BPS superintendent bringing belief 'everybody has value' to first school year

BOSTON — At the Curly School in Jamaica Plain, teachers are doing last minute work to get ready for the first day of school.

Boston Public Schools Superintendent Brenda Cassellius is also getting ready. Hired in July and coming from Minnesota, Cassellius is aware of the concerns about the buses.

"What's kept me up over the past eight weeks is just to make sure buses are running on time," she told Boston 25 News in an interview Wednesday. "I know this is a concern of parents, and we want to make sure we are communicating with parents."

One of the biggest changes this school year will be in the cafeterias offering fresh food in an attempt to give students better options. But also on the radar of the freshman superintendent is school security.

"Isn't it sad we have to worry about that?" she said. "We never had to worry when we were kids, so we're doing everything we can to ensure that our kids are safe and our principals have turned in their safety plans. They are practicing those safety plans."

As promised, Cassellius plans to visit all 125 Boston schools in the first 100 days. It's her way of knowing what's truly happening in the schools and being more accessible to teachers, parents and students. That's what she hopes will be her trademark.

"I think...they're surprised by my response time. I get back to everyone in 24 hours and that's because it's really hard for me to go to bed unless I have. Everybody has value," she said. 
"People have busy lives, they only call me if they really need something."

On Thursday, she and the mayor will be in the schools to see how the first day goes. Casselius told Boston 25 News she knows there will be some bumps to work out, she's just hoping there's some patience go along with them.

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