By Mayor Martin J. Walsh
Yellow buses, backpacks and excited kids are here: it’s back to school season. We’re lucky to live in Boston, a city with some of the smartest people in the world. I have a message for all our students heading into school this fall: nobody’s education is more important than yours, because nobody has the potential to change the world like you do. I’m proud of how hard you work and how brave you are in the face of all your different challenges. I know that this school year will be full of new opportunities, and new ways to learn and grow.
In Boston, we had an active and busy summer — from our Boston Summer Eats program to our Fifth Quarter of Learning program that helps kids learn all summer long, we’re ready for a great start to the 2019-2020 school year.
As the school year starts, I think a lot about how I felt in school. In the fifth grade, I had been held back the year before — I had missed too much school because in first grade, I was diagnosed with cancer. With the help of my doctors, my family and my community, I was able to get better, and graduate. But that experience made me understand what it’s like to be nervous about school starting, thinking you’re behind everyone, and won’t ever catch up.
For any kids who have been bullied, or homeless, or scared of their first day, I want you to know your city is rooting for you. Your teachers want you to succeed. And your Mayor is behind you every step of the way as you have a happy and healthy school year.
At Boston Public Schools, we’re working hard to make this year the best yet. We have committed teachers who work hard to provide opportunities for their students. We have My Way Cafes that serve fresh, healthy meals. We have programs and activities for kids to keep learning, even after the last bell rings.
This year, we’re also welcoming Dr. Brenda Cassellius as our new superintendent of Boston Public Schools. I am confident in her leadership and know that she’ll ensure a great year, including helping with Boston’s universal pre-Kindergarten program, and helping us hand out free MBTA passes for all public, charter and private school students in Grades 7-12.
I want to welcome her too, and wish the best of luck to our students who are starting Thursday, Sept. 5, and our kindergarteners starting Monday, Sept. 9. Study hard, enjoy your year, and know that Boston is your home — and your place to succeed.
Martin J. Walsh is the Mayor of Boston.