“We are looking forward to meeting with and talking to the families in the METCO program face to face in their community,” said committee Chair Sarah Scoville. “After many, many of their hours spent traveling to us, it is now our turn to travel to them.”
Added Akil Mondesir, the Bedford schools’ METCO director, “This shows our commitment to METCO, the students, and the families.”
METCO is an acronym for Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity. For 56 years, Boston inner-city students of color have enrolled in suburban districts under its auspices. Bedford began participating in METCO in 1974.
Besides its regular agenda items, the School Committee has scheduled an 80-minute presentation called “METCO 2.0.” Superintendent of Schools Philip Conrad said that part of the meeting will feature Milly Arbaje-Thomas, president and CEO of METCO.
Conrad said he hopes the presentation “will help everyone understand where METCO is now and where it is going.”
METCO moved into its new headquarters six months ago. The facilities feature not only meeting rooms and a computer lab but also an exhibit of the program’s history.
Mondesir said he has been working with the facility’s technology specialists and Conrad to arrange for remote transmission. Parents and caregivers also have been invited to attend in person, he said.
“I am excited to be meeting at METCO and for the committee members to see the new headquarters,” the superintendent declared.
Scoville commented, “We have been talking about inviting a representative from METCO and Hanscom to sit on the School Committee for a while. I am proud we made it happen this winter.” The non-voting member is Madeline Sanabria.
“The families in the METCO program and the families living and working on Hanscom are crucial to our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion,” she asserted.
Referencing author Jennifer De Leon’s talk this week about her book Don’t Ask Me Where I’m From, Scoville said she was “reminded about the importance of providing mirrors and windows for the students of Bedford. Mirrors in the curriculum are important for students to see themselves and the possibilities, as a result giving them confidence. Windows are used to educate others about their experiences.
“The School Committee is excited to open a window onto the METCO program at the meeting at their headquarters on Tuesday.”
Mike Rosenberg can be reached at email@example.com, or 781-983-1763