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School Committee votes to shut Mission Hill School permanently

The committee agreed with Superintendent Brenda Cassellius that the school was too far beyond hope, WBZ reports.

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Comments

Superintendent John Antonnuci was going to apply here. Now where is he going to go once North Attleborough has an incident??

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Can someone (or adam) explain to me why they closed the school itself?

I mean... its not the building that caused this to happen, its the staff. Why not get rid of all the staff and get new staff to manage the school?

Yes the kids did it but its the staff that should have prevented it. And considering this has been going on since 2014 (like 8 years), most of the students have cycled out of this school by now. And it didnt get better? Then its a staff issue. I feel like if the kids were at fault, moving them to different schools just means BPS stepped on a roach and spread its eggs everywhere. Its not gonna change the behavior, rather just spread it out.

Closing the school just seems like an extreme. i agree with the parent in the article asking about student scores and that should have been taken in consideration when closing the school.

Tbh, it seems like closing the school was a way to fire all the staff without lawsuits. If you close the school, BPS is probably not obligated to re-staff you elsewhere in the system if your school closes. So thats what they did. I also agree with the parent who said this was in the works for a year.

And if that being the case, then that makes this school closing even worse. Kids suffer because of weird staffing contracts.

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BPS enrollment is dropping 4% year after year. BPS is looking to close any school it can. This is a pretty good excuse. Otherwise they'd have to close another school and get yelled at even more.

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Population in Boston is increasing at 1.5% per year and enrollment is going down 4%+ per year….

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People moving in are younger folks with no kids (yet), or older folks who are empty nesters. School aged families have to make the choice of sticking it out with BPS or moving to the burbs.

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More Boston families are sending their kids to private school, COVID only increased the demand. While BTU continued to demand remote learning private schools provided families with a sense of normalcy and an actual educational setting.

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likely can’t afford to stay in the city if they’re looking to buy either

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Land of the newly married and the nearly buried

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The only growing segment in the city's demographics are the college-educated 25 to 34 year old cohorts who move in with a roommate, find a partner, do their thing and leave. And since the repeal of rent control, the city has prioritized the members of those cohorts in the odd chance that they'd stay, raise families and you know, upgrade the place with higher education and higher salaries. Assimilation through gentrification, if you will.

The greatest beneficiaries of this have been our urban universities and the local industries that rely on the pipeline of cheap, educated labor that those colleges supply. The losers are the outlying communities who stand by and wait for quality economic and cultural investment while all the attention is being paid to the few big name companies that open an outpost and promise to bring in the jobs for the aforementioned 25 to 34 year old cohort, not the neighborhood rabble.

Instead, what we see is a service based economy, the ghettoization of community resources, the transformation of the outer neighborhoods into clusters of worker dormitories and a permanent widening of the socio-economic gap as we'll no longer be able to attract or retain families that provided a stable backbone to the city for generations.

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Lot of people I know with toddlers are looking to move out of the city or arrange private... too much instability in BPS, not knowing where your kid is going to go, etc. This Mission Hill closure is really just going to be another point on that count.

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Haven't not looked at the birth rate over the past decade? Enrollment is down overall.

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And many of them will. I'm not sure how many of them are really to blame. You'd have to read the report, but even then, that report was written by a BPS hired law firm so take it for what you will.

I agree that it was closed because they have to close schools anyway and this was an easy target. Terrible for the children though.

And as for dropping enrollment: COVID played a big part in that. A lot of folks who left went to catholic schools or schools that stayed open in-person or didn't require masks. But they should be careful not to close too many schools because folks will come back when they get sick of paying the bill for private.

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Once you realize the differance in quality what would make them return?

Also, BPS will need to lay people off as the amount of schools declines and the student body continues to drop.

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It is not even private. Charter schools pull a lot of students.

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Its speaks volumes to BPS. Unfortunately BPS is more of a union employment agency then it is an educational institution. Children are always an afterthought, that why i pulled my kids.

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BPS enrollment has been dropping steadily for years prior to COVID.
Take a peek at facts.

This school district needs a complete overhaul. They almost appear pleased to not serve the Majority of this city’s children and instead have them seek other sources for education- charters, metco, privates, etc.

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They actually have to give up some money to pay the tuition of those kids.

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The dropping enrollment has gone on for several years and started before Covid.

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Per DESE, Rounding to the nearest thousand

2010: 55k
2011: 56k
2012: 55k
2013: 55k
2014: 54k
2015: 54k
2016: 54k
2017: 53k
2018: 52,665

For 8 years between 53k and 56k - that's pretty steady

2019: 51,433
2020: 50,480 (19 - 20 school year)
2021: 48,112 (20-21 school year) COVID
2022: 46,169 (21-22 school year) COVID

2,000 students lost in each year that COVID would have factored into a families decision making in the late winter or spring. Before that it was steady or 500 - 1000 students a year lost.

Sure the long term trend is down, but slowly. Without COVID I don't think it breaks below 50k.

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2109 pre-covid is when it really started. There are a lot of Charter Schools that pull the students.

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That was an average drop of 1,000 which had happened before. Plus new charters haven't opened in Boston since 2016 or 17 so it is more likely the cost of living pushing out families whose only option is public schools. But like I said a drop of 1 thousand has happened before. COVID is when the big drops happened - 4,000 + students over two years, that is extremely irregular data if you look at the history.

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The population of Boston in 2010 was 617,594. In 2020, that had increased 9.4% to 675,647. So not only did BPS lose ~8% of its enrollment over that time, that's against a city of population that increased even more quickly. Or, put another way, 8.9% of Boston's 2010 population was BPS students. In 2020, pre-Covid, that had fallen to 7.5%.

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The population of Boston isn't important data. The population of SCHOOL AGE children in Boston in 2010 compared to now is the data you are looking for. I would be interested in that data.

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Take Arlington, for example. The 2020 census puts the population at 46,308, while DESE reports district enrollment as 6,047 for 2019-20 -- or 13.1% of the town population enrolled in public school. Overall for MA, there were 949k students in public schools out of a population of 7.03 million -- 13.5% of the population are public school students.

Even if the proportion of school-aged kids in Boston is below that of the rest of the state, that's also indicative of people voting with their feet to get their kids out of a failing school system.

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Hazing and bullying culture often lasts through generations of kids in a school. How many schools have a hazing day or end of year prank that no one remembers the origins of?

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