Stories

Teacher Kate McDermott plays an imitation game with a student at the New England Center for Children in Southborough, Mass.

A shortage of special education staff leaves many students without services they need

December 13, 2021

Sara Harold describes her son, Finn, as a vibrant 3-year-old. “He loves running, jumping, exploring how things work and the intricacies,” said Harold, as she watched him play with a set of magnetic blocks. “While he has very few words, he can make his presence known.” Finn’s mom does most of the talking for him right…

Read More
Vermont first-graders Happiness Alex and Emily Xia display art and writing projects in which they imagined themselves with different kinds of animal teeth. Their class is an even mix of English learners and native English speakers.

Multilingualism is seen as an opportunity instead of a hurdle in Vermont district

November 30, 2021

In a first-grade classroom in Burlington, Vermont, Janelle Gendimenico guides her students through a lesson focusing on the importance of getting every word in a sentence, especially when you’re talking about animal teeth. “Show me with your fingers. What does the naked mole-rat’s teeth do?” Gendimenico asked the class. “They go back left and right,…

Read More
Adrian Solis, a social studies teacher at Abbott Technical High School social, walks around the classroom during a Black and Latino history class as his students learn about demographics, economics and the history of slavery in Connecticut.

Black and Latino studies get a place in Connecticut classrooms

November 28, 2021

Brandon Rodriguez, a high school senior in Connecticut, is getting ready for his fourth-period Black and Latino history class. Rodriguez says he signed up for the course to learn more about his ancestry. “My parents were born in Ecuador, but I was born here,” Rodriguez said. “But it’s nice to learn a little bit more…

Read More
Teacher Susan Blethen supports students Kingston Kirkland and Isra Aden in this classroom in Burlington, Vermont.

Multilingual liaisons are ‘cultural brokers’ for refugee students in this Vermont school district

November 17, 2021

In an office at Burlington High School, just off Lake Champlain in northern Vermont, Chacha Ngunga made a phone call. “Jambo jambo,” he said, greeting a student’s father in their shared language, Swahili. Ngunga is a multilingual liaison — one of 12 employed by the Burlington district. A few feet away, Noor Bulle, another liaison,…

Read More
Brooke Proulx, a school social worker at Gorham Middle School, is teaching an 8th grade health class lesson about responsible decision-making skills.

There’s a rise in behavior disruptions in Maine schools this year. It underscores a mental health crisis for kids

October 22, 2021

Educators across Maine expected an adjustment when students returned to school full time this year, with unfamiliar routines and the enduring pandemic. But now, they’re grappling with a rise in behavior challenges, which come as studies show depression and anxiety have doubled for children and teens since before the pandemic. This week, three leading pediatric health organizations warned that…

Read More
Preschool children playing outside, holding a colorful flag, at Mt. Carmel Early Education and Care Center in Chicopee, Massachusetts.

Hiring crisis in child care: ‘We’re stuck in a market that’s broken’

October 19, 2021

In western Massachusetts, the cost and availability of child care can be a major barrier to employment for some parents. During the pandemic, it has become an even bigger problem, in part because day care providers themselves are having a harder time recruiting employees. Standing in a circle, preschoolers at the Mt Carmel Early Education…

Read More
A National Guard member drives a school bus van in Chelsea, Mass.

The National Guard is easing school bus struggles, districts say. So are new Spanish-language driver tests

October 12, 2021

On a recent weekday, Jaime Carillo and his son waited for the ride to school in their usual spot on the front porch of the family’s duplex. When classes first started, the two were spending a lot of time there; the van that takes his son to school was coming much later than its 7:28 a.m.…

Read More

Boston Schools Desegregation, Then And Now: Through The Eyes Of A Black Student Who Survived The 1970s Turmoil

September 30, 2021

Cedric Turner was 16 years old when bell bottoms were polyester and “The Bump” filled radio airwaves, moving young people to knock their hips together to the beat. It was the dawn of the disco era, with colored lights flashing in nightclubs as music blasted away. A street-wise kid from Mattapan, Turner was Black, six-foot-two…

Read More
A photo of pooled testing supplies.

Despite Early Challenges, Maine Schools Hope Pooled Testing Will Keep Kids In The Classroom

September 21, 2021

  As Maine schools enter their third pandemic-affected year, they have a new tool that officials are hoping will lead to fewer interruptions. It’s called “pooled testing” and is designed to identify COVID-19 cases early, and keep more students in the classroom. But in some districts, a shortage of labor and supplies has already challenged…

Read More

Professors Describe ‘Mass Exodus’ From Technical College in Boston

August 31, 2021

Juggling a full load of courses as a biology professor at Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston, Ryan Rogers reached her breaking point when administrators required her to teach laboratory courses in-person during the pandemic. “My mental health was trash,” Rogers said. “I felt it declining day by day. I did not sleep very much.…

Read More