After scathing reports from state education officials, Boston public schools say they are on track to meet improvement mandates for the upcoming school year.
The city and school district reached an agreement with the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education on a plan in June to avoid a state of receivership. Changes to special education services, student transportation and school safety are underway for schools in Boston.
Education officials speaking at a school committee meeting said they had launched initiatives to bring about the changes. Four are already full and they expect to meet all 10 state-issued warrants by Monday’s deadline.
Earlier this year, DESE released a report indicating that Boston’s public schools were struggling to function at a grassroots level and were not addressing systemic barriers to equitable education. A plan was drawn up to make changes to avoid a state takeover of the district.
A new plan was signed Monday by Mayor Michelle Wu, Boston School Board Chair Jeri Robinson, Superintendent Brenda Cassellius and DESE Commissioner Jeffrey Riley.
There are a total of 24 mandates. On Wednesday, Boston Public Schools commissioned a safety audit, hired a team to improve special education services and launched an assessment of the transportation system. According to the agreement, they must also improve the district’s response to family complaints, overhaul restrooms, improve special education and create a plan for English learners to ensure they receive appropriate services.
By November 1, the district must begin implementing a district-wide inclusion policy for special education and run most buses on time. They also have to renovate the bathrooms by the end of June.