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Kumamon visits BLA!

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On Tuesday, November 12, Kumamon visited BLA during his first trip to the United States! He visited the Japanese language classes, where he taught the students to do his signature dance and answered questions. He also met the Headmaster! Kumamon is such a celebrity that he was accompanied to the United States by the Governor of Kumamoto Prefecture in Japan, and later that same day made an appearance at Harvard University.

Background

Kumamon is a mascot created by the government of Kumamoto Prefecture, Japan. Kumamon subsequently became nationally popular, and in late 2011 he won a nationwide vote on mascots, garnering over 280 thousand votes. His success at the contest caused Kumamoto to gather $120 million in merchandising revenues for the first half of 2012.

BLA on Japanese TV

Kumamon’s visit to Harvard and BLA was aired for the evening news program “N-Sta” (News Studio) nationwide in Japan. You can watch the piece online here. Note: The link expires on November 21.

#1 Dreamschool!

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Boston.com names BLA #1 Dreamschool in Massachusetts

Recently, Boston.com’s Dreamschool Finder calculator found that Boston Latin Academy ranked #1 in a balanced range of criteria that defined their “dream” school. In a collaboration with professors from the College of the Holy Cross, the Boston Globe created this calculator so that families can rank schools based on factors that matter to them, including student performance in English and math, college readiness, as well as school climate, resources, and diversity. For more details on the rankings and the full story, read the Boston.com article.

BLA Named a National Blue Ribbon School!

We worked hard to submit a strong application that highlighted all the professional development work we did in the last two years including:
•    An active Instructional Leadership Team that plans professional development
•    The use of Instructional Rounds to examine teaching and learning

•    The optional professional development that focused on 21st century learning skills/ active learning
•    The addition of a thematic curriculum map to our some of our major courses
•    The active planning of grade level teams (clusters) that work towards improving 21st century learning in the classroom

The Blue Ribbon Schools Program honors public and private elementary, middle, and high schools that are either high performing or have improved student achievement to high levels, especially among disadvantaged students. The program is part of a larger Department of Education effort to identify and disseminate knowledge about best school leadership and teaching practices. Each year since 1982, the U.S. Department of Education has sought out schools where students attain and maintain high academic goals, including those that beat the odds.

On Thursday, September 9, 2010, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced the nation’s Blue Ribbon Schools for 2010 at School Without Walls Senior High School, a 2010 Blue Ribbon School, in Washington, D.C. The schools—254 public and 50 private—will be honored at an awards ceremony on November 15 and 16 in Washington, D.C. In the past 28 years, more than 6, 000 of America’s schools have received this coveted award.

Although the honor does not have a monetary award it is a prestigious recognition of the work we do. It further proves that we are not only the best school in the city but one of the best in the nation.

View the announcement on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zoqwkg8ZU34

More about the Blue Ribbon Schools Program.