Letter to CoaH Families – June 26, 2020

Dear CoaH Families:

I am writing to provide an update on City on a Hill’s response to COVID-19. As a reminder, all of our previous messages are archived here.


Why did City on a Hill decide to observe Juneteenth (June 19)?

In school year 2018-19, City on a Hill began the work of committing to anti-racist operation of our schools. At our inaugural OneCoaH Day, where CoaH staff from across the Commonwealth gathered to discuss our commitment to anti-racism by starting the first of our Diversity, Inclusion, Citizenship and Equity (DICE) initiatives.

In a week that has seen liberation in the form of two landmark Supreme Court cases affirming the rights of LGBTQ+ workers and upholding of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) policy, we feel fortunate to also reflect upon and celebrate the emancipation of the remaining enslaved Black people of the United States in 1865 two years after the Emancipation Proclamation (more here).

The celebration of Juneteenth has been one deeply important to many Black people for hundreds of years. We are glad to see it come closer to the center of the national consciousness, and we hope that it is a reminder of the action needed by civically engaged people to fight injustices regardless of what systems of oppression deem “good” or “just.”

As we celebrate this day, we also wanted to celebrate our students and staff who have continued to model our core values of Citizenship and Teacher Leadership by speaking out and acting against anti-Black racism.

CoaH understands there is much more work to be done, and we look forward to working in solidarity with our community to dismantle systematic oppression wherever it arises. In school year 2020-21, we plan to start the school year off with conversations to deepen our connections as a community, repair where there has been hurt, and build a trusting coalition of students and teachers who look towards liberation of all peoples. 

How can families access P-EBT benefits? 

Families whose students qualify for free or reduced-price lunch started to receive P-EBT cards in the mail on Friday, May 29, and if you are having trouble activating your card, please see below: 

You will need the letter DTA sent you in the mail to activate the card.

The Massachusetts EBT vendor was not able to change the automated prompts you hear when you call to PIN a card, and unfortunately, some of the automated instructions are inaccurate for P-EBT cards. Instead, please follow the steps below:

  • ​Call the EBT card phone number on the back of your P-EBT card: 800-997-2555.​
  • ​Enter your P-EBT card number (it is an 18-digit number).
  • You will then be prompted incorrectly to enter the last four digits of your Social Security number. Do not enter the last 4 digits of your Social Security number. For the P-EBT cards, you must enter the last four digits of your child’s case number that was provided on the DTA letter you received in the mail.
  • Then enter your child’s date of birth using a two-digit month, two-digit day, and four-digit year (example: 04/06/2005).

For more information, visit: map-ebt.org. Questions? Call Project Bread’s FoodSource Hotline at 800-645-8333.


How will City on a Hill Boston close out the school year?

Advisors will share final report cards and any summer school assignments on Monday and Tuesday, June 29 and 30. Report cards will also be mailed home. Summer school will be virtual, from 8:30 a.m-12:30 p.m. each day, starting on Monday, July 6.

How can I watch City on a Hill Boston’s virtual graduation ceremony, and when will students receive diplomas? 

Congratulations and thank you to everyone who made our Virtual Graduation such a moving tribute to our seniors. You can still watch graduation here: Boston Graduation Seniors were invited to pick-up diplomas between 12-2 p.m. on Monday, June 15 at Circuit. All others were mailed and should have arrived by Friday, June 19.


How is City on a Hill New Bedford preparing for the support students will need as they move into school year 2020-21 at a different school?

COAH NB is working very closely with New Bedford Public Schools to make the transition as smooth as possible for all students and families. On Wednesday evening, June 24, Callie Pope, Director of School Operations, sent an email to all families with additional information about school registration and the enrollment process. The email included an electronic authorization form to share student records directly with NBPS: 

  • Families looking to register with NBPS: Click here to register, then click here to complete a record release form. 
  • Families who are not attending NBPS: Email Callie Pope with the name of the school they’ll be attending and then click here to complete a record release form. 

How can I watch City on a Hill NB’s virtual graduation ceremony?

If you weren’t able to join us to celebrate the Class of 2020 on Friday, the ceremony will continue to be streamed on the City on a Hill website through the end of the summer. Congratulations again to the class of 2020!

As always, please know that we remain committed to supporting you to the greatest extent possible during this time. We continue to welcome your feedback on how this process is working or not working for you and your family. 


Kevin T. Taylor

Chief Executive Officer

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