Community Partners Workshop and Presentation by Danish Kurani

On June 11, Friends of Blackstone School hosted a Community Partners Workshop. The goal of the meeting was to update current community partners and also potential new partners and friends with an update on the progress of the school’s turn around.

Principal Cynthia Paris-Jeffries presented solid data on the tremendous improvement of students’ academic achievements. Building on that improvement is an essential part of the school’s transitions from Turnaround status to Innovation school status.

FoBS Board member Julio Cesar Roman thanked our current community partners who were in attendance and thanked those for considering helping Friends of Blackstone School in the future. Specifically, he asked those who have the ability to be our ambassador in the community and to reach families of Pre-K and Kindergarten aged children to respond to our recent survey. We are seeking voices in the community to spread the word about the new era in Blackstone School’s history.

In the spring, Danish Kurani, graduate student at Harvard University, chose Blackstone School as the school that he would apply his theory of urban planning research. With support from BPS and Blackstone’s Principal Cynthia Paris-Jeffries, Danish continued his research with workshops with  Blackstone students, teachers and the community. At the core of Mr. Kurani’s proposal for Blackstone was re-imagining not only the school’s space,  but also strong partnerships with local business and organizations to reshape a community oriented campus map.

At the end of workshop, community members gathered to consider what partnerships could be realized now before any changes were to be made to the School itself. In particular, relationships with the Health-care, Financial, Restaurant and Arts communities were identified as possible opportunities.

Future discussions on this topic will be facilitated by Friends of Blackstone School and will offer more opportunities to garner feedback from the community.