The EDCO Collaborative is the Commonwealth’s oldest education collaborative and is one of the few such agencies in the nation serving a major urban center. The Boston Public Schools and eight other founding public school districts created the collaborative in 1969 for the central purpose of reducing isolation between the city and suburbs. Over the last forty years, EDCO has provided programs and services to thousands of Boston Public Schools students and staff. EDCO’s current membership is comprised of twenty (20) public school districts. The Collaborative is a public entity governed by a Board of Directors consisting of superintendents of schools and school committee members representing each of its member communities. EDCO’s original mission is to improve education through inter-district and interagency collaboration; to provide high quality education and related services to students-at-risk; and to enhance equity, intercultural understanding, and equal opportunity in education. Serving at-risk urban youth is one of the Collaborative’s primary goals and the EDCO Youth Alternative program is the major vehicle through which this central aspect of EDCO’s stated mission has been addressed.
The EDCO Youth Alternative aims to provide a full academic program, extracurricular activities, counseling, and related support services to its students, who require a more supportive environment than those offered by public schools. Students at EDCO enjoy small, accredited classes in regular high school subjects with the goal of attaining a BPS high school diploma. An individualized case plan is developed for each student to set high, but attainable, goals. At a minimum, these goals include the attainment of a high school diploma and a successful step beyond graduation, toward employment, college, or advanced training. The case plan built during enrollment helps students succeed by outlining supportive personal, school, and work guidance from Wediko Children’s Services counselors.
The EDCO environment is one that emphasizes: