Educational Institutions

Boston Partners in Education Inc

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

Mission

Boston Partners in Education (Boston Partners) enhances the academic achievement and nurtures the personal growth of Boston's public school students by providing them with focused, individualized in-school volunteer support. Our theory of change — which we have seen borne out in thousands of cases across more than four decades — is that with the involvement and support of volunteer academic mentors, Boston Public Schools (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. The primary impacts we hope to achieve are closing the achievement gap, decreasing the dropout rate, and increasing student academic performance within BPS.

Ruling year info

1972

Principal Officer

Ms. Erin M. McGrath

Main address

192 SOUTH ST STE 600

BOSTON, MA 02111 USA

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Formerly known as

School Volunteers For Boston

EIN

04-2501341

Cause area (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.

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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?

Power Lunch

Power Lunch sparks enthusiasm for reading in kindergarten through third grade students by matching them with volunteer reading mentors from local corporations and communities. In Power Lunch, a volunteer reading mentor and student meet during the child's lunchtime once a week. The volunteer talks with and listens to the child, reads aloud to the child, and encourages the child to share in his or her enthusiasm for books. Volunteers encourage children to develop an interest in reading, expose students to new ideas and experiences, help students articulate their thoughts through conversation, and build students' self-esteem and confidence. Each reading mentor serves as a role model, providing guidance in school and career choices while encouraging an enthusiasm for books and reading. During their weekly meetings, reading mentors and their students read aloud, play word games, talk about common interests and hobbies and, of course, have fun!

Population(s) Served
K-12 (5-19 years)
Minorities
Budget
$119,706

The Big Cheese Reads Initiative, a sponsorship program linked to our annual Gala, connects middle school students with business, community, and cultural leaders in order 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. "Big Cheeses" visit a middle school classroom at least once during the school year to read a short selection aloud to the class, give a brief personal account of the ways reading and learning have impacted their lives and career achievements, and respond to questions from the students.The Big Cheese Reads is also a fundraising initiative. Sponsorship helps us continue to provide quality educational assistance and positive adult role models to our city's children. Funds raised through the initiative enable us to recruit, train, place, and support more volunteers in BPS classrooms.

Population(s) Served
K-12 (5-19 years)
Minorities
Budget
$156,063

Motivate is tailored for our tiniest learners in grades pre K-2 and designed for early childhood development needs. Motivate mentors work with the whole class of students, helping to run academic activities and smooth transition time. Volunteers get hands-on classroom experience, while setting positive examples for good behavior. In 2016-2017, Motivate matched 574 grade 2-5 students in 14 BPS schools with 32 volunteer academic mentors. These children improved their math and English Language Arts (ELA) and subject area grades while also improving classroom behavior.

Population(s) Served
K-12 (5-19 years)
Minorities
Budget
$93,265

Accelerate can assist any student in grades K-8 identified by their teacher as needing extra academic or socio-emotional support. Accelerate mentors work 1-on 1 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 English Language Arts (ELA) or math.Weekly Accelerate ELA and Math mentoring sessions, lasting for at least one hour, are held in the classroom during the students' subject block. Our trained volunteer academic mentors work with a child one-on-one or with small groups of two to four children during that time. Mentors support students in ways such as doing drills, reviewing previous lessons, giving and receiving feedback from teachers, and providing encouragement, attuned to the age and needs of the student(s).

Population(s) Served
K-12 (5-19 years)
Minorities
Budget
$319,793

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 1-on-1 or with a small group of students in humanities or STEM subjects. Aim High helps students build confidence, resilience and prepare for their future aspirations. Aim High focuses on reaching students early in their high school career, to help instill and reinforce the study habits and confidence they will need in the coming years; in 2016-2017, two-thirds of Aim High students were in grades 9 or 10.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents (13-19 years)
Minorities
Budget
$282,581

Where we work

Awards

Top-Rated Nonprofit 2016

Great Nonprofits

Platinum 2017

Guidestar

Certified Service Enterprise 2017

Points of Light Foundation

Associate level recognition, Quality-Based Mentoring 2017

Mass Mentoring Partnership

Platinum 2018

Guidestar

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

K-12 (5-19 years)

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

K-12 (5-19 years)

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Year-over-year volunteer retention rate

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

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Percentage of volunteers who return year-over-year.

Volunteer hours contributed

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

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Charting impact

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

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

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

Boston Partners in Education (Boston Partners) enhances the academic achievement and nurtures the personal growth of Boston's public school students by providing them with focused, individualized, in-school volunteer support. It is our vision that with the commitment and involvement of the entire community, all students in Boston will develop the skills, self-confidence and motivation to recognize and achieve their full potential. <br/><br/>To accomplish this, we recruit, train, place, and support community and corporate volunteers of all ages and backgrounds to serve as academic mentors in the Boston Public Schools (BPS) to students in need. In 2016-2017, we matched more than 3,700 students in 58 BPS schools with 517 academic mentors.<br/><br/>Our theory of change — which we have seen borne out in thousands of cases across five decades — is that with the involvement and support of volunteer academic mentors, Boston Public Schools 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.We focus on reaching students who might otherwise "fall through the cracks"—those children who have gaps in their learning, are struggling academically and personally, and can succeed with the encouragement and guidance of a caring academic mentor. <br/><br/>The primary impacts we hope to achieve are:<br/>- Closing the achievement and opportunity gaps between minority and white students<br/>- Decreasing the dropout rate<br/>-Increasing on-time graduation rates<br/>- Increasing student academic performance within BPS<br/><br/>Our immediate goal — as highlighted in our strategic plan — remains to serve 25% more students in one-on-one and small group mentor matches in the Boston Public Schools within the next three to five years.

Boston Partners' growth goals are centered around our strategic plan, launched in September 2015. The outcomes of the strategy will allow us to expand our services to connect hundreds more BPS students with academic mentors from the community.<br/><br/>The culmination of several consulting engagements, our plan has four key goal areas:<br/><br/>- Programming: Redesign our programs so we provide academic mentor support to 25% more students, while improving the quality of each program, over three years.<br/><br/>- Marketing and Communications: Expand our reputation as a leader in K-12 student support and heighten awareness of our in-class academic mentoring services among multiple constituencies.<br/><br/>- Development: Hit specific fundraising targets to meet programming and marketing goals. <br/><br/>- Governance: Ensure our Board of Directors is actively engaged; is committed to transparency and has adopted best practices for nonprofit governance; is inclusive and diverse in membership; maintains a strong leadership team; and fulfills its fiduciary responsibilities.

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.<br/><br/>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 20-25 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. <br/><br/>In the 2017-2018 school year, BPS has identified 70% 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.

To ensure progress against our strategic plan goals, we have:<br/><br/>- Established milestones and timelines for each action item in each of the five goal areas and created customized tracking systems to share updates and adjust as needed<br/><br/>- Incorporated strategic plan work into weekly check-ins, monthly team meetings, and regular staff and Board meetings<br/><br/>-Created staff/Board committees for all goal areas to provide oversight and guidance

Major accomplishments include:<br/><br/>- Remodeled the School Volunteer Program into three separate programs, each with problem statements, logic models, and SMART goals: Motivate targets early childhood development needs in grades K-2, providing a whole-class academic mentor. Accelerate supports students grades K-8 in one-on-one or small group matches in math and ELA. Aim High supports high school students grades 9-12 in one-on-one or small group matches in STEM and humanities subjects.<br/><br/>- Redesigned our volunteer and teacher check-in process, leading to increased engagement and better match quality.<br/><br/>- Worked with the Boston Public Schools' Office of Data and Accountability to design a streamlined process for obtaining student and parent permission to collect outcome data.<br/><br/>- Launched the new electronic student nomination process and online form in August 2016. The new process provides teachers a simpler, more intuitive, and more targeted interface for nominating students who are appropriate matches for academic mentor intervention, at both the elementary and secondary level.<br/><br/>- Identified several "Performance Partners" schools — partner schools with high levels of engagement in our programs that serve as models for how our services can benefit students. We selected three schools out of the 63 where we have mentors our 2016-2017 Performance Partners: The Chittick Elementary School in Mattapan, the Burke High School in Dorchester, and the Jackson/Mann K-8 School in Allston. As we pilot new mentoring approaches in these schools, our ultimate goal is to reach more students across the city.<br/><br/>- Researched strategies for volunteer recruitment and retention and developing SMART goals for increasing volunteer engagement and satisfaction. Building strong, multi-year relationships with volunteers is crucial to increasing match quality and school engagement. Our AmeriCorps Ambassador of Mentoring (AOM), who has served as Community Engagement Coordinator this year has increased outreach in our target neighborhoods of Roxbury, Dorchester, and Mattapan. In addition to attending annually-scheduled recruitment events, she has deepened relationships with local businesses and residents who may not have known that Boston Partners supports their neighborhood children and schools. This work will be continued and developed with the renewed AOM role in 2018-2019. <br/><br/>- Successfully engaged an Encore Fellow to lead our 50th Anniversary campaign planning for a 15-month engagement. As a member of the development team, she led several of the 50th Anniversary Gala Board of Directors committees. She also supported the planning of "friendraiser" parties and Leadership Breakfasts to strengthen the potential donor networks of the Board. Her efforts contributed to our record-breaking $700,000 raised during the 50th Anniversary campaign.<br/><br/>- Enlisted the services of Denterlein, a Boston-based public relations firm, to help build our brand visibility and promote volunteerism and support.

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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Boston Partners in Education Inc

Board of directors
as of 12/31/2019
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Michael McKenna

AT&T

Term: 2019 - 2020

John Durocher

Salesforce

Joel Lamstein

John Snow Inc. & World Education Inc.

Joseph Antonellis

Retired, State Street Corporation

Meg Jordan

Community Volunteer

Jay Shuman

Independent Consultant

Andrew Thorne

PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP

Sandra Bailly

Simmons College

Jib Wilkinson

Deloitte Consulting LLP

Michael McKenna

AT&T

Ivan Matviak

State Street Global Exchange

Emmanuelle Renelique

Awakening Excellence Adult Day Health Center

Brad Wilson

StoneTurn Group

John Heveran

Liberty Mutual Insurance

Beth Gragg

Independent Training Consultant

Darrin Lang

LABUR

Alok Kapoor

Fidelity Investments

Edwidge Sacco

KPMG LLP

Heather Brack

John Snow Inc.

Grant Simpson

Doors Residential

Jessica Tang

Boston Teachers Union

Tully Nicholas

Boston Scientific

Nathan McConarty

Hemenway & Barnes LLP

Larissa Nigro

Pivotal Inc.

Lauren Heerlein

John Hancock

Kevin Wasielewski

Salesforce

Lena Bottos

IBM

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

Keywords

Education, Public Schools, Tutoring, Mentoring, Volunteer, Academic