Earl Monroe New Renaissance School – a brand-new charter school in the Pelham Bay section of the Bronx, has a curriculum built entirely around basketball.
And the high school seniors are off! But not without some swag.
Brooklyn Emerging Leaders Academy (BELA) Charter School, an all-girls high school on Stuyvesant Avenue, held a “college shower” on Monday for their seniors, the first graduating class in the school’s history.
Plus, the entire senior class at a high school in the Bronx got accepted into college.
Ninety percent of those students are Latino and so many of those students represent the first generation in their family to attend college.
The school, the International Leadership Charter High School, was one of the first re-open during the pandemic.
Joe talks to CEO Dr. Elaine Ruiz Lopez and senior students Joel Beltre and Briana Molina about how they persevered and their formula for success.
Ithaca’s New Roots Charter School has been deemed a Green Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education, celebrating its “school curriculum, culture and practices.” New Roots is one of just 33 schools chosen for the honor nationwide.
Dear School Leader,
Throughout this past year we’ve talked at length about (and celebrated) the herculean efforts by our school leaders to ensure continuity of learning amid a historic crisis. The transition to remote learning last spring. Technology and meal distribution. Reopening plans. New health and safety practices. Flexibility in the face of rolling mandated school closures, ever changing rules and regs and so, so much uncertainty.
What we haven’t touched upon enough though to this point is how all these efforts are being reflected in the perceptions of those parents and student communities we serve. Through the parent and student focus groups held this charter renewal season though we are starting to get a glimpse – and they offer critical insights for where we can go from here. Four big themes:
- A Successful Transition to Remote/Hybrid: Despite the immense challenges presented last spring after New York went on PAUSE and schools closed, parents of students throughout our renewal schools expressed satisfaction generally in how quickly schools were able to distribute technology and other devices, deliver meals, and adapt their in person instruction to a virtual environment. City School of the Arts parents cited how the schools provided students with materials, including pianos (!) to ensure they could continue arts education remotely.
International Leadership Charter High School launches vaccination campaign to encourage all members of the community to get shots in the arm. Watch the video on the school’s website.
Dear School Leader,
Eleven challenging months. Those glimmers of hope and optimism we’ve been looking for? We see them. Vaccination eligibility is expanding, cases are dropping, and more school buildings are on the cusp of reopening in NYC. While there are still areas of concern around variants and the process and pace of vaccinations, many in the educational space are beginning to ever so turn attention to what life – or at least school – looks like in a post pandemic world.
Fortunately, the myriad of approaches to COVID employed both by our very own charter leaders and peers across the country offer an opportunity to mine new knowledge. I find myself thinking, which of these changes should become common (best) practice and which fade away?
Here are a few things I am thinking about:
- Online Learning – After a year of Zoom calls (lets me honest, should any of us see our own faces hours and hours each day? Well…not me.), what role will online learning play moving forward, whether as a stop gap measure in the face of an emergency closure or as an integrated part of a high quality curriculum? And how can schools integrate technology in a manner that supports rather than supplants strong pedagogical practice? Can we construct creative and flexible learning environments and scheduling that meet the personalized needs of ALL students (and their families)? Can we stay true to our sector’s guiding star: student learning success drives charter success?
Students receive books from the If You Give a Child a Book Campaign. Your generosity raised $12,000, giving over 2,000 books to students at United Charter School. Mel is live at Buffalo United Charter School with meteorologist Michelle McLeod. Today is the day we drop off the books to the school and students.
Books open a world of opportunity. Not all students have access to books and not all students have access to a library especially now with COVID, which is why our If You Give A Child a Book Campaign has been so important to students of Buffalo United Charter School.