WHS Art students filled the streets of downtown Wakefield yesterday to engage in a holiday season window painting effort. Pictured below are Waverley Stanfield, Marlena Nikosey, Lianna Murphy, & Alex Nason.
The Wakefield Public Schools has a relatively small but thriving
METCO program. With the annual state conference for METCO
approaching tomorrow, I have been reflecting on the importance of this
diversity program to Wakefield Memorial High School, in terms of breathing
life into our core values and 21st century social & civic learning
expectations. It has been a great benefit to our predominately white student
body to know and learn together with students of color, in an environment where
students establish lifelong friendships in academic classes and extracurricular
METCO, the Metropolitan
Council for Educational Opportunity, was incorporated in 1966 as a
voluntary desegregation program under the laws of the Commonwealth of
Massachusetts. METCO promotes the integration of suburban schools while
affording the opportunity to Boston resident youth a suburban public
education. There are more than 30 communities and towns in Massachusetts
that participate, with over 3,000 students enrolled in METCO.
Wakefield began participating in the METCO Program in 1969, serving
40 or more Boston resident students annually. There are currently METCO students at Wakefield Memorial High School, Galvin Middle School,
Greenwood Elementary School, and Dolbeare Elementary School. Our
students are from a variety of racial and ethnic backgrounds (African-American,
Latino, Caribbean, and African) representing Boston
neighborhoods (South End, Dorchester, Roxbury, Mattapan, South Boston, Hyde
Park, and Roslindale). METCO Director Joel Villegas coordinates the program for the Wakefield Public Schools, acting as a mentor for the students and arranging programs to enhance their academic and social experiences.
We plan to establish a METCO advocacy committee, beginning in January and meeting several times over the course of the school year, with a vision to support:
diversity enrichment opportunities and programs
family partnerships (Wakefield and Boston)
culturally responsive teaching and learning strategies for teachers
a sustainable and vibrant program
I invite parents and students to express their interest in serving on this committee by contacting me at firstname.lastname@example.org or Joel Villegas at email@example.com.