One of the ads in the “I’m In” campaign.
One of the ads in the “I’m In” campaign.Boston Public Schools

The Boston Public Schools launched an advertising campaign on the MBTA this week to encourage chronically absent students to attend school, but one of the ads is marred by an embarrassing misspelled word.

The ad features a picture of a 10th-grader, identified by name, but misspells the word “sophomore.”

Instead, it is spelled the way many people pronounce it: “sophmore.”

The missing “o” caught the attention of one rider of the No. 1 bus as it pulled up to a stop on Massachusetts Avenue Wednesday night, prompting her to snap a photo that she then posted on Twitter.

“Not to be nitpicky, @BostonSchools but your new ad has misspelled ‘Sophomore’... awkward. #copyeditisdead,” she wrote.


The ad is one of seven versions in circulation. Another ad is missing a necessary second use of the word “you”: “Don’t let anyone tell you can’t do something.”

(There were additional errors in the initial version of other ads in the campaign, including misspelling the word “achieve.” The mistakes appeared on the school system website but were later fixed. The school system said those mistakes didn’t appear in the ads on the T.)

The school system teamed up with the Celtics and the MBTA on the “Stay in School” program, which is sponsored by Arbella Insurance Foundation, in an effort to boost student attendance. Some 14,000 students in Boston schools are chronically absent, meaning they miss at least 10 percent of the school year.

Superintendent Tommy Chang unveiled the latest public service ad campaign — “I’m In: Attend Today, Achieve Tomorrow” — at School Department headquarters in Dudley Square Tuesday night. The 300 ads were produced in-house by the school system at a cost of $2,712, while the T donated the space for them.

“The ‘I’m In’ campaign is designed to tackle chronic absenteeism, which is a leading indicator that a student will drop out of high school,” said Rich Weir, a school department spokesman. “The ads that are part of this campaign were designed to elevate student voices and be seen by young people as they ride the T. We sincerely regret that there was a typo in one of the ads. We are working with the MBTA to try and remedy the situation.”


James Vaznis can be reached at james.vaznis@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @globevaznis.