The Boston School Department is adding more kindergarten classrooms post-haste, two in East Boston and one each in Dorchester and the South End; the city will also be hiring several new teachers (and maybe adding a couple of more classrooms to boot). While the enrollment boom has turned out to be not as high as the 25 percent-and-change originally feared (it's more like 2 percent), the increase seems to have caught the city somewhat by surprise. "This is the first year I've actually seen this amount of an unexpected increase in demand," Jerry Burrell, the School Department's director of enrollment, planning, and support, told The Globe's James Vaznis.
We're a tad gobsmacked, too. Regular readers know we've harped upon the reality that much (almost all, in fact) of the ballyhooed apartment development in Boston has been geared toward singletons, childless couples and empty-nesters; there are very few three- and four-bedrooms on deck—and those usually come only after a fight. This dearth of new-development, family-friendly apartments, coupled with the city's absurdly high rents and prices, may render young families, if not an endangered species, then a curiosity (three years from now in the North End: "Look, a stroller!").
So where did all these families with young children come from and where are they living? We're guessing they've been in the city awhile, at least a few years, maybe having taken advantage of the housing bust at the end of the last decade; their children were always headed to kindergarten at some point in the near future and that point is now. These children, then, may very well represent the crest of a wave that will start to roll back: the last year—or next to last year—that Boston will have to worry about placing more kindergarteners than expected.
· Boston Scrambles to Accommodate an Influx of Kindergartners [Globe]
· Boston Is for Lovers (Just Not Their Kids): a New Apt. Dynamic [Curbed Boston]
· Boston Parents Feel Pressure to Split City Over Schools [Curbed Boston]
· Southie Has Had It with All the New Small Apartments [Curbed Boston]