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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Gissela Yanez in her first day of English classes at Saint Augustine Parish Hall in Manchester, N.H.

N.H. immigrants prosper inside English classes in wake of labor shortage

February 9, 2022

Gissela Yanez arrived pregnant from Peru in New Hampshire in 2020. She has a college degree and was a physical therapist back in Peru. But here she cleans houses. She found the job quickly, and she said it makes her feel disappointed in her abilities. She knows she can do more. Like many new immigrants,…

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Sabrina Lima, a first-year student at Tufts Medical School in Boston, on the school's campus on Jan 5, 2021.

Medical schools see record enrollment increase among Black students

January 28, 2022

Sabrina Lima said her mom, a nurse, inspired her to pursue a career as a doctor. “I’ve been on medical missionary trips with her, so seeing her in medicine — she’s this amazing woman,” she said. “I just love how she serves others, and I want to serve people in a similar way.” Lima, the…

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Jessica Potter, the principal of Center Woods Elementary School in Weare, says about 15% of her staff are absent on any given day, largely due to COVID.

With COVID staff absences, and subs in short supply, N.H. educators work overtime to keep school doors open

January 24, 2022

When Jessica Potter, the principal at Center Woods Elementary in Weare, N.H., planned for COVID-related absences this year, she and her staff booked every available substitute teacher months in advance. But last week, the school had twice as many staff absences as available substitute teachers. So, Potter shifted gears: She reassigned special education staff. Office…

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A portrait of Brighton High School nurse Lauren O'Malley-Singh, standing outside on her front lawn.

Forced to improvise COVID policies, school nurses are reaching a ‘breaking point’

January 12, 2022

Every morning before school, Lauren O’Malley-Singh’s heart races as she straps on an N95 mask. “I feel like I’m drowning,” said O’Malley-Singh, a nurse at Brighton High School in Boston. She’s drowning in coronavirus tests. She gives upwards of 40 rapid tests a day, isolating the students who test positive, calling their parents and finding…

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In Vermont, kids’ mental health is deteriorating after nearly two years of instability

January 10, 2022

Sara Lamie knows that if her daughter, Avah, has something to get off her chest, it’ll happen in the car after school: “Sometimes she’ll come right out and say, like, ‘Mom, [sigh] I had a rough day today.’” Sara asks Avah, who’s 11, if she wants to talk about it. If she does, she might…

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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…

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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,…

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