Blog Archive for March 2021

In the first post of our "A Year in the Life" series, we dig into the City of Somerville, its public schools, and the challenges it has faced through the course of the pandemic. While Somerville is unique in many ways, its experiences amid the pandemic reflect those of cities and towns around the Commonwealth. We hope this in-depth look at one community can shed light on what students and schools across the state need right now and how communities and policymakers can support them.
As students head back to the classroom in the coming weeks, many will be carrying with them social, emotional, physical, and economic scars from the past year. Some students need connections to vital services that provide food and a safe place to sleep. Others need help accessing mental and physical health care. Many need opportunities for enrichment—even if virtual—to nurture their strengths and give them social connections in this isolating time. To fully support students, schools should have an integrated system of support that can evaluate every student’s unique strengths and needs and connect them to the right resources.
The Rennie Center is pleased to announce the addition of two new board members, Dr. Pam Eddinger and Dr. Jessica Boston Davis. Dr. Eddinger has been the president of Bunker Hill Community College (BHCC), the largest of the 15 community colleges in Massachusetts, since 2013. Dr. Davis currently serves as the Director for Equity and Excellence for the Somerville Public Schools and is an adjunct faculty member at Lesley University, where she teaches Culturally Responsive Teaching.