Mayor Thomas M. Menino cut the ribbon today to officially open the Roger Clap Innovation School in Dorchester.
The Clap becomes the district’s first innovation school.
"We will get there and make the gains we want and sometimes it’s not going be easy," Menino said. "But I know we all have the same goal: that every kid in Boston gets a good education.”
Innovation schools allow for greater flexibility in decision-making in curriculum, staffing, budget, schedules, and district policies. The Clap opened two weeks earlier than most other schools in the district and will have a longer school day.
“Our slogan is ‘connecting to community’ and we feel we are going to bring academic experiences to our students through the local community, and I think that is going to be one big difference our school is going to offer to our kids,” said Principal Justin Vernon.
In addition to the excitement voiced by elected officials and teachers, parents seemed especially supportive.
“I love the school. I really fought for it to stay open,” said Roberta Gould who has two sons attending the Clap.
“I think it’s [the change] going to be great all around, not just for the students but also for the community that surrounds it,” added Gould.
Mayor Menino was joined at the ceremony by Superintendent Carol R. Johnson; Richard Stutman, president of the Boston Teachers Union; the Rev. Gregory G. Groover, chairman of the School Committee Chair; state Senator Jack Hart; and City Councilors Bill Linehan and Maureen E. Feeney.
“I cannot tell you how proud I am of the little school that could…You’re not in my district but you are certainly in my heart,” Feeney said.
Along with cutting the ribbon, the mayor took a tour of the school to get a look at the new IdeaPaint white boards, which allow students to be creative on many of the school’s surfaces. He also sampled offerings by Whitsons Culinary Group, the new food provider for Boston Public Schools.
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