Press "Enter" to skip to content

Boston Public Schools takes step forward in merger of Dorchester and Mattapan elementary schools


(Last Updated On: March 18, 2023)

Boston Public Schools took a step forward in the merger of the Pauline A. Shaw and Charles H. Taylor Elementary schools in Dorchester and Mattapan, as parents continued pushback on the district’s merger processes.

“I’m excited to share with you tonight our proposal to apply to the 2023 core program for a new facility for a combined short Taylor school in the southern Dorchester and Mattapan area,” said BPS chief of capital planning Delavern Stanislaus said at a meeting last week.

“This is a great opportunity to leverage state funding to support the Green New Deal for Boston Public Schools, expand access to inclusive and multilingual education and build on the assets of the Shaw and Taylor by designing a new facility specifically for these communities,” Stanislaus continued.

The Shaw-Taylor merger would entail combining the schools across two campuses in the short-term — aiming for the 2024-25 school year — and building a new facility in the long-term. Plans for the merger must be approved by the School Committee, a step scheduled for later this spring, before going to the Massachusetts School Building Authority.

The Daily Reformer News:   SeaWorld San Diego rescue team discusses beached whale death

If approved, the school would be the first built in the Dorchester-Mattapan area since 2003 and represent a significant investment in the area, said Stanislaus.

“These two neighborhoods … have 24% of all Boston’s children under five, showing they will continue to see high demand for elementary school seats in years to come,” Stanislaus said. “Southern Dorchester and Mattapan have also seen disproportionately less investment compared to other neighborhoods.”

The district also has an outstanding plan to merge the Sumner and Philbrick elementary schools in Roslindale. Both merger processes generated parent ire at the school committee meeting, with several discussing a lack of community engagement and parent involvement in the design and approval phases.

The Daily Reformer News:   SXSW musicians call out the festival for unfair pay, dub it 'a bad deal for a decade'

“How are our communities benefiting from this merger?” asked Sumner Elementary parent Elizabeth Ferrenz, questioning the transparency of the process. “Why are you rushing?”

The mergers are likely to be the first of many to come out of the Green New Deal in the coming year, and some parents discussed the need to organize future plans better.

“Clearly the experience of both the Shaw-Taylor communities and the Sumner-Philbrick communities going through this could be a template for the future,” said Rosie Hosking, a Sumner Elementary parent. “We could be creating sustainable merger processes that BPS could use for the next 10 years as the Green New Deal unfolds. … We ask you to do better.”

As reported by Boston Herald