Educational Institutions

Boston Partners in Education, Inc.

  • Boston, MA
  • http://www.bostonpartners.org

Mission Statement

Boston Partners in Education (Boston Partners) enhances the academic achievement and nurtures the personal growth of Boston's public school students by providing them with focused, individualized in-school volunteer support.

Our theory of change — which we have seen borne out in thousands of cases across more than four decades — is that with the involvement and support of volunteer academic mentors, Boston Public Schools (BPS) students can build the skills and confidence to improve their academic achievement, accelerate their personal growth, and ultimately, stay in school and graduate on time. The primary impacts we hope to achieve are closing the achievement gap, decreasing the dropout rate, and increasing student academic performance within BPS.

Main Programs

  1. School Volunteer Program
  2. Math Rules!
  3. Power Lunch
  4. Big Cheese Reads
Service Areas

Self-reported

Massachusetts

Boston Partners in Education serves students from any school in the Boston Public Schools district. We reach BPS students in every neighborhood of Boston, including Dorchester, Roxbury, Brighton, Jamaica Plain, Allston, Charlestown, East Boston, Mattapan, Hyde Park, South Boston, and West Roxbury.

ruling year

1972

Principal Officer since 2006

Self-reported

Ms. Pamela C. Civins

Keywords

Self-reported

Education, Public Schools, Tutoring, Mentoring, Volunteer, Academic

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EIN

04-2501341

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Educational Services and Schools - Other (B90)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Overview

Self-reported by organization

Boston Partners in Education (Boston Partners) enhances the academic achievement and nurtures the personal growth of Boston's public school students by providing them with focused, individualized, in-school volunteer support. It is our vision that with the commitment and involvement of the entire community, all students in Boston will develop the skills, self-confidence and motivation to recognize and achieve their full potential. To accomplish this, we recruit, train, place, and support community and corporate volunteers of all ages and backgrounds to serve as academic mentors in the Boston Public Schools (BPS) to students in need. In 2014-2015, we matched over 3,000 students in 73 BPS schools with nearly 600 academic mentors.

Programs

Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Program 1

School Volunteer Program

Our School Volunteer Program (SVP) provides academic mentors to K-12 students who have been nominated by their teachers, either one-on-one or in small groups. Volunteer academic mentors work with students in reading, writing, and math, helping them to improve their grades and to achieve their goals on standardized tests such as the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS). In addition to helping students build academic proficiency and test-taking skills, mentors help them to improve their social and study skills, verbal/speaking skills, self-confidence, and ability to work with other students.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)

Ethnic/Racial Minorities -- General

Budget

$342,368

Program 2

Math Rules!

Math Rules! targets elementary grade students who are struggling in math. Two to four students are matched with a volunteer math mentor who tutors them in the classroom while math is being taught. Volunteers work under the teacher's direction and motivate students to strengthen their math performance.In 2014-15, Math Rules! matched 252 grade 2-5 students in 10 BPS schools with 64 volunteer academic mentors. These children improved their math and core subject area grades while also building their self-confidence.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Children Only (5 - 14 years)

Ethnic/Racial Minorities -- General

Budget

$160,957

Program 3

Power Lunch

Power Lunch sparks enthusiasm for reading in kindergarten through third grade students by matching them with volunteer reading mentors from participating corporations in the Boston area. In Power Lunch, a volunteer reading mentor and student meet during the child's lunchtime once a week. The volunteer talks with and listens to the child, reads aloud to the child, and encourages the child to share in his or her enthusiasm for books. Volunteers encourage children to develop an interest in reading, expose students to new ideas and experiences, help students articulate their thoughts through conversation, and build students' self-esteem and confidence. Each reading mentor serves as a role model, providing guidance in school and career choices while encouraging an enthusiasm for books and reading. During their weekly meetings, reading mentors and their students read aloud, play word games, talk about common interests and hobbies and, of course, have fun!

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Children Only (5 - 14 years)

Ethnic/Racial Minorities -- General

Budget

$153,582

Program 4

Big Cheese Reads

The Big Cheese Reads Initiative, a sponsorship program linked to our annual Gala, connects middle school students with business, community, and cultural leaders in order to emphasize the important link between literacy and career success. Since its inception in 2004, more than 250 corporate and community leaders have visited classes to support the initiative. "Big Cheeses" visit a middle school classroom at least once during the school year to read a short selection aloud to the class, give a brief personal account of the ways reading and learning have impacted their lives and career achievements, and respond to questions from the students.The Big Cheese Reads is also a fundraising initiative. Sponsorship helps us continue to provide quality educational assistance and positive adult role models to our city's children. Funds raised through the initiative enable us to recruit, train, place, and support more volunteers in BPS classrooms.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Children Only (5 - 14 years)

Ethnic/Racial Minorities -- General

Budget

$147,491

Results

Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one. These quantitative program results are self-reported by the organization, illustrating their committment to transparency, learning, and interest in helping the whole sector learn and grow.

1. Number of Boston Public Schools (BPS) schools served

Target Population
K-12 (5-19 years)

Connected to a Program?
n/a
TOTALS BY YEAR
Context notes for this metric

2. Number of students served

Target Population
K-12 (5-19 years)

Connected to a Program?
n/a
TOTALS BY YEAR
Context notes for this metric

Charting Impact

Self-reported by organization

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

  1. What is the organization aiming to accomplish?
    Our theory of change — which we have seen borne out in thousands of cases across more than four decades — is that with the involvement and support of volunteer academic mentors, Boston Public Schools students can build the skills and confidence to improve their academic achievement, accelerate their personal growth, and ultimately, stay in school and graduate on time.

    We focus on reaching students who might otherwise "fall through the cracks"—those children who have gaps in their learning, are struggling academically and personally, and can succeed with the encouragement and guidance of a caring academic mentor. The primary impacts we hope to achieve are:
    - Closing the achievement gap
    - Decreasing the dropout rate
    - Increasing student academic performance within BPS

    Our immediate goal — as highlighted in our latest three-year strategic plan launched in 2015-2016 — remains to serve 25% more students in the Boston Public Schools within the next three years.
  2. What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?
    Boston Partners' growth goals are centered around our three-year strategic plan, launched in September 2015. The outcomes of the strategy will allow Boston Partners in Education (Boston Partners) to expand our services to connect hundreds more BPS students with academic mentors from the community.

    The culmination of several consulting engagements, our plan has five key goal areas:

    - Programming: Redesign our programs so we provide academic mentor support to 25% more students, while improving the quality of each program, over three years.
    - Marketing and Communications: Expand our reputation as a leader in K-12 student support and heighten awareness of our in-class academic mentoring services among multiple constituencies.
    - Development: Raise at least $1.3MM/year by the end of FY16 (8/31/16); $1.65MM/year by the end of FY17 (8/31/17); and $1.8MM/year by the end of FY18 in order to meet programming and marketing goals.
    - Governance: Ensure our Board of Directors is actively engaged; is committed to transparency and has adopted best practices for nonprofit governance; is inclusive and diverse in membership; maintains a strong leadership team; and fulfills its fiduciary responsibilities.
    - 50th Anniversary Year: Maximize the philanthropic impact and branding potential of our 50th anniversary year in 2016-2017.
  3. What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?
    Prior to the implementation of our three-year strategic plan this past fall, Boston Partners made several key organizational investments to enable success. Major accomplishments have included:

    - Building our evaluation capacity. With the help of an Education Pioneers Data Analysis Fellow, we redesigned our program evaluation tools in 2014-2015 (including surveys, grade analysis methods, and our salesforce.com database) to more effectively measure our impact on students' academic and socio-emotional progress moving forward. This work, which included analysis and standardization of years of existing data, has provided an excellent framework for more comprehensively and compellingly telling the story of our impact on students.

    - Launching a redesigned website (http://bostonpartners.org). In spring 2015, we worked with a team of Fidelity Investments volunteers via a project through Common Impact to conduct a thorough revamping of our site, making it more easily navigable and mobile-friendly.

    - Expanding our staff, prioritizing opportunities to broaden our programming and marketing. We added to our Management Team with the hire of a Director of Marketing, and staffed a new position, the Match Support Coordinator for Middle & High Schools. In addition, we engaged a full-time Staff Writer and three full-time AmeriCorps volunteers for 2015-16 to assist with communications and programming. Finally, we engaged an Encore Fellow to serve as 50th Anniversary Coordinator from January 2016 through April 2017. We have again been granted three full-time AmeriCorps volunteers for 2016-2017 as well.
  4. How will they know if they are making progress?
    To ensure progress against our strategic plan goals, we have:

    - Established milestones and timelines for each action item in each of the five goal areas and created customized tracking systems to share updates and adjust as needed;
    - Incorporated strategic plan work into weekly check-ins, monthly team meetings, and regular staff and Board meetings; and
    - Created staff/Board committees for all goal areas, including several sub-committees for the 50th Anniversary campaign, to provide oversight and guidance.
  5. What have and haven't they accomplished so far?
    Since the launch of our strategic plan in September 2015, Boston Partners has made significant progress against our goals for restructuring our School Volunteer Program (SVP). Major accomplishments include:

    - Identifying the subprograms we intend to split SVP into: Elementary Literacy, Elementary Math, High School Humanities, High School STEM, and Whole Class (K-2). Problem statements, logic models, and SMART goals have been finalized for the first four components listed above; Whole Class is still in progress.
    - Completing research on best practices for the Whole Class model, including interviews with current and former teachers and volunteers who have worked successfully with this model.
    - Redesigning our volunteer and teacher check-in process, leading to increased engagement and better match quality.
    - Working with the Boston Public Schools' Office of Data and Accountability to design a streamlined process for obtaining student and parent permission to collect outcome data.
    - Beginning the design process for a new student nomination process and online form, which will launch in August 2016. The new process will provide teachers a simpler, more intuitive, and more targeted interface for nominating students who are appropriate matches for academic mentor intervention, at both the elementary and secondary level.
    - Identifying several “Performance Partners" schools — partner schools with high levels of engagement in our programs that serve as models for how our services can benefit students. MOUs for the 2016-2017 school year are currently being finalized.
    - Researching strategies for volunteer recruitment and retention and developing SMART goals for increasing volunteer engagement and satisfaction. Building strong, multi-year relationships with volunteers is crucial to increasing match quality and school engagement. To this end, we have recently been awarded a full-time AmeriCorps Ambassador of Mentoring to serve as Community Engagement Coordinator for 2016-2017. Decisions about programmatic design will be finalized in June 2016, with a launch of the new program structure by July/August 2016.
    - Securing an Encore Fellow to lead our 50th Anniversary campaign planning for a 15-month engagement. We are currently circulating an RFP to enlist the services of a public relations firm to assist with the promotion of the campaign.
Service Areas

Self-reported

Massachusetts

Boston Partners in Education serves students from any school in the Boston Public Schools district. We reach BPS students in every neighborhood of Boston, including Dorchester, Roxbury, Brighton, Jamaica Plain, Allston, Charlestown, East Boston, Mattapan, Hyde Park, South Boston, and West Roxbury.

Social Media

Funding Needs

- Program Redesign: Boston Partners is in the midst of implementing our latest three-year strategic plan, a significant portion of which focuses on the redesign of our School Volunteer Program model. Key to this process is revamping our high school programming. In order to serve more BPS students moving forward, we will expand our high school academic mentoring into two "product" tracks in 2016-2017, as outlined in our strategic plan: High School Humanities and STEM. These programs will provide a more focused intervention for students in grades 9-12, helping them close gaps in their skills and knowledge in preparation for on-time graduation and procession into higher education or the workforce. - Brand Awareness: The long-term goal of our upcoming 50th Anniversary campaign is to build Boston Partners' capacity to provide more BPS students with quality matches that have proven impact, as per our strategic plan. In addition to attracting new support, the 50th Anniversary campaign will also help us reinforce our brand identity with volunteers, Boston Public Schools, families in Boston, and donors, helping us strengthen and sustain these crucial relationships. Our ultimate goal is to emerge from the campaign as the recognized leader in school-based mentoring in Boston.

Accreditations

photos


External Reviews

Source: greatnonprofits.org

The review section is powered by Great Nonprofits

Financials

Financial information is an important part of gauging the short- and long-term health of the organization.

BOSTON PARTNERS IN EDUCATION INC
Fiscal year: Sep 01-Aug 31
Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant.

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Boston Partners in Education, Inc.

Leadership

NEED MORE INFO ON THIS NONPROFIT?

Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2015, 2015 and 2014
  • Board Chair and Board Members
  • Access to the GuideStar Community
Need the ability to download nonprofit data and more advanced search options? Consider a Premium or Pro Search subscription.

Principal Officer

Ms. Pamela C. Civins

BIO

Since 2006, Boston Partners has been led by Executive Director Pamela Civins. A graduate of the Harvard Graduate School of Education, Pamela has over 20 years of domestic and international nonprofit education and management experience. Since becoming Executive Director, Pamela has helped Boston Partners grow its staffing and budget by over a third, strengthen financial, operational and programmatic management practices, cement partnerships with public and private agencies, and build the organization's visibility in the Boston community.

Pamela brings to the position over 20 years of education experience within the nonprofit sector, including managerial oversight of education and literacy programs for girls and women in Pakistan, Nepal and India during her time at World Education, Inc. in Boston. Just prior to joining Boston Partners in Education, Pamela held the position of Co-Executive Director at the National Center for Fair & Open Testing in Cambridge, MA. The national nonprofit's work focused on education policy with regards to assessment and testing reform in the US K-12 and post secondary schools.

Pamela began her passion for volunteer service through the United States Peace Corps in Nepal, teaching English to students in the Nepali public school system and training incoming Peace Corps volunteers to teach English as a second language. Since moving to the Boston area in 1998, she has continued to volunteer her time, and is currently a member of the steering committee of DotOUT in Dorchester, as well as an academic mentor for Boston Partners. In 2011, she was named an Extraordinary Community Leader by the Boston Business Journal.

Pamela received her BA from the University of Colorado, a MIIM (Masters in Intercultural & International Management) from the School for International Training, and a M.Ed from Harvard University.

STATEMENT FROM THE Principal Officer

"For nearly 50 years, Boston Partners in Education has been dedicated to helping academically at-risk students of the Boston Public Schools succeed in both their schoolwork and their lives. We believe that a quality education is something that should be available to every person. However, in order for that to happen, many resources need to come together: money, time, and caring adults among them. At Boston Partners, we have become adept at weaving these strands together to create a cohesive network of support for our students. These children are the future leaders of our city and our country, and in order to lead effectively, they first need to learn to read, write, problem-solve, and think critically. By putting volunteer academic mentors directly in the classroom, we become partners in the work teachers and administrators do every day. Our volunteers not only provide students with academic assistance, but also help build their self-confidence and motivate them to set and reach goals.

Boston Partners will enter our 50th year of service at the start of the 2016-2017 academic year. We are busy planning for this upcoming milestone. We look forward to reflecting on our past accomplishments, as we create new goals for the future. In September 2015, we launched our latest three-year strategic plan. Much of our team's efforts will lead to the redesign of our founding program, the School Volunteer Program. We want to be serving 25% more students by 2018, and to do so, we will focus programs on elementary literacy and math, as well as high school humanities and STEM-related subjects, addressing the academic and mentoring support needs of elementary, middle and high school students.

Boston Partners in Education has matched thousands of students with thousands of community members over nearly 50 years. We've provided extra support for teachers and administrators right in their classrooms, during the school day. We have helped students keep up academically, building their self-confidence, so that they have stayed in school and graduated. Our greatest accomplishment as an organization, however, is the success of the students we serve. For example, Sofia joined Power Lunch in the first grade. Sofia is fluent in Spanish and learning two languages simultaneously can present challenges in school. Her teacher felt Sofia would benefit from one-on-one time with a mentor. Over the years, Sofia's reading and comprehension skills flourished from the mentoring partnership. She made such great strides that her parents suggested her brother Carlos join the program as well."

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Mr. Joseph C. Antonellis

Retired, State Street Corporation

Term: June 2005 - June 2018

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices. Self-reported by organization

Yes

BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?

Yes

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?

Yes

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?

Yes

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?

Yes

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?


ORGANIZATIONAL DEMOGRAPHICS

In order to support nonprofits and gain valuable insight for the sector, GuideStar worked with D5—a five-year initiative to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in philanthropy—in creating a questionnaire. This section is a voluntary questionnaire that empowers organizations to share information on the demographics of who works in and leads organizations. To protect the identity of individuals, we do not display sexual orientation or disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff. Any values displayed in this section are percentages of the total number of individuals in each category (e.g. 20% of all Board members for X organization are female).

Gender
Race & Ethnicity
Sexual Orientation

This organization reports that it does not collect this information.

Disability

This organization reports that it does not collect this information.

Diversity Strategies
Yes
We track retention of staff, board, and volunteers across demographic categories
No
We track income levels of staff, senior staff, and board across demographic categories
No
We track the age of staff, senior staff, and board
No
We track the diversity of vendors (e.g., consultants, professional service firms)
Yes
We have a diversity committee in place
No
We have a diversity manager in place
Yes
We have a diversity plan
Yes
We use other methods to support diversity