Two years ago, when our daughter received her K1 assignment at Mather Elementary School in Dorchester, my husband and I heaved a huge sigh of relief. We agonized over whether we were making the right decision in trusting Boston Public Schools to educate our children when so many others seemed to be fleeing the system, but when the Mather appeared on our assignment letter the skies seemed to clear. It wasn’t our closest school, but we’d been impressed by the principal and faculty, and we were happy to learn that several families we knew had also gained spots there for their children. This good fortune extended beyond a seat for our daughter: her younger brother would receive sibling preference at the Mather when he entered the lottery, virtually ensuring him a place there as well.
So we dove into life at the Mather, and, with the people we met there, began building a community around it. Our children became friends, our families became friends, and in the past two years we’ve made huge progress at our school. The year before our daughter entered K1, membership in the Mather Parent Council numbered three, including the principal. This year 33 parents attended our first Parent Council meeting, and over 60 have signed up to volunteer at the school.