Boston Green Academy welcomes diverse students of all abilities, educates and empowers them to succeed in college and career, and prepares them to lead in the sustainability of our community and world. Her are some school-wide structures that supports this mission:
Building as a Teaching Tool: We use our building as a model to show how systems function individually and how they interact and impact each other. We are constantly trying to improve all our systems, and our students are a big part of this effort. Through student and partner run initiatives, we have made sustainable changes to our energy, water, and waste systems. We strongly believe that creating change on a smaller level helps students understand how systems work on a larger scale (like in the City of Boston).
Project Week: For the second week of April, students are off campus – hiking, biking, cooking, meditating, teaching, dancing, sailing, painting, protecting, exploring, discovering and engaging – with the Greater Boston community and beyond. Project Week builds community: it removes boundaries between students and teachers and across grades and classes; it provides opportunities for physical and mental fitness and for making a difference in the world; and it connects students to businesses, government, nonprofits and cultural institutions.
Grade Level Green Milestones: The Green Milestones are a continuum of green experiences from 6th-12th grade. These Milestones ensure that, by the time they graduate, all students will: 1) Establish a meaningful relationship with our community and earth, 2) Grapple, and engage with real world, sustainability issues, and 3) Engage in leadership opportunities that promote sustainability. These milestones include:
- Community Service: All grades complete community service. The middle school does group community service projects and the high school does community service with their advisory and eventually on their own.
- Middle School Green Overnight Trips: Each grade in the middle school goes on an overnight trip that helps our students bond with and better understand a part of New England they have never experienced before (like our harbor islands).
- Middle School Green Enrichment class: This is a new class that all middle schoolers go to once a week. All curriculum and projects address sustainability issues facing our students’ communities. The students learn about these issues and work on action projects to make a difference.
- Green Job Fairs, Panels and Shadows: As students move from the 9th-12th grade, they experience grade specific green job fairs, job panels and eventually job shadows. These experiences all culminate in their senior internship.
- Vertex Science Trips: All high school classes visit the state of the art Vertex Science Labs once/month. Here students do labs taught by professionals in the field.
- Green Interdisciplinary Exhibitions: All 6th-11th grade students participate in a culminating green, interdisciplinary exhibition. These exhibitions deepen our students understanding of sustainability as they work with all of their content classes to write a research paper and produce a presentation on their grade specific topic. The exhibitions increase in rigor and student choice as the move from 6th-11th grade.
- Senior Internship: All seniors complete a 6-week internship in a field of their choice. They reflect weekly (via journal entry and through a meeting with their supervisor) on how their chosen career impacts the sustainability of our community and world. They use this information to help grow the sustainability initiatives at their internship.
Partnerships: We partner with a variety of companies and organizations in Boston to provide opportunities for our teachers and students outside of the classroom. These partners include: Harvard MedScience, Vertex, Private Industry Council, Community Rowing, Youth Outdoor Leaders of Boston, FoodCorps, Hale Reservation, Boston Bikes, Facing History and Ourselves, Primary Source, Boston Debate League, ServiceWorks, and many more.
With a Metropolitan population of about 600,000 people, the capital city of Boston is located on the Eastern coast, at the mouth of the Charles River. The Greater Boston area is home to a number of Fortune 500 company headquarters such as Staples, EMC, and Raytheon. The economy is based on finance, biotechnology, healthcare, and education. The city is considered to be a world center of entrepreneurship and innovation. Businesses and institutions rank among the highest in the country for environmental sustainability and investment.
Boston is a diverse city of neighborhoods, each with its own unique character and history. While the Back Bay, Beacon Hill, and Mid-town areas of Boston have some of the highest per capita incomes in the city, Boston Green Academy’s students live in neighborhoods with among the lowest per capita incomes: Dorchester, East Boston, Roxbury, Mattapan, Hyde Park, South Boston, and Brighton. Our work is to ensure that they have the knowledge, skills and exposure to become part of Boston’s growing green economy
A reflection of its urban population, Boston Green Academy’s student body is extremely diverse. Of 540 students in grades 6-12, 55% are African-American, 30% are Hispanic, 8% are White, 3% are Asian American, and 2% Native American or multiracial. 85% of our students are economically disadvantaged, 31% are students with learning disabilities, 12% are English Language learners, and an additional 20% are students for whom English is not the first language. Fifty-five seniors comprise the Class of 2017, our 6th graduating class. Approximately 80% of our students go on to some form of higher education directly after graduation, and most are the first in their families to attend college (demographic breakdown based on 2015-16 school year..