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Department of Implementation records

Identifier: 0450.001


  • 1952-2002 (bulk, 1975-2000)


Conditions Governing Access

Some records within this collection are restricted as mandated by FERPA guidelines and the Public Records Law (MGL C.4, s. 7, cl.26). Contact archivist for further information.

Historical note

The Department of Implementation evolved from Implementation Team, into the Office of Implementation, to its final department status. From July 1974 to August 1975, it was the "Implementation Team", comprised of teachers and administrators already employed within the Boston Public Schools. They worked as a committee to plan ways to ensure compliance with Judge W. Arthur Garrity's court orders in the Tallulah Morgan vs. James Hennigan case. The decision, ruled June 21, 1974 in the United States District dedication of a full time staff.

The "Office of Implementation" existed from September 1975 to May 1977. The Masters’ Plan of May 10, 1975 recognized the need for an agency dedicated to implementing the court’s orders. This plan officially established the Office of Implementation. In a response to the Masters’ plan, filed by the School Committee, members asserted that the Office would be "the actual mechanism for school system implementation, supervision and coordination..." (p.1, Implementation Process and Schedule for Student Desegregation). On May 6, 1977, the court issued its annual Memorandum and Orders Modifying the Desegregation Plan, which established the Department of Implementation as a permanent unit with four divisions, under the supervision of the Associate Superintendent for Support Services. The divisions were as follows: Senior Officer of Desegregation; Executive Director; External Liaison Unit; Records Management Unit; Student Services Unit; Transportation Unit. The Senior Officer of Desegregation was responsible for implementing court orders, policies and decisions. This position was filled by John Coakley, 1977 to 1986, by Catherine Ellison, 1986 – 1997 and finally by Jack Halloran until 2003. The Senior Officer planned and monitored desegregation activities. The officer served as a link between the BPS Office of General Counsel and the Court appointed experts. The Executive Director was in charge of coordinating daily operational activities and the personnel of all four units of the Department of Implementation. This division had to ensure efficiency of each unit within the department. Catherine Ellison filled this position from 1977 to 1986.

The four units within the department each had their own function. Records Management Unit provided computerized, statistical and analytical services necessary for the assignment, transfer, admission and discharge of students in the school system. This unit created student assignment and enrollment reports as well as state reports to the Department of Education. The Student Services Unit served as the planning and operational sector, concerned with issues related to student assignments, transfers, and the programmatic use of the schools. This unit collected student applications for assignment and transfers. The Transportation Unit dealt with matters pertaining to transportation of students, as well as monitoring bus companies. This included planning, operations, fiscal and monitoring responsibilities. The External Liaison Unit (E.L.U.) served to facilitate the informational needs (related to desegregation) of parents, students, school personnel, and the general public. The E.L.U. was responsible for creating student information booklets annually and monitoring school progress towards desegregation.


186 Cubic feet

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Processing Information

The first group of records (Group I) was initally transferred to the City Archives from the basement of 26 Court Street and processed under a National Historic Publications and Records Commission grant in 2004. The second group of records (Group II) was transferred and processed under a second NHPRC grant in 2006.

Group I measured 176 cubic feet before processing. Fifty-seven cubic feet of duplicates, carbon copies, personnel records, blank forms and personal papers were disposed of during processing. Group II was reduced from approximately 111 cubic feet. Duplicate materials, carbon copies, blank forms, personnel and personal papers were disposed of during processing.

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Repository Details

Part of the City of Boston Archives Repository

201 Rivermoor St.
West Roxbury MA 02132 United States
617-635-1194 (Fax)