Dear Boston Wikipedians,

For the purpose of tweaking a wiki, I would be grateful for one hour of help from one of your members.

Having met SJ Klein and others at an open house at the Berkman Center a couple of years back, and more recently at Clover in Harvard Square, I feel as though one or more of you may be interested in contributing an easy hour of your busy time to this particular project. 

I have basic skills and experience with MediaWiki, but I need some brief how-to assistance with some intermediate tasks. I have already gleaned what I can from documentation, help lines, and fiddling around.

Using Mediawiki, I have begun setting up a wiki to support collaboration among the founders of a proposed grade 6-12 school. The group comprises oceanographers and marine biologists, maritime historians, geographers, geologist/geophysicists, linguists, authors, and practitioners from other disciplines who want to share the excitement of their marine and maritime perspectives with students of the rising generation.

The school, to be called the "New Bedford Cheironeum," after Cheiron, the first teacher (and teacher of Jason and the Argonauts), will:
  • locate in the historic port of New Bedford,
  • function as a tuition-free, publicly supported,  independently governed, "charter" school
  • serve a disadvantaged population of 756 students
  • emphasize "Ocean Education" through experiential learning
  • train students to operate a soon-to-be restored 120-yr-old, 100-ft long historic schooner as an ocean-going research vessel (see
  • apply for membership in the International Baccalaureate "Middle Years Programme" and  "Diploma Programme."
  • create a model for the creation of similar schools throughout the Atlantic basin
The wiki I set up is currently password-protected. The url is, and it is hosted by

I have a basic wiki. I need limited help with:
  • upgrading the current versions of MediaWiki, PHP, and MySQL
  • setting up one or two examples of templates, categories, portals, etc.
  • adding some basic extensions (parser,etc.)
I am familiar with what needs to be done, but not practiced at it.

This wiki needs to be robust enough to support and encourage communication among seriously committed founders, while stimulating the interest of potential supporters. We have plenty of content; we need a more engaging structure. We are trying to create a main page that resembles, in a more modest way, the main page of Wikipedia.

We are also open to whatever suggestions you care to make.

Thank you for considering this request. Your help at this juncture would be an invaluable contribution.

Best regards,

Rick Porteus
Lead Founder
New Bedford Cheironeum
Mobile: 508-292-0476

I am in the process of designing a secondary school, grades 6-12, to focus on "Ocean-based Education"  

open as a charter school in 

Rick Porteus