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College and Career Readiness through Blended Learning

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JFY supporters sweeten student futures

Ice cream sundaes seal the deal

by Gary Kaplan

The end of the year is a time for reflection and assessment. Looking back over these past two years, we have much to be grateful for. We have survived the greatest disruption in memory and students are now enrolling in JFYNet college and career readiness at a pre-pandemic pace. We are in this positive position thanks to the unwavering loyalty of our supporters.

“It takes a village,” the adage says, but a village needs villagers to sustain it. In our village, the most important citizens are the students. I think of a young man named Andre with whom I indulged in ice cream sundaes a few weeks ago. We were celebrating the end of the first semester of our early college program. He had passed his college course and was looking ahead to the next semester and beyond.

Kevin Macdonald, JFY Board of Directors

“It just wasn’t fair.”

Our December 16 podcast featured members of the JFYNetWorks Board of Directors, who come from a variety of backgrounds and provide their insight and expertise to staff. Their dedication to JFYNetWorks adds up to over 75 combined years of service.

The board of directors of a nonprofit is the foundation of the organization. Board members serve as custodians, guardians and advocates of its values and mission. JFY is fortunate to have senior board officers whose personal values align with the organization’s mission and whose longevity in office gives them the historical perspective to understand JFY’s evolution and its relation to the social and economic conditions of the times.

Thanksgiving Proclamations The dialogue of hope

The dialogue of hope

by Gary Kaplan

Giving thanks is a primordial human behavior. Ancient sacrificial rituals served the dual purpose of expressing gratitude for survival in a hostile environment and beseeching omnipotent deities to ensure future survival. These rites were the earliest form of insurance policy. Representations in image and word range from cave paintings to hieroglyphs to scriptural injunctions to the sacrificial turkey on Norman Rockwell’s Saturday Evening Post cover.

The battle for arts education in the public schools

The battle for arts education in the public schools

by Greg Cunningham

A debate is roiling across the country about what students should learn in our public schools. From how to teach certain aspects of our country’s history to what kind of literature students should be reading, the philosophy behind educational curricula continues to frame the lessons student receive in their classrooms.

This debate is not new. While the topics and subjects vary, the question of what a full and rich education means has been debated for decades—actually, centuries. Unfortunately, what has also not changed is the foundation upon which change is predicated. Change is not initiated, at the local, state, or federal level, for the benefit of students. It is only initiated to solve a political problem or appease a powerful constituency.

A Post-Pandemic Homecoming, Smiling through our masks

Smiling through our masks


by Cathie Maglio

The school year started the same as it had since March 2020– working from home, supporting teachers from my schools remotely. The teachers sent me their class lists as always and I enrolled the students into the math and English software. Then I emailed back instructions for students to enroll in their classes. Same old online drill.

But that changed suddenly in mid-September. East Boston High School had added a 7th grade and those teachers were not familiar with our software. Everyone being fully vaccinated, I scheduled a visit to the school to meet and train the new teachers, just like before the pandemic. I was excited, and a little nervous. It had been a year and a half since I had set foot in a classroom and talked face to face with live teachers and students.

The Origins of Blended Learning

by Gary Kaplan

Clayton Christensen’s contribution to education

The term Blended Learning has its origin in work done by Clayton Christensen and his colleagues at the Harvard Business School in the 1990s and early 2000s. They coined the term Disruptive Innovation, a coinage that has seeped into the nooks and crannies of discourse in many fields. One of those fields is education.