Congratulations to our 2014 MHS Graduates!


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On Thursday morning, the MHS community celebrated the Eighth Grade Class of 2014. High Schools our students will attend include: Boston Arts Academy, Boston Community Leadership Academy, Excel High School, Fenway High School, John D. O’Bryant School of Math and … Continue reading

Mission Hill School Out in the World

There has been a great deal of buzz about MHS lately. Books have been written about us, our teacher leadership model has been highlighted on several occasions, and a four-year long film project will culminate in a nationally-aired documentary in the fall.

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New England Cable News Network (NECN) met up with our two grade 3/4 classrooms last week, on their annual visit to The Farm School. The segment focused on the deep relationship MHS shares with The Farm School and aired on television Tuesday, May 6, 2014.

Learning Matters, an organization who airs news stories on PBS News Hour, spent the day filming and speaking with Ayla and MHS teachers about teacher leadership for a new campaign Teacher Powered Schools. The piece will be aired nationally during the last week of May (date and time TBA).

Jenerra Williams, Kathy D'Andrea, and Nakia Keizer are interviewed by John Tulenko of Learning Matters for PBS News Hour.

Jenerra Williams, Kathy D’Andrea, and Nakia Keizer are interviewed by John Tulenko of Learning Matters for PBS News Hour.







Good Morning Mission Hill (GMMH) was recently accepted as a submission to the National Education Television Association. The hour-long documentary about MHS was created by filmmakers Tom and Amy Valens.  Based on the year that Tom and Amy spent filming the school, GMMH picks up where the ten-part video series, A Year at Mission Hill, left off. GMMH will air on a variety of PBS stations, nationwide in the fall of 2014.

Democracy & Education, an education journal, recently published a favorable review of former MHS teacher Matthew Knoester’s book, Democratic Education in Practice: Inside the Mission Hill School.


Carrot Soup from the Farm School!

Last week, The Farm School joined forces with Boston Public Schools Food & Nutrition Services to serve up fresh and delicious carrot soup for MHS students! Students from the Margarita Muñez Academy helped dish out the soup, which was created by The Farm School’s chef, Cristina Garcia. Classes did taste tests and posted results.

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Most students tried the unfamiliar carrot soup. Many discovered that they liked it!












Many thanks to our Cafeteria Manager, Chris Whitley and staff for supporting this fun and nutritious event!

Here is the recipe:

The Farm School Carrot Soup
Serves 10-12.

2 Tbsp Butter
2 cups Yellow onions, chopped (2 medium)
1 Tbsp Garlic, minced (4 cloves)
5 cups Carrots, diced (2 lbs)
3 cups Potatoes, diced (3/4 lbs)
3 cups Turnips, diced (3/4 lbs)
5 tsp Cumin, ground
2 tsp Salt (to taste)
10 cups Water
4 tsp Lime Juice
1 Tbsp Honey
1/3 cup Heavy Cream
2 tsp Pepper (to taste)

1. In a large pot melt butter over medium heat.
2. Add onions, stirring occasionally for 4 minutes or until translucent.
3. Add garlic, continue cooking, stirring occasionally for 3 minutes.
4. Stir in carrots, potatoes, turnips, cumin, salt and water.
5. Simmer for 25 minutes or until vegetables are easily pierced with a knife.
6. Puree soup with an immersion blender. Or carefully blend in small batches in a regular blender.
7. Pour soup back into large pot. Whisk in lime juice, honey and heavy cream.
8. Season to taste with salt and pepper

Optional Toppings: chopped cilantro, crema, toasted pepitas.

Learning with Legos

On Tuesday afternoons the Mission Hill staff participates in professional development meetings. This week, the focus was on learning with Legos. Many thanks to parent, Steve Banzaert, who helped facilitate.


MHS parent Steve Banzaert works with K1/K2 teacher Liz Borson and art teacher Jeanne Rachko.

Teachers investigated Duplo kits with simple machines and structures, by following designs. These are a great way for young children to get their hands on materials and start to think about coding.


Principal Ayla Gavins and Grade 1/2 teacher Jenerra Williams study a design map while building with Duplo Tubes.

Duplo tubes were also used.  Here pre-made designs were followed and then teachers created their own. One challenge was to make a structure that would allow a ball to travel a distance and hit a wall.


Grade 7/8 teacher Khury Petersen, tests out a Duplo Tube structure with KO paraprofessional Donna Winder and K1/K2 teacher Jada Brown.


7/8 grade teacher Ann Ruggiero and K0 teacher Geralyn McLaughlin build an EV3 robot.

WeDo is another kit that was examined.  Staff built robots and programmed them, while also teaching themselves new programming techniques.


Real Life Learning at MHS

Mission Hill School eighth graders are participating in their second Apprentice Learning ‘apprenticeship’ this school year, where each student travels to a local business one afternoon a week for six weeks and works alongside of an adult mentor.

Apprentices gain career knowledge while applying good habits of work to the world beyond the classroom. At the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, Apprentice Engineers participate in the design process and test their mini robots,  “Bristol Bots” under the tutelage of Crystal Knodel, Staff Electrical Engineer.

Siobhan and Kaya test their mini robots at the Wyss Institute during Apprentice Learning.

Siobhan and Kaya test their mini robots at the Wyss Institute during Apprentice Learning.

Descriptive Inquiry Conference at MHS

On Saturday, a group of 25 educators from over seven states gathered together to exercise the power of collective work to see children more fully and examine school environments. The Prospect Descriptive Review Processes, which provide a unique perspective for thinking about children and their work, were used to deepen that knowledge.

A fall conference for Descriptive Inquiry was traditionally held at the Prospect Archive and Center for Education and Research, which closed in 2010. The Mission Hill School hopes that this conference will continue in the spirit of Prospect’s Fall Conferences.