Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Brighton School Closures and Reorganizations Announced

Carol Johnson, Superintendent of the Boston Public Schools, tonight announced a proposal for school closings and reorganizations affecting four schools in Brighton, according to .

As I anticipated earlier today, Garfield Elementary School (grades K-5) is slated for closure so that the building can be converted to a new, pilot high school (grades 9-12) affiliated with the Mary Lyon School (currently K-8) down the street.

The Hamilton Elementary School (grades K-5) will merge into the building currently housing the Edison Middle School (currently grades 6-8), in order to create a new Edison School that is K-8. The Hamilton school's buildings will presumably be left unused by BPS.

These moves seem to indicate that Allston-Brighton will be seeing a reduction in available seats for elementary school (I'm guessing at a loss of 200 K-5 seats) and middle school (another guess at a loss of 200 students in grades 6-8), but an increase in seats for high school due to the new Mary Lyon upper grades school. Hamilton Elementary currently has approximately 175 students, Garfield Elementary has nearly 200, and Edison Middle has over 500.

Current Superintendent Johnson and former acting Superintendent Michael Contompassis both have indicated that they wanted BPS to move towards more unified K-8 school experiences. In some cases, that can be accomplished by merging schools in a single building (as is now proposed for the Hamilton and Edison merger at the Edison site), or by creating "feeder school" arrangements (where students leaving the lower school are automatically assigned to the upper school, unless parents request a transfer).

All three schools facing closure or transfer (Hamilton, Edison, and Garfield) had new principals named earlier this summer.

Text of Superintendent Johnson's proposed reorganization plan

Image of Thomas Edison statue [right] by Richard Elzey, and image of Alexander Hamilton statue [left] by OZinOH, both provided through a Creative Commons license.

Note: an earlier version of this post, based on incorrect information from, incorrectly noted that Edison and Hamilton schools would merge on the Hamilton school site. The combined school will be housed at the Edison school site.

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