The following is a Christian Work Project sponsored in part by a grant from the Boston Baptist Social Union.
Boston Trinity Academy
Mission & History
The mission of Boston Trinity Academy is to educate students on the basis of a Christian worldview and to promote high academic achievement and character development founded on the love of Jesus Christ. Boston Trinity Academy actively recruits a student body that reflects Boston's richly diverse communities and is committed to the proposition that a strong faith culture and a demanding academic programs can unite a student body with social, economic and racial differences. In partnership with parents and the community the Academy seeks to produce granulates distinguished by their intellect, integrity service and moral vision.
Boston Trinity Academy (BTA) was founded because access to excellent schools is essential it: the fight against poverty, violence, and joblessness in the city. In Boston, the achievement gap between minority students and their counterparts is well documented, specifically in MCAS and SAT scores, dropout rates, and college admittance. The difference in outcomes between urban and suburban students is also astounding. Therefore, the vast majority of Boston inner city and n-|inorit-y youth lack lnrelnaration for and access to the academically sophisticated schools that lead to higher education opportunities and promising features. Students who attend rigorous private and public schools do not report the same bleak results and face few of these challenges in applying to and graduating from selective colleges; however, support for these students and access to such schools is limited and often non-existent for students with insufficient funds and opportunity. BTA was founded in order to meet the needs of students below the poverty line while also meeting the needs of students with economic means - all within one classroom a true reflection of the city of Boston.
Through the vision and efforts of dedicated Boston area leaders in spheres ranging from finance to church leadership, Boston Trinity Academy opened its doors in September 2002 These founders shared a common goal to address one of the greatest needs for many of the young people of Boston - a rigorous college preparatory middle and high school rooted in the Christian faith and accessible to students from all neighborhoods, ethnicities, and socioeconomic backgrounds. Beginning in 2000, these visionaries began to plan a school that would inspire young people to set the highest standards, gain wisdom, and live lives distinctly marked by service, Christian faith, and integrity. Based in research and the history of schooling in the Boston area, they set out to create an academically rigorous school that would not segregate students based on demographics but would educate suburban and urban students together; students who come from affluent homes, students who come from working class households, and students whose families live below the poverty line would be learning in one classroom. In Boston, there was no prototype for such a school. Since the school opened its doors in 2002, $4 million has been awarded in scholarships to our students enabling a school that truly reflects the diversity of Boston on all levels.
Boston Trinity Academy was launched with 6 teachers and 54 students in grades 6-9 in two floors of a rented school building attached to Temple O'habei Shalom on Beacon Street in Brookline. Eighty-seven percent of the students were on financial aid. Adding a grade each year, the school grew, and in the spring of 2006, the first senior class of 16 graduated: all college bound - three of them National Merit Commended Scholars and one National Merit Finalist. As these young people were preparing to go to college, the school purchased its own facility formerly a Catholic elementary school, on a five-acre campus in Boston's Hyde Park neighborhood.
The Program Itself
Boston Trinity Academy has a rigorous comprehensive curriculum that challenges students to grow intellectually, physically, spiritually and creatively while under the tutelage of teachers who know and care for them. BTA'S academic philosophy utilizes a content-rich curriculum taught through a combination of traditional and progressive pedagogy. Students solve complex mathematical problems, arrive in-depth research papers, and memorize poetry and prose, acquainting themselves "with the best that has been known and said in the world, and thus with the history of the human spirit," as British poet Matthew Arnold recommended.
In the middle school (grade 6-8), students take 1.5 hours of English daily in order to hone writing skills and mechanics as well as reading challenging literature. In addition, all students begin taking either French or Spanish in seventh grade. Middle school science is geared towards preparing students for high school biology, chemistry, and physics by providing them with the fundamental concepts behind these subjects; correlatively, middle school mathematics is geared towards preparing students for the rigors of high school mathematics, which culminates with the study of calculus. An interscholastic competitive math team has also not only been founded but is also flourishing. In the upper school, students take a traditional battery of college preparatory classes all of which focus on the importance of writing, problem solving, and reading. Each student must take 4 Advanced Placement courses in order to graduate; currently, seven are offered including Biology, Calculus AB, calculus BC, European History, U.S. History, English Literature, and English Language.
In addition, students take biblical studies courses. Along with Christian theologs, in-depth studies of topics including church history, apologetics, world religions, and current events are used to develop and deepen students' understanding. The curriculums chlorinates in Senior Symposium in which students investigate an issue, such as euthanasia, foreign intervention in genocide, religion in electoral politics, and rap music. Students research and write a 20 page paper in which they present the history of the topic, the controversy, and a detailed explanation of the differing views ending with a rational explication of their own thesis. Finally, they present their findings before a panel of collegiate professors from local universities and colleges.
Acaclemic rigor is predicated upon the single most essential resource a great school bas- the quality and dedication of its teachers. BTA'S devoted faculty, who double as coaches, choir directors, and set designers, have incomparable academic credentials, having graduated from elite colleges such as Brown, Dartmouth, Gordon, Haggard, and Wellesley. BTA'S retention rate is over 90 percent with no faculty leaving during the first four years of the school. Close to eighty percent of the faculty hold or are pursuing advanced degrees. In 2008-09, BTA has a 10 to 1 student-to-teacher ratio. It is the goal of BTA to keep this ratio at its current level or lower.