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Simmons College & Boston Teachers Union Create First Union-operated Public School in City

BOSTON (June 4, 2009) — With the goal of providing Boston school children with a rigorous education and a strong foundation in the liberal arts, Simmons College and the Boston Teachers Union recently signed a memorandum of understanding to create the city's first public school managed by the teachers union. This also marks the first time that Simmons has partnered with the city in the creation of a new school.

The Boston Teachers Union School will open in fall 2009 at the site of the former Young Achievers School in Jamaica Plain. It will offer K-2 and grade 6 classes this upcoming academic year. Organizers expect the school to offer K-8 education by fall 2012. The school also will have a unique organizational model. Instead of the traditional principal-leader, it will be managed by two co-teacher leaders to encourage a more democratic and creative learning environment. This innovative model is being used only by a handful of other U.S. cities, including Denver, Milwaukee, and Minneapolis.

"This partnership between Simmons and the Boston Public Schools will provide an opportunity for us to make a real difference in the lives of Boston school children and in the future," said Simmons College President Helen Drinan during a June 1 signing ceremony, which included Boston Public School Superintendent Carol R. Johnson and Boston Teachers Union President Richard Stutman.

In addition to working with the Boston Teachers Union to conceptualize the school, Simmons faculty will provide interdisciplinary support, training, and leadership through its education, social work, nursing, library science, and management programs. Simmons students also will have opportunities for internships and fieldwork at the school.

According to the National Council for the Accreditation of Teachers, "Professional development schools are innovative institutions formed through partnerships between professional education programs and P-12 schools. Their mission is professional preparation of candidates, faculty development, inquiry directed at the improvement of practice, and enhanced student learning."

For more information about the Boston Teachers Union School, visit www.btuschool.org.

Simmons College is a nationally recognized private university located in the heart of Boston. It offers an undergraduate education for women, and renowned coeducational graduate programs in health sciences, education, liberal arts, social work, library and information science, and communications management, as well as the nation's first MBA program designed specifically for women.

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