Full-Service Schools Roundtable, Boston, MA  

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Examples of Full-service Schools
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Examples of Full-service Schools

James Otis Elementary School

Through its partnership with the East Boston YMCA, the James Otis Elementary School is a full-service school in East Boston that embraces the philosophy, “Teach the mother, reach the child.” The school is a warm, bright place that recognizes the central role parents play in educating their children. The school’s curriculum and programs seek to enhance literacy within families and improve parents’ abilities to be the primary teachers of their children by offering parent support and education services. Full-service components at the school include a comprehensive family literacy program called The Family School,  weekly parent breakfasts and workshops, and a  full time, trilingual Parent and Community Outreach Coordinator.

The Family School, the school’s family literacy program, is the Otis’ most comprehensive full-service school component. Funded through a federal Even Start grant, with a match from the Boston Public Schools, the program serves 30 parents and all their children ages 6 months to 12 years. It is designed to meet the needs of non English speaking immigrant parents who comprise 85% of Otis families. Based on the family literacy educational theory that children learn more when their parents also address their own literacy needs, Family School parents study ESOL every day at the Otis from 2:30-5:00 pm while children are in concurrent pre-school and after school programs. Other Family School components include weekly native language parenting support groups, weekly interactive literacy times between parents and children, monthly home visits and monthly family field trips.

For more information, contact:

Family Literacy Director
Susan Klaw

Otis School
(617) 635-8372


Full-Service Shools in Action - Gardner Pilot Academy