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BPS names new principal at West Roxbury elementary school with a possible bullying problem

School Superintendent Mary Skipper told Lyndon K-8 Pilot School parents yesterday that she's appointed school Co-Leader Catherine Carney, who only started this summer, to take over as full School Leader after the other school co-leader, Andre Ward, suddenly went on leave.

In a letter to parents, Skipper said she's also dispatching somebody from central administration to become part of the school management team for the rest of the year. Kevin McCaskill, currently executive director of career and technical education for BPS, and formerly executive director of Madison Park High School. McCaskill will "support Catherine in the day-to-day operations of the Lyndon and drive the creation and maintenance of school operational systems that support high-quality instruction and family engagement."

Skipper added:

Additionally, in recent weeks, we've heard from Lyndon families concerns regarding bullying, and we would like to reaffirm our commitment as a District to ensure that all students come to school each day in an environment where they feel safe, respected and academically challenged to become the leaders of tomorrow.

We know the last few weeks have been challenging. BPS will continue to ensure that all students have access to social-emotional support services, along with the skills to build strong student and staff relationship, that allow all students to learn and grow. BPS will continue with additional training, support, and resources for members of the school community on cultivating and sustaining welcoming environments for all students.

Carney was originally hired this summer as a temporary replacement for Kathleen Tunney, who oversaw the school's lower grades and who retired at the end of the last school year.

"Suddenly, Ward went on leave," one parent said. "No explanation given. Parents then say 'Hey if you all were going to put Ward on leave why didn't you let us know ahead of time so we could begin the process of finding a new co-leader?' BPS has no answer."

This past spring, before Skipper became superintendent, BPS shut the Mission Hill K-8 school after a crash program that was supposed to end years of bullying and other problems did not.

Just last week, BPS began an investigation into bullying at the Young Achievers School in Mattapan, after video surfaced of one student getting beaten up by other students.

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Comments

https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2017/12/04/director-boston-high-school...

He seems to be well regarding the community and BPS but IDK, if you are placed on leave for unspecified reasons and then NOT returned to that same post, seems like you're not great at your job?

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I know its easy to be cynical about the BPS and I don’t know this fellow, but it looks like he was reinstated as exec director at Madison for the next five years and then last year was promoted to Sr Admin of secondary schools at BPS. And there’s news stories crediting him with starting the big turnaround at Putnam Technical Academy. With his resume it doesn’t seem surprising that BPSAdmin would have him giving special support the new Lyndon school leader.

So a counter hypothesis to yours might be that he was threatening a (dysfunctional) status quo at Madison and someone there tried to sabotage him with an ultimately unsupported accusation.

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The track record at M-P was so bad for so long, I kind of lost faith that anyone who was removed from a post there would have been worth it.

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I was talking to a globe reporter today about some issues at my kids school, the Roosevelt in Hyde Park, related to staff turnover and students leaving and how that is atleast partially related to the current principal and he wasnt sure theres a story there so thank you for covering this. And hopefully the new superintendent can eliminate the bad apples in BPS, I think cleaning up the administration would go along way as the teachers based upon my experience have been mostly good.

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Error in article: Michelle Sylvaria is the Executive Director of career technical education for BPS, not Kevin McCaskill

https://www.bostonpublicschools.org/domain/2447

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I got what I wrote directly from Skipper's letter.

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