Thursday, March 15, 2012

Boston Scholar Athletes are succeeding

The Boston Scholar Athletes (BSA) program, which was launched in the summer of 2009, supports academic achievement through athletics. Partners include BPS and The City of Boston. The program is currently in 19 learning centers, or “Zones”-each located at a Boston Public School high school. The Zones are staffed, operated, and funded by BSA. The program is available during the academic school year by all potential and current scholar-athletes in grades 9-12. The Director of BSA, Rebekah Splaine, says, "The Zones are a dedicated space that represent a mindset for academic and athletic excellence. They offer students a safe place to study, learn, and interact with their teammates, peers, mentors, and tutors."

The Zones are equipped with innovative technology, and school supplies, in addition to providing consistent tutors and mentors. This year BSA is also offering the College Readiness Initiative an SAT preparation program with the Princeton Review.

BSA has gained tremendous growth and impact, which has sparked the need for other Zones. “There has been a renewed sense of accomplishment, pride, and urgency in the students’ academic pursuits,” says, Splaine. Success is measured on a daily basis by tracking scholar-athlete eligibility, grade point averages, progress reports, and student satisfaction surveys. The relationship with the Boston Public Schools allows BSA staff to monitor the grades of 3,000+ scholar-athletes currently enrolled in Zones. "This is vital to our success because it allows for day-to-day monitoring of academic performance, so our staff can work to prevent ineligibility,"notes Splaine.

BSA looks forward to next year with hopes of continued academic progress.
To learn more about the program:

Friday, March 02, 2012

Emmanuel lends a hand

Partnerships within the community have helped to foster great students. Emmanuel College and Fenway High School collaborated in 2005 to create a dual enrollment program that allows students the opportunity to enroll in undergraduate courses at the College for high school and college credit at no cost to them.

“The program allows students to gain confidence in their ability to do college work and teaches them the skills to navigate what is often for them the foreign world of college," says Peggy Kemp, Headmaster at Fenway.

One former student commented, “Nothing in the world made me happier than to see what I’ve worked for. There were times when I wanted to quit but I'm glad that I didn't. I know now that I can do anything if I allow myself to do so.” This student graduated from Smith College early because of the four courses she took at Emmanuel and is currently a teacher in the Boston Public Schools.

Since 2005, more than 200 Fenway students have participated in the program and about 300 courses have been taken.