Thursday, October 30, 2014

.K12 Art Exhibit Project

Superintendent Search Public Hearing, 2014 (Click to enlarge)
Hi Everyone,

I am a visual artist and also a parent of a current and former Boston Public schools student. I am gather community comments for  an art project that I am creating, .K12.

The goal of my art project, .K12 is to create a gallery exhibit  about public education in Boston from the perspective of parents, caregivers and other community members.

You are invited to leave a comment, anonymously, and then I will transform it into a part of the art exhibit. If you email me, I will send you your comment, back as an art postcard.

Visit the "Comment Here and Participate" page to leave a comment.

Most of the photos on this blog are ones I have taken over the years at various school events.

Thank you so much for your participation and any suggestions.

Sincerely yours,

Lisa Link,

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Lockers? Letter to the Mayor #2

BPS climate survey to parents, 2014
Dear Mayor Walsh,

I read in the paper that the plan for a building for the Boston Arts Academy has ended. That is disappointing. I also read that you recently hired a chief of Arts & Culture for the city of Boston. 
Is the new chief aware that:
  • The only public performing arts high school in Boston does not even have an auditorium? .
  • 93% of the core academic classrooms  and 90% of the arts spaces do not meet Mass. School Building  Authority (MSBA) regulations for classroom/learning space

The mayor's office could take positive steps to show that Boston cares about public arts education.  You could visit Boston Arts Academy in person and meet with the students and teachers and see the amazing things they are achieving against all odds.

Even better, the mayor's office could make one phone call this week to the Boston Public Schools that could change the tone of this decades-old discussion going forward.

Could you call up BPS, an office under your budget, and ask them to send  BAA some lockers?

 That's right - lockers. Almost 25% of  BAA students, teenagers who take long public transportation rides from every neighborhood in Boston in all kinds of weather and traffic, arrive with not only books, but musical instruments, art supplies, dance shoes and clothing every day,  and have no safe place to store them.

What kind of message does this send to Boston students when they arrive at school each day, and walk past a major sports arena with lots of amenities and then, have nowhere to store their wet coats, books, and heavy arts supplies?

Used lockers are only $55 each so for less then $6000 the city could greatly improve the lives of BAA students and show that Boston is seriously committed to arts education for a diverse group of students that represent every neighborhood.

Thank you for your thoughts on this issue,

Sincerely yours,

Lisa Link
Parent of a BAA senior 

** the rumor is that BPS wants BAA to fundraise for the lockers, that is unjust, a locker for each child is the bare minimum that the city/BPS should provide no matter what building they are in. We vote and pay taxes and would like to see BPS do the right thing here. 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Sample background photographs for exhibit

BPS School Committee Meeting, 2013

At BTU Parent Advisory Meeting, 2014

At BTU Parent Advisory Meeting, 2014

Before Family Council meeting, 2013

Parent/Teacher Conferences, 2014

Parent night, 2013

Lobbying City Council, 2013

Family Council food court meeting, 2014

Stuffing envelopes, ?2012

Superintendent Search public hearing, 2014

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Letter to Mayor Walsh

July 20, 2014

Dear Mayor Walsh,

·      I am writing as a parent of a Boston Arts Academy (BAA) student. Since it was opened in 1998 in a "temporary spot", BAA has been looking for a home that would allow the school to fulfill its mission and vision. I worked for BAA as a media teacher the year it opened and  was shocked to see, when visiting with my accepted daughter,  that not only had nothing changed in 15 years but that the building had declined to unsafe conditions for students and staff. The current state of the BAA facility limits the school’s ability to carry out its unique arts and academic program and serve as the only public arts high school in Boston Public Schools.

·      BAA is currently in a schematic design phase with the Massachusetts School Building Authority. We urge you to support BAA to have a suitable facility for its educational needs, and support this design, which is being submitted to the MSBA on July 22nd.

·      The next step will be a project funding agreement between the City of Boston and Massachusetts School Building Authority on September 24th.
·     BAA, a performing arts high school, does not have an auditorium!!!!!!

·     BAA theater and dance students cannot compete in competitions with students from other schools because they have no auditorium where they can rehearse. Lack of space, means students have to stretch, play music, and rehearse in hallways, disrupting other classes and leading to injuries. Dancers get hurt, frequently, because of the tiny rooms mean for ¼ the number of students. My daughter, a dancer, has literally crashed into a wall due to overcrowding during a dance.

·      BAA has had to discontinue many educational program offerings due to space constraints. 

·      There is only ONE functioning science lab for 440 students. 

·      90% of BAA’s academic classrooms DO NOT meet the Massachusetts School Building Authority’s size and space requirements. 

·      This project offers the school a home that meets its learning needs, and shares those resources with the Josiah Quincy Upper School. This new building would also offer the ability to house a middle school for the arts. We know there is much demand for this among Boston families, and this building could further enhance the Boston Public Schools vision for the future.  The Parcel 25 location is the only acceptable site that fits all three schools needs. In 2014, BAA had space for 125 students, and more than 700 applied for these spots. The building will include a theatre that can seat 400, one of the only theatres of its size in downtown Boston. All the classrooms will meet the standards of the Massachusetts School Building Authority. The school will have a design and visual communications lab that supports its career and technical education program. This building has many interdisciplinary classroom spaces where the school will continue to
strengthen its innovative curriculum, including STEAM (STEM +Arts). In this building, Boston Arts Academy would remain full-inclusion, and expand to offer seats to substantially-separate students with intellectual/cognitive disabilities to meet the growing needs of Boston Public Schools, as well as to expand access to arts education for students who currently do not have such access.

·      Boston Arts Academy has incredible faculty and staff, talented and passionate students from every neighborhood in Boston, and consistent success—each year 94% of graduates are accepted to college. This school deserves a suitable home that will allow it to continue to education the artists, scholars, and citizens, who are the cultural ambassadors for our city.

·      We urge you to consider all of these factors, and give these three schools the building they and the city of Boston deserve.

Sincerely yours,

Lisa Link, 
BPS parent and registered voter
Boston, MA