The Notebook

Conversations about Learning, Educating, and Teaching

Big Changes at Seaport Academy
mari ::: News & Events, Featured, Seaport Academy

A letter from Alex Tsonas, director of Seaport Academy...

Dear Friends,

The past few months have been busy at Seaport. We’re always striving to improve the quality of our program and the services we provide to our students. Now, after a great deal of thought, conversation and research, we’re proud to announce a number of important changes:

We have a new name—Seaport Academy!

“Seaport Campus” was once part of another program; that name created confusion and did not accurately capture our mission. We’re a school with high academic standards offering an individualized education and a unique approach to engaging students. We know that with the right support every student, whatever his situation or struggle, can succeed. Seaport Academy says who we are and better fits our school and mission.

We’re now an all-boys school.

Our program has always served significantly more boys than girls. And after much discussion and research made the choice to become a single-sex program. Research supports this new focus and shows that for many students single-sex education offers a variety of benefits.

The practices we develop here at Seaport—small, active classes, with frequent breaks and hands-on activities, opportunities for physical education throughout the day, a sense of camaraderie and friendly competition—are particularly successful with boys. We’re also seeing that in this community, many boys are willing to take more risks academically and socially. They feel more confident when they extend themselves and they can be a little more open with their feelings. We believe that as a single-sex institution, we can increase their opportunities for success.

We now accept eighth graders.

We know that for some students the transition to high school has real costs. By expanding our program to Grade 8, we now have an extra year to address personal and learning issues before introducing a challenging high-school curriculum. That extra year also means we can increase the likelihood that our students will be able to return to a less restrictive environment and/or transition to successful post-secondary vocational or academic experiences.

We’re enhancing our unique marine science curriculum.

As you may know, Seaport’s unique marine science program has been the recipient of several major grants. Marine studies are now woven throughout the curriculum and give our students a way to think and learn about a diverse range of topics from statistics to writing. Last fall, we received a very special gift—a 26-foot cabin cruiser. “The Scavenger” is now our classroom on the water—an important part of our aquaculture, biology, ecology and marine science classes. The new boat also creates opportunities for students to learn boating safety, mechanics and maintenance, and navigation.

We’re adopting a state-of-the-art approach to behavior management.

We have been working with Drs. Stuart Ablon and Martina Albright in the Department of Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital to adapt their highly successful and innovative Think:Kids program to Seaport’s unique structure and students. As we integrate this new approach, expect to hear more. You can watch a video of Dr. Ablon explaining the program.

With all the excitement, I need to mention just one more thing. What hasn’t changed is as important as what has. We remain devoted to the success of our students, to helping them reconnect with the joy that should be part of learning and to helping them become the confident and positive adults we know they can be.

Thanks so much for your support and interest in Seaport Academy.

Alex Tsonas, Director