Riding Successes, Harvard-Kent Files to Expand to Sixth Grade

One cannot get too much of a good thing, and with that principle in mind, Principal Jason Gallagher announced on Tuesday that the Harvard-Kent School has petitioned Boston Public Schools to allow them to expand to add a sixth grade.

The letter was sent to Interim Supt. Laura Perille last Friday, Oct 19.

Their proposal letter is co-signed by families, faculty, and leading local partners including the MGH/Institute of Health Professionals, the Charlestown Boys and Girls Club, City Councilor Lydia Edwards and State Rep. Dan Ryan.

In the letter, Principal Gallagher stated, “As the Harvard-Kent’s core values state, our students, staff and families have deep PRIDE in the work that we do in our school building and in the community surrounding us.” Gallagher continued, “We want to expand this work to serve more students and families by expanding to Grade 6 in 2019.”

The Harvard Kent Elementary School has 88 percent of students defined as high needs, and has been a Level 1 school. In 2018, 51 percent of Boston Public Schools high needs students met or exceeded their MCAS targets. At the Harvard Kent, 83 percent did. The expansion plan would add a sixth grade to the existing K-5 operation in Hayes Square.

“As a family, we love being part of the Harvard-Kent community,” said parent Becky Adamonis. “At the Harvard-Kent Elementary School my children are engaged academically, physically, socially and emotionally. They have flourished under the guiding principles of the school.”

Adamonis is the mother of two students at the Harvard-Kent Elementary: August, Grade 1 and Thomas, K1.

In 2018, the Harvard-Kent is one of 22 Boston Public Schools to “Meet or Exceed all Achievement Targets” through exceptional teaching, targeted academic and social-emotional supports and student-centered enrichment opportunities.

“Giving Harvard-Kent students the opportunity to remain in the school for Grade 6 will better prepare them academically and social-emotionally and be better prepared for the challenges in Grades 7-12,” said Diane Gould, MGH/IHP and Harvard-Kent partnership liaison.

To grow, the Harvard-Kent will require the renovation of one large existing classroom, which would be subdivided into two or three smaller classrooms. The school could begin offering a sixth grade, if the plan is supported, as early as the fall of 2019 in their current facility.

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