Curriculum Night

On Thursday, October 23rd, 75 BxC families gathered to visit their children's classrooms, look at their work, and hear about the rich curriculum that is unfolding this year. Families spent time sharing about the student work they saw, listening intently to presentations by teachers, talking with other families, and enjoying conversations with BxC staff.

Before families left, they wrote notes to their children's classes, telling them what they enjoyed about their classroom and work. Everyone left feeling excited about the year ahead and proud of the important work that BxC students are doing each day.

Opening Parade!

On Friday, September 12, BxC students, staff and families kicked-off the school year with a back-to-school parade. Drummer, Iyedun Ince, led our parade around the block. Students, teachers and parents cheered and shook tamborines and maracas as they marched down the street. People in buildings and on the street clapped for our students and passing cars honked their horns.

Our parade was a festive celebration of all of the learning that is getting underway at BxC!

First Day of School!

On Tuesday, September 2nd, BxC welcomed its 100 founding students. Half of them had come for an open house the previous week and rushed right to the teachers they had met at that time. The other half arrived anxious to meet their teachers, and were warmly welcomed in. The preparation of the BxC staff was evident in the smoothness of the day, with students moving easily from buses and cars to their classes to recess and lunch.

Children reveled in their vibrant classrooms and began to explore the school and the many learning materials available to them. Songs were sung, names were learned, explorations were launched, and students left excitedly anticipating another day at BxC.

NYC Mayor and Chancellor Hold Press Conference at BxC

On Monday, August 18th, the same day that BxC staff members began their two week Summer Institute, Mayor Bloomberg and Chancellor Joel Klein held a press conference at BxC to herald the opening of 18 new charter schools this year.

The Mayor and Chancellor chose BxC to host because of the deep community connections of the school and its staff and because of its innovative facility partnership with Fordham Bedford Housing Corporation, the community-based organization that leases space to BxC.

Co-Directors Martha Andrews and Sasha Wilson spoke about the family forums that helped shape the vision of the school, Mayor Bloomberg spoke about the importance of charter choices, and Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion highlighted the important work that Fordham Bedford has done in the community. Well over 100 people attended, along with all of the major media outlets, and BxC was mentioned all over the news that day.

Family Picnic!

On June 26th, BxC held its first annual summer picnic for families in Van Cortlandt Park. 96 students, staff, and family members attended, and everyone had a great time. Students played ball games, drew on balloons, and became fast friends. Families began to make connections with each other, and were excited to meet the staff members who will be working with their children. The students left sporting their new Bronx Community Charter School backpacks, and eager to see each other again.

Family Cleaning Day

On June 21st, BxC families and staff came together to get the school sparkling clean before the kids arrive. Windows were shined, shelves were scrubbed, furniture was moved, and floors were swept. Thanks to the help of the volunteers, the school looks shinier than ever.

The next family volunteer days are August 14th and August 21st.

Fundraising Goals for 2008-2009

We are continuing to raise money so that we can provide BxC students with the wide variety of rich experiences that all children deserve. Meeting our 2008-09 fundraising goals will enable us to:

1) Provide a Drumming Program
We hope to fund a Latin and African percussion program for our students. This program would provide instruction in African and Latin drumming, teach them about the cultural context and significance of African and Latin drumming, and provide them with opportunities for independent exploration and experimentation with the drums to encourage their creativity and self-expression.

2) Meet the Social and Emotional Needs of Students and Families
We wish to provide an expanded counseling program to further meet the social and emotional needs of our students. This would enable the counselor to spend more time in classrooms and collaborating with teachers, devote more resources to developing relationships with families and connecting them with community resources, and offer workshops on a wide variety of topics for families and for staff.

3) Focus on Health and Fitness
We would like to participate in a holistic health and fitness partnership with Montefiore Hospital’s School Health Program. This program will connect BxC staff with outside expertise in order to cook healthy food with students in the classroom, discuss issues of health with students in meaningful ways, and take part in fitness programs.

4) Plan for Our Future Facility
We need to plan for our future facility needs by working with development groups and architects to plan a permanent facility for BxC.

BxC's Successful Fundraising

Individual Donations: In late 2007, a BxC board member generously offered to match all contributions up to $100,000 as a fundraising challenge. The response to our fundraising appeal has been tremendous, and we have already raised the $100,000 we needed to meet the challenge! Many thanks to everyone who has contributed to our initial success. Because of your support, we are able to start our first school year with:

  • Two teachers in every classroom to provide individual and small-group instruction to meet the needs of every BxC student
  • A part-time counselor to address the social and emotional needs of BxC students and work closely with families and staff as well
  • Hundreds of books for each classroom, so that children can enjoy a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction, follow their interests, investigate their questions, and further their love of literature

Grants: BxC has been awarded a $50,000 grant from the New York State Stimulus Fund and three grants totaling $90,000 from the New York City Center for Charter School Excellence. This money has served BxC in hiring Director of Finance Kathleen Elie and Operations Manager Roxane Brogan to set up crucial systems before teachers and students arrive, to develop a technology infrastructure, and to fund a two-week Summer Institute for all staff to prepare for the opening of school.

BxC has also received a grant from Partnerships for Parks to create an innovative program where students will learn how to care for street trees and tend the trees near the school. Students will then work to train their families by caring for trees on their own home block. This grant provides BxC with educational and technical assistance and money to purchase Street Tree Care Kits for BxC families so that they can become caretakers of the trees on the blocks where they live. This grant will help BxC fulfill its mission of helping to empower students and their families to effect positive changes in the Bronx.

BxC Staff Is Hired and Ready to Begin

After a long and thorough process of outreach, interviewing, demonstration lessons, and reference checking, BxC has finished hiring a fantastic founding staff to launch the school in its first year. This group of intelligent, caring, experienced, and capable adults will work with children in many different capacities, as well as taking care of all of the administrative tasks that will keep the school running strong. The staff includes 8 classroom teachers (two for each class of children), a literacy specialist, a math specialist, a drama teacher, an art teacher, a social worker, a school aide, a director of finance, an operations manager, and two co-directors.

The staff of BxC gathered for the first time in June to begin to get to know each other and to talk about what we will be creating for the students and families of BxC. Over the summer, all staff members are reading Going Public by Shelley Harwayne, to think together about the priorities and practices that go into running a high-quality school, and Seedfolks by Paul Fleischman, to engage with the idea of building a school in a community in which people are already living their lives, and what it means to be joining a community with respect and appreciation for what’s already growing there.

All BxC staff members will participate in an intensive two-week Summer Institute to prepare for the opening of the school.

We are thrilled that these exceptional educators and professionals will be working together to create a superb school for our students and families.

BxC Students and Families

BxC has enrolled all 100 of its founding students, 50 kindergartners and 50 first graders. Each family came to the school for an individual enrollment meeting and tour, and everyone left feeling impressed and excited. The school was abuzz with activity during enrollment evenings, as families toured classrooms while teachers measured their spaces and planned their classroom set-up. Future students gleefully explored the play yard, and also created artwork for staff members, as their parents and guardians spoke to the co-directors and learned more about the school's mission and educational program.

BxC students are a very diverse group, with eleven home languages and a range of ethnic and racial backgrounds. They come from many different neighborhoods, including Fordham, Bedford Park, Norwood, Belmont, Kingsbridge, Kingsbridge Heights. and University Heights. 21 of the students also have a sibling attending BxC.

Over the summer, families will have a chance to meet each other and the BxC staff at a family picnic. And on September 2nd, BxC will open its doors and those 100 students will be a part of creating an educational environment filled with joyful learning, curiosity, and investigation.

Bronx Community School Facility!

BxC has a home!

BxC will open at Jacob's Place, a mixed-use affordable housing development created by Fordham Bedford Housing Coorporation (FBHC). Jacob's Place is an 8-story, 63-unit apartment building that includes an early childhood education center on the first floor and a private outdoor playspace.

It is named in honor of the late Astin Jacobo, a native of the Dominican Republic and longtime neighborhood leader of the Crotona section of the Bronx. Jacob, as he was affectionately known, led the battle in Crotona and the Northwest Bronx for affordable housing, youth recreation and community preservation.

Jacob's Place was constructed according to the Enterprise Green Communities Criteria and features a combination green/solar roof. The solar panel system will provide electricity for BxC. Other green features at Jacob’s Place include bamboo apartment flooring, low-VOC paints and materials, energy-efficient elevators, and a rain water collection system.

Bronx Community is proud to be part of the Jacob's Place development. We are honored to work with FBHC in a facility that provides affordable, green housing and honors the memory of a neighborhood activist.

Bronx Community is committed to learning that takes children into the community and helps them discover their own power to affect change. We can't imagine a better place to begin that work!

BxC Welcomes First Classes of Students and Families

On April 3rd, BxC held its student lottery at the Bronx Library Center on Fordham Road. 50 first graders and 50 kindergartners were selected from over 350 applications. Students who were not selected were placed on a waiting list for each grade.

Enrollment meetings for BxC families will take place during the month of April at the school site on Webster Ave. Families will have a chance to tour the school, meet individually with the Co-Directors and fill out necessary paperwork.

The 2008-09 student body of BxC includes a racially and socio-economically diverse group of boys and girls from the unique neighborhoods of the Northwest Bronx.

Welcome Bronx Community families!

Bronx Community In the News

Bronx Community has been featured in several community newspapers. Read articles about the school in the Riverdale Press, the Norwood News, and the Bronx Times.

The websites for these community newspapers contain excellent information about the Bronx. The stories and descriptions of local organizations, events, political issues and community members paint a complex and rich picture of life in the Bronx.

In April, The New York Sun ran an article about charter school student recruitment that featured BxC.

February Fundraising Update

With the help of our board and contributions from many donors, we are close to reaching our $100,000 challenge goal. All of the money raised during this challenge has been matched dollar-for-dollar.

Individual Contributions to date: $90,000

We are working to raise the final $10,000 that will put us over the top and help us collect the full $100,000 match that was generously committed by one of our board members.

If you are interested in helping us provide an excellent education to students in the Bronx, we will welcome you into the Bronx Community family of supporters. Please make your check out to Mosholu Preservation Corporation, the local non-profit that is serving as our fiscal sponsor, and write Bronx Community or BxC in the memo line. Checks should be mailed to Bronx Community Charter School, c/o MPC, 3400 Reservoir Oval East, Bronx, NY 10467.

We appreciate the generosity and commitment of all our donors!


On January 15th, the New York State Board of Regents voted to approve the Bronx Community Charter School application. The school has now been authorized to operate under a 5 year contract with the state.