This week, City Councilor Sal LaMattina has made an appeal to Boston Public School Superintendent Dr. Tommy Chang for a new middle school in the neighborhood.
In a letter to Superintendent Chang obtained by the East Boston Times, LaMattina argued that there is a shortage of middle school seats in Eastie. While he said he understood that BPS is currently undergoing a study of a comprehensive facilities LaMattina said he wanted to make sure that Eastie is included in this study.
“As I am sure you are aware,East Boston is a very desirable neighborhood right now,” wrote LaMattina. “If it were not for the two charter schools that have recently expanded we would have a severe shortage of seats and many of our children would be forced to travel across the city. If more seats are not provided, I fear that this shortage might soon become a reality.”
LaMattina said while he is pleased that with the expansion of the Umana Barnes, Eastie now has two K-8 schools, he is concerned that the Orient Heights area of Eastie is underserved.
“Many parents have enjoyed the fact that they have two excellent quality schools in the Curtis Guild and Manassah Bradley, only to be disappointed that their children then have to travel to other areas of East Boston or even the other end of the city,” wrote LaMattina. “My hope is that we can find some common ground on this issue to allow for more middle schools seats for our students.”
LaMattina asked Superintendent Chang that his request be seriously looked at.
“I think a more realistic goal for the upcoming 2016-2017 academic year would be the possibility of modular classrooms, but I am open to any other creative ideas,” wrote LaMattina. “However, modular classrooms will not permanently solve the problem. My ultimate objective is to provide every student the opportunity to attend neighborhood schools that are within walking distance of their house, or at the very least a simple commute. I have been advocating for this for years because I feel that it is of utmost importance. Neighborhood schools instill not only a sense of safety and familiarity, but also a sense of pride in one’s neighborhood and community.”