Doors Open

1.30.13 By Jesse Solomon

I know, it’s January and 13 degrees out, the first day of school seems far way.  But it was brought back to us in a new film called Doors Open made by the Barr Foundation.  The eleven-minute film gives a glimpse into the opening of our new school – the Dudley Street Neighborhood Charter School (or DSNCS), which is a Horace Mann in-district school – as well as the Margarita Muñiz Academy (a BPS Innovation School) and KIPP Academy Boston (a commonwealth charter).

We are in an interesting and challenging time in education in Boston as the city wrestles with a number of important issues: how we assign children to schools, the relationship between district and charter schools, etc.  The three schools in the film are, in my mind, part of an important movement to use autonomies to try to serve all children well.  Before September, for example, there was no two-way bilingual Spanish-English high school in Boston – the Margarita Muñiz Academy is the first.  It seems to me that this is why it is so important to take advantage of these autonomies, to try to create more places that will serve children.

For us at BPE, it has been a gratifying and humbling experience to start DSNCS in collaboration with the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative (DSNI) and a number of families and leaders in the Dudley neighborhood.  The energy and passion and commitment to quality education shared by the hundreds of people involved in shaping and launching and now running the school has been inspiring.  We have a lot to learn, but we are grateful to be in it with so many others with whom we share a common vision.

While the film is short and gives just a taste of all that goes on in launching schools, I encourage you to watch it and send in your suggestions and questions.

more from Jesse Solomon on the blog

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