PLATINUM2024

Boston Partners in Education Inc

BOSTON, MA   |  https://www.bostonpartners.org

Mission

By creating supportive relationships between students and volunteer mentors, Boston Partners in Education ensures a more equitable city where every BPS student is equipped with the skills, opportunity, and confidence to succeed in the classroom and beyond.

Ruling year info

1972

Principal Officer

Ms. Erin M. McGrath

Main address

192 SOUTH ST STE 600

BOSTON, MA 02111 USA

Show more contact info

Formerly known as

School Volunteers For Boston

EIN

04-2501341

NTEE code info

Educational Services and Schools - Other (B90)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Sign in or create an account to view Form(s) 990 for 2023, 2022 and 2021.
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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Big Cheese Reads

The Big Cheese Reads brings business and community leaders into BPS middle school classrooms to emphasize the important link between literacy and career success. Since its inception in 2004, more than 250 corporate and community leaders have visited classes to support the initiative. In 2021-2022, 8 “Big Cheeses” visited with 168 students from eight classrooms in 6 schools, reading short literary passages and sharing inspiring personal stories about how learning and literacy influenced their success in life.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Ethnic and racial groups
Economically disadvantaged people

In Motivate, a volunteer works with a full class of students in grades PreK-2, at minimum one hour per week, in response to teacher requests for support. The volunteer helps run activities and manage the classroom, freeing the teacher to focus on individual students, thus improving his/her effectiveness. Volunteers help students build proficiency in reading, writing, math, science, art, and other subjects in a variety of contexts (e.g., independent work, small groups), while also helping teachers achieve social-emotional learning goals (e.g., building empathy). In 2021-2022, Motivate matched 442 children from 24 classrooms in 14 schools with 24 mentors, who spent an estimated 809 hours with students.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Ethnic and racial groups
Economically disadvantaged people

Accelerate can assist any student in grades K-8 identified by their teacher as needing extra academic or socio-emotional support. Accelerate mentors work one-on one with a student, or in small groups, during regular classroom instruction time. Accelerate is designed to help students who lack the skills, motivation or interest in ELA or math. In 2021-2022, Accelerate matched 188 students from 75 classrooms in 23 schools with 102 mentors, who spent an estimated 2,407 hours with students.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Ethnic and racial groups
Economically disadvantaged people

Aim High supports students in grades 9-12 who have small gaps in skills and knowledge, and just need that extra push to find success. Aim High mentors work one-on-one or with a small group of students in humanities or science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) subjects. Aim High helps students build confidence and resilience, and prepare for their future aspirations. In 2021-2022, Aim High matched 136 students from 37 classrooms in 12 schools with 76 mentors, who spent an estimated 2,430 hours with students.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents
Ethnic and racial groups
Economically disadvantaged people

In Independent Learning Support (ILS), mentors are connected with BPS students in grades 2-12 who have self-identified or been identified by their families as benefiting from extra, focused academic support. ILS matches meet virtually for one hour per week for the duration of the school year. A silent volunteer proctor attends and monitors all sessions to ensure safety and security. In 2021-2022, ILS matched 136 students from 60 classrooms in 51 schools with 135 mentors, who spent an estimated 3,246 hours with students.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Ethnic and racial groups
Economically disadvantaged people

Where we work

Awards

Top-Rated Nonprofit 2016

Great Nonprofits

Certified Service Enterprise 2017

Points of Light Foundation

Associate level recognition, Quality-Based Mentoring 2017

Mass Mentoring Partnership

Platinum Seal of Transparency 2022

Candid

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of Boston Public Schools (BPS) schools served

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Number of students served

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Volunteer hours contributed

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth, Ethnic and racial groups, Economically disadvantaged people

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

In 2020, the school year was cut short due to the pandemic.

Number of academic mentoring matches supported

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth, Economically disadvantaged people, Ethnic and racial groups

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

An academic mentoring match is defined as a match between an academic mentor and the mentees they support. A match will provide approximately 30 to 35 hours of direct support to students in a year.

Percentage of teachers who rated the program “excellent” or “good” at improving students’ academic achievement

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

This information is based on end-of-year surveys conducted by BPIE. We do not have data for 2020, as the pandemic cut short our programming.

Percentage of teachers who rated the program “excellent” or “good” at improving students’ self-confidence

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth, Ethnic and racial groups, Economically disadvantaged people

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

This information is based on end-of-year surveys conducted by BPIE. We do not have data for 2020, as the pandemic cut short our programming.

Percentage of students reporting that their academic mentor helped them improve in school

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth, Ethnic and racial groups, Economically disadvantaged people

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Year-over-year volunteer retention rate

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Percentage of volunteers who return year-over-year.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

By creating supportive relationships between students and volunteer mentors, Boston Partners in Education (BPIE) ensures a more equitable city where every Boston Public Schools (BPS) student is equipped with the skills, opportunity, and confidence to succeed in the classroom and beyond.

We believe that strong relationships are the foundation for student growth – academically, socially, and emotionally. Our programs match BPS students with caring academic mentors from the Boston community who provide them with consistent, individualized attention throughout the school year. Mentors meet students where they are, offering weekly support directly in the classroom or remotely after school hours, in any subject and grade level.

Our work addresses systemic inequities in public education by increasing students’ access to mentoring relationships during the school day that support their academic and personal achievement, ensuring that all students have the opportunity to access the resources and support they need to reach their full potential – regardless of their race, zip code, or socio-economic status.

Our theory of change — which we have seen borne out in thousands of cases across more than five decades — is that with the involvement and support of volunteer academic mentors, BPS students can build the skills and confidence to improve their academic achievement, accelerate their personal growth, and ultimately, stay in school and graduate on time. By creating these supportive relationships, BPIE ensures a more equitable city where every BPS student is equipped with the skills, opportunity, and confidence to succeed.

BPIE’s programs match BPS students with caring academic mentors from the Boston community who provide them with consistent, individualized attention throughout the school year. Mentors meet students where they are, offering a minimum of one hour of weekly support directly in the classroom or remotely after school hours, in any subject and grade level. Our online form makes it easy for teachers to nominate students for one-on-one or small group support, even if they have never worked with us previously. That information then goes into our custom-designed Salesforce database, which we use to manage all aspects of our programming — from vetting, interviewing, and training volunteers, to matching students with trained, background-checked academic mentors, monitoring and supporting matches, conducting community and school outreach, and analyzing data on program reach and impact.

In our core in-school programs — Motivate (whole class, grades PK-2), Accelerate (1:1 or small group, K-8), and Aim High (1:1 or small group, 9-12) — mentors meet with students for a minimum of one hour per week, typically over the course of the whole school year. BPIE does not supply a curriculum, but instead trains mentors in the basics of the BPS curricula for the grade level(s) they serve, as our goal is to enhance the district’s existing instruction, not to impose our own.

Mentors reinforce the work of BPS educators by supporting lesson plans and helping teachers maximize the number of students receiving personalized attention during the school day. A student matched with an academic mentor for the full school year typically receives 30-35 extra hours of individualized support. Over the last four years, we matched 5,165 students from 600 classrooms in 90 BPS schools with nearly 1,300 academic mentors, who devoted an estimated 48,908 hours to helping students build skills and confidence. Where possible, mentors may follow mentees as they advance grade levels, although logistical constraints (such as students changing schools, teachers, and schedules) make this difficult in most cases.

BPIE's model is also scalable. For BPIE, scalability does not necessarily mean expanding our model to other cities or regions, but going deeper into the district we have served for more than a half-century, where there are nearly 50,000 students. Our “school portfolio” model of relationship management – in which each member of our Partnerships Team staff manages all the relationships (teachers, volunteers, etc.) within a given portfolio of schools – has proven remarkably effective since it was first adopted several years ago. With more investment in our staff capacity, our services can help meet the needs of even more BPS students.

BPIE has been a partner of BPS for more than 50 years, adapting the services we deliver to the needs of students. Annually, our academic mentors serve students in over 200 teachers’ classrooms across more than 50 BPS schools. While stewarding many decades-old school partnerships, we also continue to actively recruit new school partnerships.

Any teacher in any BPS school can nominate students for our academic mentoring services, giving us the broadest possible reach in the district. Because BPS teachers nominate their students for our programs, we know we are meeting the specific needs identified by the professionals in the classroom. Our academic mentors complete training in the subject area and in the principles of effective mentoring, along with a CORI/SORI background check, before entering the classroom. Additionally, in our Independent Learning Support (ILS) virtual mentoring program, BPS parents and families can nominate students directly for support during non-school hours.

Our programs are unique in that they combine the benefits of traditional mentoring programs and tutoring. Unlike most tutoring programs, our model of academic mentoring emphasizes the consistency of the relationship with the student in achieving academic success. Through working with their mentors throughout the course of the school year, students not only gain 30-35 hours of extra individualized assistance, but also build the self-confidence, communication skills, and resilience necessary to stay in school, pass their exams, and graduate on time.

In the 2021-2022 school year, BPS identified 69% of their students as economically disadvantaged, making private tutoring financially unfeasible for many BPS students' families. Our programs provide these students with individualized support for free, giving students the extra attention they need to succeed academically and personally.

Our academic mentoring programs not only help students reach their academic goals, but also give them the confidence to achieve beyond the classroom. Through the committed work of our volunteers, students achieve an increased interest in academics, improved academic performance in STEM and English Language Arts, increased self-confidence, and improved habits of mind such as flexible thinking, communicating clearly, taking risks, demonstrating social responsibility and making connections. Gains like these help prepare students for success in college and careers.

Our survey data bears this out. For example, in 2021-2022:
- 95% of students said their mentor helped them improve in school
- 100% of families said they would recommend working with a BPIE mentor to others
- 89% of students said their mentor made them feel like they could succeed in school

BPIE’s academic mentoring programs have operated for decades, adapting to meet the changing needs of BPS students. Data from the 2021-2022 school year indicates a positive experience for BPIE mentees despite the pandemic-related challenges of the school year, with 98% of teachers rating our programming as "excellent" or "good" at improving academic achievement, and 94% of teachers rating our programming as "excellent" or "good" at improving student self-confidence. Students also reported gains from working with their mentor, as 95% of students surveyed said their mentor helped them improve in school, and 89% said their mentor made them feel like they can succeed in school. One hundred percent of parents/guardians surveyed said they would recommend working with a BPIE academic mentor to other BPS families. While we haven't received grade data from our BPS partners for 2021-2022 yet, student grade data from previous years backs up what students and teachers say about mentors. In 2020-2021, students in grades 6-12 raised their GPA in the subject they were mentored in by 0.7, such as going from a B- to a B+, over the course of the school year when working with an academic mentor.

One teacher said, “I cannot do my job without BPIE mentors. It’s too many students with too many needs, and many of them need one-on-one support, just like all of us. We all don’t learn on the same timetable. So I urge all teachers to get a BPIE mentor.” Another teacher shared, “I’ve had the opportunity to work with BPIE mentors for the last six years. It’s been an incredible experience seeing students flourish with one-on-one help from their tutors. Confidence levels have been boosted and some students who thought success was not possible finally saw possibility and opportunity.”

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection, Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time, It is hard to come up with good questions to ask people, It is difficult to identify actionable feedback

Financials

Boston Partners in Education Inc
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Boston Partners in Education Inc

Board of directors
as of 04/29/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. John Heveran

Joel Lamstein

Retired, John Snow Inc. & World Education Inc.

Joseph Antonellis

Retired, State Street Corporation

Jay Shuman

Independent Consultant

Andrew Thorne

PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP

Jib Wilkinson

Deloitte Consulting LLP

Michael McKenna

TAG Cyber

Ivan Matviak

Clearwater Analytics

Emmanuelle Renelique

Awakening Excellence Adult Day Health Center

Brad Wilson

StoneTurn Group

John Heveran

Retired, Liberty Mutual Insurance

Beth Gragg

Independent Training Consultant

Darrin Lang

LABUR

Alok Kapoor

Retired, Fidelity Investments

Heather Brack

John Snow Inc.

Grant Simpson

Beautiful Destinations

Jessica Tang

Boston Teachers Union

Tully Nicholas

The Fletcher School at Tufts University

Lauren Heerlein

Virtusa

Lena Bottos

DEPT

Subbiah Subramanian

DTCC

Tim West

Gaston Electrical Co.

Claudette Kerr

Retired, Boston Public Schools

Ira Shaw

Crow Holdings

Michaela Soctomah

KPMG

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 4/29/2024

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 03/23/2023

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.