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Boston’s Quality Pre-K Model

A high-quality early education experience for every four-year-old in every neighborhood in Boston

BPS families interested in a pre-k enrollment for September 2019 can complete an interest form found at http://www.bostonpublicschools.org/UPK.

Overview

The goal of Boston Quality Pre-K is to ensure every four-year-old in Boston has access to high-quality early education experiences that lay the foundation for their future learning and educational success. The City of Boston is committed to providing high quality, inclusive, culturally responsive early education to all children whether their families choose to send them to classrooms in Boston Public Schools or community-based organizations.

Mayor Walsh is investing $15 million through a new Boston Universal Pre-K Fund to guarantee equitable access to free, high-quality pre-K for all four-year-olds in Boston within five years.

Boston’s Quality Pre-K Plan — A system of high-quality early education options

Baseline features of a UPK program ensure:

  • 4-year-old classrooms

  • Equitable access to a free school day (6.5 hours per day / 180 days per year)

  • Maximum teacher to child ratios (2:22 in BPS, 2:20 in all other programs)

  • Environments that are safe and age-appropriate to promote learning

Defining Quality — Evidence-based essentials for high-impact Pre-K

Highly-trained and well-compensated teachers who hold early childhood degrees and are well-prepared to lead inclusive classrooms for all learners

  • Use of BPS Focus on K1 Curriculum and Building Blocks curriculum; focus on literacy and math as well as supports for students with additional needs (English Language, Special Education, etc.)

  • Environments that are safe, age-appropriate, and culturally responsive to promote learning

  • Maximum teacher-child ratios of 2:20 for community-based centers

  • Accreditation by National Association for the Education of Young Children and assessment as Level 3 or higher in MA’s Quality Rating Improvement System

  • Ongoing coaching and professional development for teaching staff

  • Strong communication and support to engage families

  • Ongoing assessment and evaluation of the program to promote continuous improvement

For FY20, the Mayor committed Quality Pre-K funding and support to community-based organizations to serve up to a total of 450 four-year old children in Boston by September 2019.

An RFP has been released and can be found here.

A folder with all documents for this RFP can be found here.

RFP Timeline

April 1, 2019 - Boston Universal Pre-K RFP available for distribution
April 5, 2019 - UPK RFP Bidder webinar
meet.google.com/uyz-xwhj-cdt  (copy and paste link)
(‪US‬)‪+1 413-453-0936‬ PIN: ‪378 063 283#
April 8, 2019 - Intent to apply due, link and hard copy can be found here
April 11, 2019 - 2pm-4pm UPK RFP Bidder webinar replay
meet.google.com/jem-jfse-cga
(‪US‬)‪+1 216-930-9149‬ PIN: ‪599 524 046#‬
April 15, 2019 - 12:00pm deadline for questions regarding UPK RFP #1073 (SY19-20)
May 1, 2019 - 12:00pm UPK RFP #1073 (SY19-20) submission deadline
May 27, 2019 - UPK RFP #1073 (SY19-20) status notification

The Request for Proposal (RFP) outlines the implementation and monitoring requirements of the Boston Universal Pre-K system and the community-based organizations that will be selected to participate in the system.

Following the current RFP, annual UPK funding will be available to expand quality access to more UPK eligible children.

Communication

BPS families interested in a UPK classroom for September 2019 can complete an interest form found at http://www.bostonpublicschools.org/UPK. After UPK programs are selected, a BPS Quality Pre-K administrator will contact families to connect with a UPK program.  

Published newsletters click here.

2019 Spring Conference flyer - Programs selected under UPK are expected to send their lead teacher to the Introduction to Focus on K1 scheduled for June 13th-15th at Simmons University.

To join the Boston Quality Fund mailing list click here.
For questions, contact the Boston UPK Director: tdias@bostonpublicschools.org

Boston Quality Pre-K Selection Committee

Under the guidance of the Mayor Walsh and BPS Superintendent the active decision making body is the Boston Quality Pre-K Selection Committee listed below.  This committee listed below will eventually become a part of the Boston Quality Pre-K Oversight Committee and/or the Boston Quality Pre-K Advisory Committee.  

  • Kim Lucas, Open Data Manager, Citywide Analytics Team, Department of Innovation & Technology, City of Boston

  • Karley Ausiello, Senior Vice President, Community Impact, United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley 

  • Jeri Robinson, VP of Early Childhood Initiatives at the Boston Children’s Museum & BPS School Committee 

  • Anne Douglass, PhD, Associate Professor of Early Childhood Education and Care, Program Director, College of Education and Human Development University of Massachusetts Boston

  • Aditi Subramaniam, LMHC, R-DMT, CEIS Boston Family Engagement Network Citywide Coordinator

  • Turahn Dorsey, City of Boston former Chief of Education

  • Carolyn Mason Christopher, Boston Public School Program Developer 

  • Jason Sachs, Boston Public Schools Early Childhood Department Executive Director 

  • Peg Sprague, 2016 Boston Universal Pre-K Advisory Committee 

  • Brian Gold, Early Childhood Program Officer, The Boston Foundation  

  • Tee-Ara Dias, Boston Universal Pre-K Director 

  • Andrea Zayas, Deputy Chief Academic Officer, Academic & Student Supports for Equity Team (ASSET), Boston Public Schools

  • Devon McCarley, Senior Director of Welcome Services, Boston Public Schools 

  • Sonia Gómez-Banrey, Countdown to Kindergarten, Director, Office of Engagement Boston Public Schools

  • Amy O’Leary, President of the NAEYC Governing Board, director of Early Education for All (EEA), a campaign of Strategies for Children (SFC)

  • BPS Program Developers (former K1Ds, PEG, and/or BPS K1 coaches) 

  • Carolyn Mason Christopher, Abby Morales, Chris Bucco, David Ramsey, Anthony Valdez, Mayra Cuevas, Marie Enotchy, Marina Boni

    A full list of the 2016 Advisory committee can be found on page 22 of the Boston UPK Advisory Committee Report April 2016