To: Maria Vieira, Assignment Specialist, Boston Public Schools
To: Evelyn Adario, Assistant Director of Envrollment Planning and Support, Boston Public Schools
To: Denise Snyder, Senior Director of Welcome Services, Boston Public Schools
Cc: Boston City Councilor John R. Connolly
Cc: Boston City Councilor Mark Ciommo
Cc: John McDonough, Superintendent, Boston Public Schools
Cc: Boston School Committee
Last night, in preparation for visiting a BPS family resource center this morning to prove my daughter’s residency for the exam school entrance examination, I sat down at my computer to figure out which of the three centers would be the least time-consuming for me to visit.
I dutifully typed their addresses, from the ISEE letter I received late last week, into Google Maps and calculated public transportation routes and estimated travel times from my home to each FRC and from each FRC to work. All three are, of course, inconvenient to reach from Brighton, but the one in Dorchester seemed to be the least inconvenient, so that’s the one I planned to use.
This morning, I typed the address for the Dorchester FRC into my phone and set off on my way. However, when I arrived at the location identified by my phone from the address in the letter, there was no FRC to be seen.
In fact, the FRC was miles to the north of where I was standing, because the address in the letter was wrong:
The ZIP code of the Dorchester FRC is 02125, not 02124. The same error occurs in the ISEE bulletin:
I ended up walking at a rapid clip for over a half hour to get to the FRC.
This error wasted about 45 minutes of my work day. My time is valuable, certainly at least as valuable as the time of the BPS employees who couldn’t be bothered to proofread the bulletin and letter. Is BPS going to reimburse me for the 45 minutes of my time you just wasted? Somehow I doubt it.
If this were an isolated occurrence, I could write it off as an innocent mistake. However, as you are no doubt aware from my previous correspondence, I believe this is part and parcel of a culture within BPS of carelessness and shoddy work and a seeming lack of caring about their negative impact on BPS parents.
Of course BPS should get its own zip code correct. But I’d also place part of the blame on the company that made your phone’s mapping software.
There’s only one 1216 Dorchester Ave in Boston. If you use the wrong zip code, it should either show you the correct location anyway, or alert you to the fact that there was no such address in the zip code you specified.
Aren’t zip codes supposed to be optional anyway, and the street address, city, and state are what uniquely determines an address?