October Virtual Session: Education: Boston Public Schools

Date: October 14, 2020
Time: 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM

Location: Zoom (see reminder email or YW Boston Connect event page for meeting details)


Our objectives are to

  • Experience the promise of and challenges for Boston Public School students, in the context of COVID-19 
  • Understand the complexity of urban school leadership 
  • Understand history of segregation/de-segregation in Boston Public Schools 
  • Be able to articulate barriers and opportunities to providing a high quality education for all children 
  • 9:00 Opening
  • 9:45 Leadership Commitments
  • 10:20 BPS: Grounding & Framings
  • 11:15 BPS Expert Panel
  • 12:30 Discussion & close

Complete the following readings before our program day:

Additional suggested resources:

Module 8: Inclusive Communication Skills: Spheres of Influence

In Module 8 (10:31), our facilitator Kevin discusses inclusive communication skills, focused around spheres of influence, with the goals of 1) reviewing spheres of influence and 2) deepening our understanding of how we may identify, broaden, and leverage our spheres for change.   

  1. As you watch the video, take notes and pause at the questions to write in your LeadBoston journal.   
  2. Once you’ve finished the video, share your response to the Post & Share question below as a comment to the pinned post in the YW Boston Connect LeadBoston 2020 group.  

Post & Share: Choose an area of focus from one of your LeadBoston program days that falls into your circle of concern, and answer the following questions:   

  1. How does it intersect with your professional focus and circle of concern?
  2. What do you control, and who or what is within your influence? 

We’ll be sharing responses as an icebreaker at the beginning of the day.

Expert Speakers

Edverette Brewster, Principal, Holmes Innovation School, Dorchester, MA

Edverette is a native of Memphis, Tennessee and a graduate of Vanderbilt University where he earned a Bachelors of Arts in Public Policy. Edverette entered the teaching profession as a Teach for America Corps Member and relocated to Boston to teach middle school English Language Arts at the Lilla G. Frederick Pilot Middle School, where he taught Humanities and served as the Humanities Team Facilitator. At the Frederick, Edverette served on the Instructional Leadership Team and coached the LGF Step Team.

In 2016 Edverette earned his Masters in Instructional Leadership from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. During his career, he has worked with Teach for America as a Curriculum Specialist during regional Institute and a Content Team Leader. In 2018, Edverette received Honorable Mention for the BPS Educator of the Year and taught a course through Teach Plus that focused on Culturally Relevant Pedagogy. In 2019, Edverette became the proud principal of the Holmes Innovation School in Dorchester. His passion is to provide culturally relevant instruction and quality support for all students.

Velecia Saunders, Special Education Disproportionality Specialist, Boston Public Schools Office of Opportunity Gap

Velecia Saunders is currently the Special Education Disproportionality Specialist for Boston Public Schools. Prior to this appointment in July of 2020, she spent 28 years at McKinley schools as a paraprofessional, teacher and finally Headmaster. McKinley is a substantially separate public day school within BPS that serves students in grades K-12 who have been diagnosed with moderate to severe behavioral, psychological and social emotional concerns.

Velecia comes with wealth of experience around improving outcomes for students in alternative schools and in healing centered and trauma informed student engagement. For the past 12 years, Velecia has also been an adjunct professor working under Dr. Lisa Gonsalves in the Teach Next Year Program at UMass Boston, teaching sociocultural perspectives and classroom management and child psychology. She resides in Milton, Mass., and is a proud mother of two beautiful girls ages 10 and 28.

Emmanuel Allen, Director, Boston Public Schools Re-Engagement Center (REC)

As a lifelong resident of Boston, Emmanuel Allen is dedicated to the success and achievement of urban youth. For the past seventeen years, he has worked to create programing and pathways for a variety of populations, ranging from homeless youth, to high school dropouts and those at risk of dropping out, to first-year college students.

Emmanuel helped design the Boston Public Schools Re-Engagement Center, a full service center that actively recovers students who have left school. He has also managed and organized programs targeted at reducing violence in urban areas. Emmanuel holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Fitchburg State University in Computer Information Systems and a certificate in Nonprofit Leadership and Management from Boston University. He completed his MBA at Northeastern University. Emmanuel currently works for the Boston Public schools as the director of Boston’s Re-Engagement Center.