass. forum. Also wanted to be sure to point out that Cambridge/Brookline/etc. public schools are separate school districts from Boston Public Schools (it's not a regional/county/metro-type school district, such as Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools in NC, for example). You probably already knew this, but just wanted to make sure to clarify because some people get confused by that.

"The issue some people I know have with Cambridge elementary schools is that they are assigned by lottery and each school has it's own "flavor" - educational philosophy, student body demographics, etc. I don't mean to imply one flavor is necessarily better than another flavor, but you need to be okay with the fact that your children may end up in a school that isn't what you were hoping/wishing for. From the CPS website: "students register, and are assigned to school in Cambridge, under a Controlled Choice Plan which uses a variety of diversity factors and assignment preferences, including socio-economic status (determined by free and reduced price meal eligibility,) siblings, proximity, and race or ethnicity in a narrowly tailored manner."

For example, a former colleague of mine moved to Cambridge in late summer (quick job offer/relocation type deal) and, coincidentally, rented a place literally across the street from an elementary school (she found a great apartment - the school was just a nice coincidence). You can probably guess what happened next - her two kids ended up assigned to a school on the complete other side of Cambridge, basically as far from her place (near Porter) as you can get in the city limits. In the end it was not a big deal, but it was an interesting experience for her, coming from another state with the neighborhood schools concept, to put her kids on a bus in front of another elementary school and send them across the city (and back) each day.

The biggest surprise some friends of mine had is that not all Cambridge elementary schools run on the same schedule (each school sets its own). For example, Kennedy-Longfellow runs from 7:55 AM - 1:55 PM, while Morse runs from 8:25 AM - 2:25 PM, King Open runs from 8:55 AM - 2:55 PM, MLK Jr. runs from 7:55 AM - 3:55 PM, and so on.

Here's a brief run-down of Cambridge schools (all are k or jk - 8):
Amigos School - dual language (Spanish/English) immersion model - bilingualism and biliteracy emphases

Baldwin School - Developmental Design instructional model, music program, lots of 7th & 8th grade electives

Cambridgeport School - Comprehensive Student Portfolios model, most classes are mixed to encompass 2-grades (such as 5/6 and 7/8)

Fletcher-Maynard Academy - Extended School Day approach (8 hours), emphasis on technology (every 5-8th grader gets their own laptop), students wear uniforms, 6-8th grade international travel program

Graham and Parks School - emphasis on social justice, "child-centered learning," multi-grade classrooms and looping single-grade classrooms, focus on "school democracy"

Haggerty School - Co-Teaching model (3rd - 5th grade classrooms have a special educator and a general education teacher - they work to be particularly inclusive to children with special needs), Italian language program for the younger grades

Kennedy-Longfellow School - experiential/"real life learning" program, independent-oriented "Intensive Studies Program"

King Open School - English and Portuguese bilingual program, multi-grade classrooms

MLK Jr. School - Mandarin Chinese program, extended school day program, all students take electives every semester

Morse School - Core Knowledge emphasis, big gardening program

Peabody School - professional development school for Lesley University, music program integrated into curriculum, school "social contract" emphasizing emotional growth

Tobin School - Montessori (no class divisions until age 8)

As you can tell, while there are some shared/common programs and themes across schools, each one has a distinct identity.

Hope this is helpful!"
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Old 03-24-2010, 03:32 AM
66 posts, read 201,477 times
Reputation: 27
Originally Posted by gf2020 View Post
You are aware that Brookline is a separate town from Boston, right? Not a neighborhood within Boston.

May as well consider Newton and Milton too.
Yes I am aware.
I'm pretty set on what I am considering, thanks though!
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Old 03-24-2010, 04:13 AM
66 posts, read 201,477 times
Reputation: 27
Thank you so much. Very helpful input.
Honestly, any of those would be better than where I am now, as far as public school is concerned.

I was surprised to find how they did things in Cambridge. Pretty interesting.
Thanks again
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