Stories

Hartford, Conn. schools bring in 16 teachers from Puerto Rico, but islanders fear ‘brain drain’

September 9, 2022

Back in April, Marcos Gabriel Valentin-Ortiz wanted to get a sense of what Hartford, Conn., looked like. “In Puerto Rico, I didn’t see many opportunities and possibilities to progress,” Valentin-Ortiz said. “After eight years with the same salary, I was beginning to feel a little bit frustrated.” After an offer to more than triple his salary,…

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Organized school supplies such as markers, different crayons like red, green and black, in a preschool classroom in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Springfield, Mass. now offering free, universal, full-day pre-K

September 9, 2022

As she walked through the hallways of Balliet Pre-school, in Springfield, Massachusetts, on Thursday, Principal Jessica McCloskey visited several classrooms to greet students. “We are so excited to get the school year started in this wonderful space,” said McCloskey, referring to the former elementary school on Seymour Avenue , which now serves as a preschool…

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Brian Sands, Director of Facilities for New Hampshire's Pelham School District, stands in front of a unit for the school’s new AC system.

Luxury or necessity? How climate change is prompting some N.H. schools to rethink air conditioning.

August 31, 2022

On especially hot days, the temperature in 11-year old Chase Bressette’s second-floor classroom at Pelham Elementary School climbs above 80 degrees. He and his classmates guzzle water and gather in front of a standing fan. His teacher draws the window shades and turns off the lights to cool down the room. But still, Chase says…

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Educators say free meals have changed attitudes in Maine’s school cafeterias

August 26, 2022

When the pandemic upended schools two years ago, the federal government took the step of providing universal school meal waivers nationwide, in effect making meals free for every child. This fall, those waivers are ending. But a few states, including Maine, have decided to continue providing free meals to every public school student. Local officials…

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Boston sees sluggish summer for connecting youth to career pathways

August 23, 2022

Boston boasts a large network of city-run and nonprofit programs dedicated to connecting young people with enriching summer jobs. These positions in government, health care, business and the private sector are seen as a way to foster career skills development and offer mentorship to area teens. But this summer, there’s a problem — those connections…

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A photo of a female high school student with short, dark wavy hair and glasses in the hallway of her school with lockers in the background. The student is wearing a backpack and holding books in her arm.

How New England’s lack of teacher diversity is affecting students at N.H.’s largest school district

June 22, 2022

Mackenzie Verdiner goes to one of the most diverse schools in New Hampshire, Manchester’s West High School. Students there speak about 50 different languages. “If I grab a fistful of kids randomly, it would be a different color on each finger — it’s all different colors, different backgrounds,” she says. “And then all the teachers…

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Williams College becomes nation’s first to eliminate loans and work requirements from student aid

May 5, 2022

At Williams College in western Massachusetts, first-year student Daniela Corona walked backwards quickly, glancing over her shoulder so as not to trip as she guided a campus tour for interested students and their families. The daughter of Mexican immigrants, Corona is the first in her family to go to college–“quite the jump,” she calls it.…

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The tale of missing Little Queer Library books and a failed book ban in Waltham, Mass.

March 17, 2022

File this story under political thriller. The scene is a little free library, one of those community bookshelves that sprout up in yards, encouraging passersby to take or leave a book. Krysta Petrie and Katie Cohen host one on Trapelo Road in Waltham, Mass., dubbed the Little Queer Library, which offers mostly books featuring LGBTQ…

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School mental health program eases transition from hospital to classroom

March 15, 2022

On a recent February morning, Eliza, a senior at Amherst Regional High School in Amherst, Massachusetts, walked down the school hallway. Accompanied by a school social worker, Eliza chatted about some of her favorite books and TV shows, and when she passed a teacher she hadn’t seen in several weeks, she got excited. There was…

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Teacher Adriana Beltran-Rodriguez helps fifth-grader Luwazu Manuel figure out fractions during a math class at Michael D. Fox Elementary School in Hartford, Conn., on March 1, 2022.

Paso a Paso, Hartford aims to recruit bilingual teachers directly from Puerto Rico

March 10, 2022

Prior to leaving Puerto Rico for Connecticut, Adriana Beltran-Rodriguez didn’t know anyone who had visited the state. “I saw that Hartford Public Schools had a recruitment program, and they were coming to Puerto Rico to do interviews,” said Beltran-Rodriguez. “I went and they liked me and I thought, ‘Now I know three people in Connecticut!’”…

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