Our History

Founded in 2004, the Bronx Charter School for Excellence, better known as Bronx Excellence, is one of New York’s true success stories.

What began as a K-5 public school alternative for children in the Parkchester and Morris Park sections of the Bronx, has flourished into one of the highest-performing charter schools in the state. Two years after its establishment, the charter was at risk of losing continuation and renewal. Only 50% of ELA scores were at grade level, the same statistic as under-performing traditional, district schools. Understanding a need for new leadership, Bronx Excellence welcomed Charlene Reid as Head of School. Under Reid's leadership and modified curriculum, leadership training, and performance tracking, Bronx Excellence was able to successfully renew its 5-Year Charter. With mounting success, the Bronx 1 waitlist soared to over 1,600 for 26 spots in 2010; by 2011 Bronx Excellence 1 was ranked as the #1 Charter School in New York State, and in 2012 the Bronx Charter School for Excellence was named a National Blue Ribbon School. Today, Bronx Excellence 1 Elementary and Middle serve more than 800 scholars (with a waiting list over 4,000!) and has expanded to include a brand new, LEED-certified, environmentally sustainable learning complex. Bronx Excellence is the 1st in the Excellence network and has since replicated its award-winning model into sibling schools, Stamford Excellence, Bronx Excellence 2, Bronx Excellence 3 and Bronx Excellence 4. Bronx 5 will open in the Fall of 2019.

Bronx Excellence 1's challenging academic program is complemented by parent-driven initiatives, school-wide events and an extensive extracurricular offering that all work together to enrich the total child. Every scholar, parent, staff and board member has a personal responsibility for the school’s success. As a result, Bronx Excellence 1 has dramatically improved academic results and a culture of excellence that serves as a successful model for schools across New York City and State. Dr. Reid, formerly Principal Reid, is now CEO and Founder of Excellence Community Schools, Bronx Excellence 1's management organization. and Tanya Pierre, formerly Vice-Principal, is now Chief Academic Office of ECS.

Please view the mini-doc below to learn more about our 2013 literacy partnership program with Public School 85



One Big Kindergarten from NYC Collaborates on Vimeo

First 8th Grade Graduating Class

In June 2013, the very first Bronx Excellence 8th grade cohort of 49 Bronx 1 scholars graduated from middle school. Friends of Bronx Excellence, the predecessor of the school management non-profit, Excellence Community Schools, supported 10 of these scholars by providing $25,000 in scholarships through a competitive application process which allowed these students to attend schools they otherwise would not have been able to afford.

Of those founding graduates, several attended Highly Selective New York City public, parochial and private schools including Brooklyn Tech, Rudolph Steiner, High School for American Studies, Performing Arts and LaGuardia High School of Music & Art.

Active mentorship for 27 BCSE students, including the 2013 cohort, continued with the Hark Society. Scholars completed a $10,000 "Passion Project" to fund costs for extracurricular activities in association with their mentors. Bronx Excellence 1's partnership with the Hark Society continues under the umbrella of the Alumni Services department.

A Brave New World: Bronx 2, 3, 4 and 5

Excellence Community Schools was founded on July 1, 2016. ECS is the charter management or "parent" organization of Bronx Excellence. Although Bronx 1 predates ECS, ECS has been by Bronx Excellence's side for years under the former group, Friends of Bronx Excellence. In September 2016, ECS and Bronx Excellence welcomed the first Bronx-based replica school through Bronx Excellence 2. Bronx Excellence 2 opened to 120 scholars enrolled in Kindergarten and 1st grade and will grow by a grade level every year until it reaches 8th grade.

In September 2018 Bronx Excellence 2 expanded to 3rd grade and Bronx Excellence 3 opened its doors to Kindergarten through 2nd grade scholars in the Wakefield/Gun Hill area. 

Additionally, Stamford Excellence opened in the Fall of 2015 and is the first replica of the original Bronx Excellence academic model. Stamford is also the first charter elementary school in Stamford, CT. Stamford Excellence has been open for three years and now includes the 4th grade. It is considered an ECS Affiliate School and sister school of Bronx Excellence.