Located on Worcester Street in the South End, the Hurley K-8 School serves about 360 students. The school offers a two-way bilingual program (in English and Spanish) which looks different at each grade level.
Kindergarteners are working on lots of literacy activities – matching letters to pictures, playing games, using magnetic letters, tapping and blending letters to make words, etc. A group of K1 students practices hand signs for consonant combinations with Maritza Martinez. In K2 classes, Mariana Sanchez works with a guided reading group and Diane Bourbeau‘s students are learning about “CVC” words.
First graders gather on the rug, listening to Ana Laura Soto Viquez as she solicits ideas about how to solve a word problem written on the board. Erica Moen‘s 2nd graders are researching different animals, using an assortment of books and computers.
Third grade classes are off to the Museum of Fine Arts, and I peek into Elizabeth Beloff‘s room. The walls are full of engaging teacher-prepared posters with words to use in discussions, to describe internal thoughts or external appearance, and to help students remember that an authors’ purpose is “Easy as P.I.E.” – to persuade, inform, or entertain – all in two languages!
Brian Gaines helps students in his fourth grade science class wire cardboard houses they have designed. Art teacher Matthew McLaughlin supervises 8th graders who are copying animated images from their cell phone screens. Second graders are playing “Gaga Ball” behind a low hexagonal wooden fence on the field with their PE teacher, Larry Muhammad.
In middle school humanities classes, students are learning about the Dominican Republic through reading Before We Were Free with sixth grade teacher Helen Sullivan, while eighth graders are reading and discussing Monster, an award-winning novel by Walter Dean Myers about a Black teenager on trial for murder, with Rebecca Poswalsky.
Sixth grade teacher and BTU representative Lindsay Thornquist tells me she especially appreciates the support of an active parent group that has funded everything from classroom projectors to a new playing field with bright green artificial turf. Wilma Crespo, who teaches math and science to middle school students, says she feels “at peace” at the Hurley and thinks that teacher voices are heard.
Here’s hoping you’re feeling at peace wherever you are!