ADAMS -- On Thursday, Aug. 22, BART opened its doors once again to welcome incoming students. A record 340 students will attend the public charter school this year, representing more than 10-percent growth over last year.
Thursday marks the start of BART's 10th year as a public school option for the parents and students of northern and central Berkshire County. This past year BART was granted its third charter from the state of Massachusetts, allowing it to operate for another five-year term. Additionally, the state raised the school's enrollment cap to 363 students and officially added Pittsfield to the list of cities and towns that BART is chartered to serve.
A number of changes are in store for the 2013-2014 school year. Perhaps most notably for students, April West has transitioned into the principal's office, having previously taught in BART's high school for the last seven years.
Additionally, students will find:
* The newly renovated Bo and Katherine Peabody Science lab, allowing students access to a full science lab for both chemistry and biology.
* Another fall sport option for its high school students - football. Students at BART may now play on a team with students from St. Joseph's Central High School. Cross-country running will continue as a stand-alone team, coached by Benn Griffin.
* An expanded 21st-Century Community Learning Center program, with extended after-school programs that run for two hours each day. Weeklong programs will run in February and April. All programs are crafted with the intent to provide academic enrichment opportunities during non-school hours.
BART is a nationally recognized, award-winning, tuition-free public middle and high school focused on preparing students for college. One hundred percent of BART's graduates have passed a college course and have been accepted into college prior to graduation. BART does not discriminate in admission to, access to, treatment in, or employment in its services, programs or activities, on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, homelessness or age.