Students Return for In-Person Learning
On March 1, the halls of BART once again echoed with the sounds of young people as BART moved into its hybrid teaching and learning model. The School moved to remote-only teaching and learning in November when local Covid-19 cases spiked. Letting those spikes subside took weeks and a toll on students and their teachers alike. "It is truly wonderful to have many of our students back again," said Principal Keogh.
BART's hybrid in-person model employs an A/B week half-day schedule that alternates between having high school and then middle school students in the building one week at a time. BART will return both the Middle School and the High School to full-time, five-day-a-week, in-person teaching and learning on Monday, April 26. Families still have the opportunity to elect to have their children remain remote. "This has been a truly extraordinary, challenging year in nearly every regard," says Executive Director Jay White. "Testament to the resolve of our students and their families, as well as to the dedication and relentlessness of our teachers, our students continue to learn and to achieve."
At 7:30pm on Friday, December 22, folks gathered around their radio sets (ok, actually they settled into their Zoom chambers) to hear the BART Theatre Department's performance of Frankenstein the Radio Play by Philip Grecian.
Based on Mary Shelley's classic novel, the voice actors of the radio play guide the audience through the story of Dr. Franeknstein and his obsession to create new life.
The performance was an impressive amalgamation of individual video clips, original student art pieces, music, and sound effects. The actors recorded themselves from their homes and the BART arts team worked in concert to edit them together to create a 2-hour long masterpiece.
230 guests attended the evening premiere event. A shining example of BART's ability to pivot and overcome some of the challenges brought on by remote learning, Frankenstein the Radio Play was BART students shining brightly (and melodramatically creepy!).
BART's Winter Salon with Susan Eisenhower
With Winter's chill embracing the country, a group of BART friends and supporters were warmed by the latest of BART's Salons. Susan Eisenhower, President and Chairman of The Eisenhower Group, Inc. and Chairman Emeritus of the Eisenhower Institute of Gettysburg College, joined thirty guests for an evening of discussion of contemporary politics, leadership, and the legacy of her grandfather, President Dwight Eisenhower. Ms. Eisenhower is a consultant, author, and policy analyst with expertise in energy policy, space policy, and international security.
BART's Salons bring together individuals for discussions of various topics—from popular culture to the arts to politics to science—in the intimate settings of host families' living rooms. This Winter Salon with Ms. Eisenhower, hosted by Jay White and Ms. Eisenhower, was the first to be fully virtual and drew participants and BART friends from around the country.
The next BART Salon is already being planned, so look for an invitation to join an interesting evening event—and support BART at the same time!
Principal Search Underway
In March, BART launched a national search for a new Principal. The individual in this role at BART is critical to the School—as leader of our teachers, as manager of our academic program, and as someone who embodies the BART ethos. The position announcement for Principal describes the right candidate as having "[a] record of successful educational leadership and the potential to cultivate and advance a dynamic, innovative, and compassionate learning community. The individual will be a tireless advocate for the development and growth of the whole child and will champion the belief that all students can succeed in college. A dedication to making BART an inclusive, equitable, and diverse community that embraces nurturing practices and social justice is essential in that individual."
Current BART Principal Sean Keogh, who has given all of himself to the position for the last three years, wishes to transition back to his true passion at BART: teaching and instructional coaching. The Principal Search Committee comprises individuals drawn from across our BART community—teachers, parents, administrators, Trustees, and BART alumni. The Committee plans to bring finalists for Principal to the BART community in May.
Bringing the World to BART
"Connecting BART to the Region and Beyond" is one of the four strategic goals of BART's Strategic Plan 2020-2024. One way that we accomplish this is by bringing dynamic, engaging guest speakers to our students in their classrooms and in school-wide assemblies.
Already this year our students have welcomed numerous guests, including: Spoken Word Poet and Teaching Artist Rajnii Eddins; UMass Associate Professor of Political Science and Director of the UMass Poll, Dr. Tatishe Nteta; Clark University Associate Professor and specialist in African American social and political movements, Dr. Ousmane Power-Greene; Berkshire Eagle's Statehouse Reporter, Danny Jin; and others who joined individual classes. Additionally, BART's International Women's Day assembly featured American TV and Broadway actress Jessica Hecht; Janet LaBreck, Commissioner for both the Rehabilitation Services Admin. and the MA Commission for the Blind; and French, Emmy-nominated producer and television journalist Karine G. Barzegar.
Such guests come to BART largely by connections with our faculty, staff, families, and School friends. As example, BART history teacher Alla Chelukhova has been an integral part of coordinating not only several of the visits and associated programming but also the reflection work with BART students.
Enrolling Next Year's Students
BART’s Enrollment Department remains dedicated and available to connect with parents across Berkshire County looking for a challenging, innovative, college preparatory middle and high school experience.
BART is an extraordinary place in a beautiful location. It’s a nationally recognized, award-winning, college-preparatory, free, public middle and high school located in Adams, Massachusetts. It’s the only charter public school in Berkshire County and is consistently ranked among the top schools in Massachusetts—just last year BART was recognized by US News & World Report as #16 among the top 100 Massachusetts high schools. And it's a place where students work and excel and dream, 100% of them being accepted each year by many colleges and universities.