SEL Awardee

Cindy Correia

Boston Adult Technical Academy
Boston Public Schools
Boston, MA
“What eludes BATA most is the ability to establish immediate and trusting bonds with every student on our incoming students list. As an alternative high school, we receive students whose trust in schools is already shaken. Assuming BATA will be "more of the same," a good portion - at least 25% - of students slated to attend BATA never report. This is both tragic and avoidable. BATA aims to develop a program of targeted summer outreach to incoming students, with two overarching purposes: (1) to find out which of their needs aren't being met (especially social-emotional and material needs) and begin to meet them, and (2) in so doing, to show new students that, at BATA, school is not what they expect, which will assuage their hesitations to enroll. Using the evidence-based Primary Person model, BATA assigns an adult to help ease every new student's transition. This is only effective, however, if students are here to experience it; if they decide to give school one more chance, believing that BATA will be different. In the past, even some summer outreach has helped us make a case for that difference. This has led to increased enrollment, and thus stronger uptake of Primary Person supports. Our goal is to formalize this outreach in a lasting program that not only assesses students' needs but starts to meet them, and, in turn, starts to regain a trust in education that was lost. Current students and alumni will play a major role in this effort.”
Tags: High School, New Arrivals, Teacher, Traditional Public School, Urban