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Mayor launches Build BPS: a 10-year educational and facilities master plan

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Mayor Martin J. Walsh launched Build BPS Tuesday, a ten-year educational and facilities master plan for Boston Public Schools that will provide a strategic framework for facilities investments, as well as reform that is aligned with the mayor’s vision of fostering exemplary teaching in a world-class system of innovative, welcoming schools.

“The most important investment we can make is in our young people, and we do that by supporting their education and making sure they have the best opportunities and learning facilities available to them,” Walsh said. “This master plan will ensure that Boston’s schools are equipping students with the education, skills and facilities needed to exceed the standards of 21st century learning.”

Over the next 18 months, the mayor’s Education cabinet and BPS will work with consultant Symmes, Maini & McKee Associates (SMMA) to develop a comprehensive set of recommendations that will be submitted to Walsh, Superintendent Tommy Chang and the Boston School Committee by the end of 2016.

“The world around us is changing at a staggering pace; and over the next ten years, there will be many more innovations that will change the way we live and learn,” Chang said. “Learning and instruction are changing, too, as we prepare our students to thrive in this advancing world. That also means that our school buildings and classrooms need updating to respond to the accelerating rate of innovation and meet the demands of 21st century learning.”

The work of SMMA will be in partnership with BPS, the mayor’s Education cabinet, and several city agencies, including Property and Construction Management, Environment, Energy and Open Space, Neighborhood Services, and the Boston Redevelopment Authority, in consultation with designer and project manager Margaret Wood of Pinck & Co.

“To be successful, we are all going to need to collaborate — district central office, school leaders, teachers, students, parents, business, higher education, community leaders, and government officials,” said Chief of Education Rahn Dorsey. “We are confident that with the help of all city stakeholders, we will create a vision for 21st century learning in Boston — and build the infrastructure that supports our collective ambitions.”

The planning process for Build BPS will include the following components:

Demographics, Capacity and Utilization Analysis to better understand student populations today, and evaluate the trajectory of student success rates in the future (beginning October 2015);

Community Engagement to ensure that there is community input from Boston families, students and educators in creating a long-term vision for public education and the function and use of buildings (beginning November 2015);

Educational Programming to develop a vision and principles for 21st century instruction and learning for all of Boston’s public schools (beginning November 2015);

Financial Planning and Funding to develop a set of investment recommendations for long-term building maintenance, modernization and the development of new schools, as needed (beginning October 2015);

Facility Conditions Assessment to assess BPS’ 128 school buildings and maximize the potential uses in infrastructure (beginning Summer 2016).

For the latest schedule and more information, please visit:bostonpublicschools.org/buildbps. To join the conversation and provide feedback, residents are encouraged to use #BuildBPS via social media platforms.