Stories & Impact
From the moment Naimah Pearson heard there would be a new charter school in the Bronx focused on basketball, she wanted to go. She did not know much about Earl Monroe, the Hall of Fame player for whom the school is named, and was aware she would have a complicated, hourlong commute from the South Bronx to get there every day.
But a school centered on basketball, with a curriculum devoted to every aspect of the sport’s vast and growing ecosystem? That was surely for her, she told her parents. So she entered a lottery and won a spot in the first ninth-grade class at the Earl Monroe New Renaissance Basketball School, temporarily located in Pelham Bay.
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.
Heidi Hamilton is the Chief Real Estate, Facilities, & Legal Officer for Amber Charter Schools in New York City. She joins podcast host Andrew Southern on this episode of Redesigning Normal to talk about how her organization handled the pandemic and how they hope to move forward.
Heidi discusses several COVID prevention measures, including collaborating with an architect to configure the buildings for social distancing and securing private testing (free testing was not available to charter schools)…
Genesee Community Charter School, located on the campus of the Rochester Museum & Science Center in Rochester, New York, exists to help a diverse student body to develop intellectual rigor, respect for diversity, and a sense of responsibility to the community — but it doesn’t just happen. To nurture all students to be reflective questioners, articulate communicators, critical thinkers, and skilled problem solvers, the school takes a systematic approach that marries the science of learning and development with the staff’s heartfelt dedication to its students.
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.
“Like many New York City charter schools, Brooklyn’s Ascend network started off the year fully remote. But just a few months in, it became clear: Remote learning wasn’t working for certain students.
Attendance dipped, and teachers struggled to reach students at the network’s K-12 schools. Many of the children come from some of the poorest neighborhoods in Central Brooklyn, and some live in vulnerable housing situations. They needed a safe, supervised place for effective virtual schooling.
“We have students in transitional home situations, and we have students who really needed an optimal learning space,” said Ania-Lisa Etienne, a teacher at Brownsville Ascend Middle School, one of the charter’s 15 schools.
School leaders heard the feedback from teachers like Etienne, and by November decided to change tracks…”