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Boston Public Schools Documentary Photo Project

Historic New England educators are working with fifth-grade students to photograph Boston Public Schools. Using images from Historic New England’s Library and Archives, students are introduced to the importance and history of documenting buildings through photography.  Students then document their school buildings using digital cameras, and label their images for use by future researchers. This project demonstrates the diversity of the spaces in and around the schools. The collection of photographs will be saved in Historic New England's Library and Archives, offering a glimpse into daily life in the Boston Public Schools.

Scenes from Boston Public Schools



Joseph Lee School

The Joseph Lee School in Dorchester, Massachusetts serves students in grades 2-6 and has been a recipient of the State of Massachusetts Commendation for academic achievement. The Lee School encourages parental involvement and a strong home-school learning partnership with support from a School Parent Center, violence prevention programs, an active Student Support Team, and on-site counseling.



Fishy in the Ocean

The James F. Condon Elementary School

The James F. Condon Elementary School in South Boston proudly serves over 800 students from across the city in grades Pre-K through 5.  The student population includes many students with special needs both in inclusion and substantially separate classrooms as well as a high percentage of English Language Learners.  For the past six years, the Condon School has been a leading crusader against bullying with the implementation of a bullying prevention program based on the highly effective Olweus model.



The Penthouse GardenJosiah Quincy School

The current Josiah Quincy School building was opened in 1976 in Chinatown. Built on the open-space model, most classrooms do not have full walls or doors separating them from the other classrooms in their area.

FishCharles Sumner School

Opened in 1932, the Charles Sumner Elementary School is located in a quiet residential neighborhood in Roslindale. It is one of a number of schools on the East Coast named for the Massachusetts politician and anti-slavery leader, Charles Sumner.

Reading ClassJames W. Hennigan School

The James W. Hennigan Elementary School opened in 1971. A large, modern building, it is home to the elementary school itself (almost 500 students in grades K-5), a community center, and the West Zone Early Learning Center.

Lunch RoomMary Lyon School

The Mary Lyon School is an inclusion school housed in two buildings in Brighton. The Lower School is one of the smallest schools in the Boston Public Schools system.

OutsideHarvard-Kent Elementary School

The Harvard-Kent Elementary School was built in 1972. Located on Bunker Hill St. in Charlestown, it is sandwiched between the Tobin Bridge, mid-twentieth-century housing projects, and earlier wooden row houses leading up the slope to Bunker Hill Square.




LibraryJoseph P. Tynan School

The Joseph P. Tynan School is located in the part of South Boston that was once known as Dorchester Heights. With 320 students in grades K-5, the school reflects the neighborhood’s growing diversity.

MasksMildred Avenue K-8 School

Mildred Avenue K-8 School is located in Mattapan. It has a student population that represents more than 25 cultures. The school values collaborations amongst teachers and partnerships with families. Mildred Ave. is expanding and evolving as a school in a multicultural community.










Boston Public Schools Documentary Photo Project