Dissemination and Collaboration
At their inception, Massachusetts charter public schools were established to stimulate the development of innovative programs within public education and to provide models for replication in other public schools.
As a Massachusetts charter public school, by law, BART must provide models for replication and best practices to the Commissioner and to other public schools in our sending districts.
BART Faculty and Staff continue to be active participants in the local, statewide and national education conversations about running highly effective schools that educate a wide range of students. Below are examples of dissemination and collaboration of best practices by BART Faculty and Staff:
Zines: One Page, Infinite Applications
Mr. Alex Chautin, a BART English Language Arts teacher, has shared his presentation "Zines: One Page, Infinite Applications", during Professional Development sessions throughout our sending districts. He has also shared this work with two programs through the Berkshire Regional Arts Integration Network (BRAINworks); a federally-funded grant program providing professional development in arts integration for Berkshire County educators.
More examples of Dissemination and Collaboration by BART Faculty and Staff:
- Executive Director, Dr. Jay White, taught a two-month-long course in contemporary science through the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Berkshire Community College. Participating in the course were active and retired professionals representing government, education, health, and law sectors.
- Kate Merrigan and Erin Hattaway participated in a day-long introduction to restorative practices for Berkshire County Educators. Restorative practices are used to repair relationships between people and communities when harm has been done. BART has been implementing restorative practices to heal harm enacted in our community in ways that do not ostracize the folks who have caused the harm.
- The Berkshire Arts and Technology Charter Public School has received a $244,070 grant to collaborate with traditional public schools in Adams, Cheshire and North Adams. The goal of the collaboration is to share BART’s data-based approach to middle school mathematics teachers, allowing them to better track student performance and, ultimately, support better student outcomes. Read more here.
- Erin Hattaway, the school’s Assistant Principal, contracted with and was trained by DESE to teach SEI endorsement courses for administrators and teachers. She now teaches an SEI course to pre-service teachers at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA). Ms. Hattaway also served as a consultant to the Muddy Brook Elementary School within the Berkshire Hills School District, supporting the rollout of SEI strategies with both administrators and teachers.
- A team of administrators from Berkshire Hills School District partnered with a team of BART educators to share our key findings and observe each other’s classes as we both implement restorative practices in our schools. At the end of the school year, Berkshire Hills hired our Assistant Principal, Miles Wheat, to work at the Berkshire Hills middle and high school, Monument Mountain, to continue their implementation of restorative practices next year.
- Betsy Marr piloted an anti-bullying program developed with the Clark Art Institute and an art museum in Strasbourg, France, in the 2014-2015 school year. Ms. Marr also supported the replication of this program with Mt. Greylock Regional Middle School students, partnering with that school’s 7th-grade ELA teacher. More can be read at http://frameedu.clarkart.edu/en_US/ .
- A team of educators from Randolph Union High School in Vermont visited BART to learn about our advisory classes, specifically our implementation of the Circle Practice (part of restorative practices) to build a stronger community.
- Deborah Calderara, the school’s history team leader, continues to teach courses at MCLA, including a course in classroom management and teaching strategies. Students in her class include aspiring educators, many of whom will start their careers in Berkshire County.
In addition to our local efforts, BART educators have participated at the state and national level to disseminate some of our best practices.
- Harvard’s Datawise course, held each June for educators from around the country and world, continues to use BART as a case study for effective data-driven instruction in both their Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) and their on-site course. Former principal April West helped present BART’s case and led a Q&A with participants.
- Alexis Dekel presented at the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) conference in June 2016, on cultivating deep, enduring understanding in mathematics through visualization, specifically using a free web-based graphing site, desmos.com.
- Brendan Longe, the school’s Data and Assessment Coordinator, presented at the New York Data Group conference in July 2016 on how BART administers interim assessments and how we use the data to inform our instructional practices.