The Future Of Our Mentoring Programs

Since the onset of the public health crisis brought on by COVID-19, Boston Partners in Education has aligned its response with the needs of the Boston Public Schools and greater school community. It’s clear that our schools and their students need and want virtual mentoring support.

With concern for the health and safety of our school and volunteer communities, we’re working with educators and BPS to transition our programs into virtual mentoring opportunities.

We’re committed to providing students with mentoring support in 2020-21, regardless of the classroom format.


What We’re Doing Now

The Boston Public Schools have already asked us to commit to increasing our capacity to serve the growing number of students who will need academic and social-emotional support next year. To meet the increased demand, we’re:

  • Refocusing our training to provide more support for virtual mentors. Including: How to respond to the socio-emotional learning needs that have been heightened by COVID-19 and How to communicate with students safely and effectively over Zoom and Google Hangouts (the BPS preferred platforms)
  • Moving our interview process online
  • Shifting our focus to digital outreach to expand our volunteer pool

We hope that by pivoting our programs to a virtual mentoring experience, this will not only satisfy the increased demand from Boston Public Schools, but also address the underlying needs of the many students who need our help.


Status of In-Class Learning in Boston

The Boston Public Schools have released a draft of their Fall 2020 Reopening Plan. No final decision has been made, but BPS suggests two possible scenarios: (1) reopening school remotely for all students; or (2) reopening school in a hybrid learning model through which students alternate between returning to school buildings and continuing to learn remotely.

The Massachusetts Department of Education has also released guidelines on required safety measures for re-opening schools.

We expect that volunteers will not be allowed into school buildings to begin the 2020-21 school year. This means that schools will rely on virtual learning resources, at least in part – and so will the future of mentoring. Classrooms will look very different in September, but we’ll be ready.

Apply to become a virtual mentor

For questions about our COVID-19 response or our virtual mentoring programs, please email bostonpartners@bostonpartners.org or call (617) 451-6145.