Our Mission & Vision
Mission: Boston Adult Technical Academy (BATA) is an alternative high school for mature, motivated students between the ages of 19-22. A great number of our students are from communities of color, immigrant families and are English Language Learners. We provide a safe, nurturing, student-centered, and culturally sustaining educational experience that enables young adults to intensively acquire the skills needed to complete their high school degrees while positioning themselves as agents for community change invested in their own postsecondary success. We seek to eliminate school-based barriers to success that often limit the choices and opportunities for all students. Our work is deeply rooted in social, racial, and economic justice.
Vision: BATA believes that with the appropriate tools and support, all students can cultivate their knowledge, skills and experience in order to achieve their goals in high school and beyond. We hope to expand the narrative of 21st century postsecondary success to include a variety of outcomes, including college, entrepreneurship, employment, community service, technical proficiency and the arts.
Meet our Head of School, Benjamin Helfat
We, the staff and students of BATA, want to thank you for your support. We want to wish you all a happy and healthy new year in 2021.
This past year, our community has endured enormous challenges. COVID forced us to learn to teach (and learn) remotely, and it brought both illness and material insecurity to many of our families. Additionally, we watched the deaths of more black and brown people at the hands of police and contended with the racism that is still so prevalent in society and its institutions. BATA staff and students have supported each other in extraordinary ways. The BATA team tirelessly ensured we were reaching out to all students and building strong relationships despite not seeing each other in person. Many staff members also committed to driving to students' homes with computers, supplies, hotspots, or just to check that they are ok.
BATA values equity and building an anti-racist community. In response to the violence and our growing diversity, we have put a focus on culturally responsive teaching. Through readings and discussions, the staff is working on improving their teaching to reach all students. This is not simply by crafting content that features a more diverse group of people, it is also about creating practices that increase student voice and ramp up both challenge and support for ALL our learners. In addition, BATA is getting politically active and making sure our students' voices and values are heard throughout the city. We think building student agency is important in providing an anti-racist education.
I have seen our monthly all-student community meetings filled with student presentations and joy. Our teachers have been consistently engaged in reflection and professional development to ensure they are learning better ways to reach students. During this time, we have learned a lot about how to tackle the future. Among these lessons is the need for more one-on-one conferences with students, how to engage our working students with flexible scheduling and we have begun evening hours for student intervention and outreach.
Like always, we are working to make sure our students are getting their essential needs met. Especially through the pandemic, it has been hard to address the housing needs, food insecurity issues, and needs for basic resources like clothes and toiletries. Through our partnership with Catie’s Closet and our partners in Boston, we have been able to offer our students the resources they need so they can attend to learning. In addition, we want to extend a huge thank you to Boston Public Schools for prioritizing getting a Chromebook and internet for every student.
I have been proud of the work BATA has done to address the social-emotional needs of our students throughout the COVID shutdown. Following the lead of our Social Worker, all of our support staff have been assigned to a small number of students to ensure they build tight relationships and can address ongoing needs. This system has reduced referrals to our social work team and has helped us feel more connected to our students.
While it has been a tough year, BATA is still providing our students a great education and connecting our students to the resources they need. None of this would have been possible without you. You have been our support. Our students need a large and connected community to be successful. You have been a part of that, and we are deeply grateful.