Democracy Prep Bronx Prep Charter School
Bronx NY 10457
Every student is admitted to at least one college
Long school day may not appeal to some
UPDATE MARCH 2016:Bronx Prep Charter became part of the Democracy Prep Charter network in 2015. The executive director is Emmanuel George; the principal is Lourdes Flores.
2013 REVIEW: Founded in 2000 in one of the city's poorest neighborhoods, Bronx Preparatory Charter School admits children in 5th grade and works with them through high school until every student is accepted into a four-year college.
The school day is long to allow time for homework and internships, but attendance is good. Fifth-grade teachers review the basics, like phonics and multiplication, so the majority of children are on the same page before moving on to harder material.High school studentscalled visionairies and luminariesmay take AP calculus, English, Spanish, biology or statistics.Students take Regent's exams in all of their core subjects.
Parents are welcome at the school, and must sign an agreement to back good student behavior. Some classes are traditional, with desks in rows and students in uniforms, but some lessons are also interactive with discussion and hands-on projects. [photo from the school'swebsite]
The school offers a wide range of enticing-looking clubs and activities, including book club, double dutch, step team, cheerleading, knitting, Latino dance, math team, piano, robotics, choir, volleyball, softball, flag football, basketball, baseball and soccer. Thevery active theater group has performed many full-scale musicals over the years includingIn the Heights,Guys and Dolls,The King and I,AladdinandThe Wiz. See photos of performanceshere.The speech and sports teams travel to compete and have won awards.
The Learning Environment Survey has shown some dissatisfaction in the areas of safety and respect. Half the students say kids don't treat adults with respect. Most teachers say they look forward to work each day and trust the principals, but two-thirds report kids aren't getting the organizational and study skills needed for college.
Test scores in the middle school are below average and the four-year high school graduation rate is only slightly above the city-wide average, but the six-year graduation rate is an impressive 92 percent. Students may not graduate from Bronx Prep until they are accepted into at least one college.
College acceptances include Georgetown, NYU, Holy Cross, Syracuse, Fordham, SUNY-Albany, CUNY-City College, Hunter College and Lehman. Students have been admitted to Harvard, Stanford and other Ivy League schools.
Founder Kristin Kearns Jordan graduated magna cum laude from Brown University. She was executive director of Bronx Prep until 2007. The current interim head of school is Edwina Branch Smith.Fred Givens became high school principal in 2010, left to open a charter school in New Jersey, then returned to lead Bronx Prep again in 2012. The middle school principal is Jacqueline King-Robinson.
Admissions: A lottery is held in April. Priority is given to District 9 residents. Applications are available in January. (Lydie Raschka, web reports, October 2013; updated March 2016)