A BRAVE NEW WORLD: BRONX 2, 3, 4 AND 5
Excellence Community Schools (ECS) was founded on July 1, 2016. ECS is the charter management organization or "parent organization" of Bronx Excellence, also known as the Bronx Charter School for Excellence (BCSE). Although BCSE predates ECS, ECS has been by BCSE's side for years under the former group, Friends of Bronx Excellence. In September 2016, ECS and BCSE welcomed the first Bronx replica school, 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 2017 Bronx Excellence 2 expanded to 2nd grade and Bronx Excellence 3 opened it's doors to Kindergarten and 1st grade scholars in the Wakefield/Gun Hill area. Bronx 4 and 5 will join the Excellence family in 2018 and 2019.
Of additional note, Stamford Excellence opened in the Fall of 2015 and is the first replication of the original Bronx Excellence academic model. SCSE is also the first charter elementary school in Stamford, CT. Stamford Excellence has been open for three years and now includes the 3rd grade. It is considered an ECS Affiliate School and sister school of Bronx Excellence.
The Bronx Excellence Origin Story
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 BCSE charter was at risk for continuation and renewal. Only 50% of ELA scores were at grade level, the same statistic as traditional, district schools. Understanding a need for new leadership, BCSE welcomed Charlene Reid as Head of School. Under Reid's leadership and modified curriculum, leadership training, and performance tracking, BCSE was able to successfully renew its 5-Year Charter. With mounting success, the BCSE waitist soared to over 1,600 for 26 spots in 2010, by 2011 BCSE 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 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.
BCSE’s challenging academic program is complemented by parent-driven initiatives, school-wide events and extensive extracurricular offerings 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, BCSE 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 the CEO and Founder of Excellence Community Schools, BCSE's management organization. and Tanya Pierre, formerly Vice-Principal, is now Chief Academic Office of ECS.
THE VERY FIRST 8TH GRADE GRADUATING CLASS
In June 2013, 49 BCSE scholars graduated from the 8th grade. Friends of Bronx Excellence, the predecessor of the school management non-profit, Excellence Community Schools, supported 10 scholars by providing $25,000 in scholarships through a competitive application process allowing these students to attend schools they otherwise would not have been able to afford.
Of those graduates, several attended High 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.