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For Downtown Schools, Creativity Required

The group Downtown Schools for Boston wants to bring public education back to neighborhoods that don't have it; asking the BRA to consider a school in the 40 Trinity Place redevelopment.

Downtown Schools for Boston, a group of downtown families and residents, has requested that the Boston Redevelopment Authority include in the scope of its review of 40 Trinity Place an alternative that includes a public elementary school. 40 Trinity Place is a proposed 33-story hotel and residential project near Copley Square in Boston.

Ania Camargo, one of the leaders of Downtown Schools for Boston, stated "Finding locations for new schools in Boston's downtown neighborhoods will require creativity and flexibility. Our request to the BRA on 40 Trinity Place is the first of many efforts we'll be making this year for public schools in downtown Boston. We are organizing families in neighborhoods that have no public elementary schools - Downtown Crossing, the West End, Beacon Hill, the Back Bay, and Fenway/Kenmore - to find a way to bring schools to our neighborhoods.

"Over the past 10 years the number of children ages four and under living in the downtown neighborhoods has grown by over 20 percent, and more and more families would like to stay in the city and send their children to a Boston Public School that is close to their home.

"But there just aren't enough places to meet the demand. Many families feel they have to leave Boston once their children reach school age. Adding public schools in Boston's downtown neighborhoods would help more families stay in Boston. It would also free up places in schools in nearby neighborhoods, where children in our neighborhoods currently attend school. And new schools would make more seats available for children from many other neighborhoods, because under the current school assignment process about half the seats in a school would be open to families from other Boston neighborhoods.

"We encourage everyone interested in meeting the needs of our families and the families of Boston's future to sign up for our email updates at downtownschools.org/signup and to visit us at facebook.com/DowntownSchools."

State Representative Marty Walz, who is working closely with Downtown Schools for Boston, commented, "Public schools are important to the success and vitality of our neighborhoods and our city. But today, there are no public elementary schools in most of Boston's downtown neighborhoods, from the Waterfront to the Fenway. Downtown families are trying to work with Mayor Menino and the Boston Public Schools to expand existing schools and add more public schools. Downtown schools would help families stay in Boston, so children who are born here can grow up here; would provide more school options for families in other Boston neighborhoods; and would strengthen the Boston Public Schools system."

Read the letter submitted to the Boston Redevelopment Authority.

For some additional background, see these questions and answers about our request to the Boston Redevelopment Authority.

About Downtown Schools for Boston

Downtown Schools for Boston Inc. is a group of Boston parents, grandparents and other residents and supporters working to:

  • Add public elementary schools in downtown neighborhoods and add capacity to existing schools.
  • Make it possible for more children to attend Boston public schools, and help more families stay in downtown Boston.
  • Support efforts to improve the quality of downtown public schools.

Their focus is on the downtown neighborhoods that currently have no public elementary schools: the Back Bay, Beacon Hill, Central Boston (Downtown Crossing, Downtown North, Government Center, and the Financial District), Fenway/Kenmore and the West End.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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