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Bronx Arena High School
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Online learning combined with regular classes
Bronx Arena offers older teenagers who have fallen behind in their studies a second chance to get a high school diploma. The school combines online learning with face-to-face instruction in a method pioneered by Principal Ty Cesene at an alternative school in El Segundo, California.
The approach allows students to work at their own pace and to accumulate credits faster than they might in a traditional school, said Nancy Ulman, an official for New Visions for Public Schools, the non-profit group that provides support to the school. The school has a waiver from the state requirement that students spend a certain amount of time in class, called "seat time."
Each student has access to a computer during school to work through the online curriculum, and students are pulled out into mini-lessons and small groups to work in person with teachers and peers on project-based learning, Cesene told the online magazine Bronx Mama. The school, opened in 2011, was featured in an article in Education Week which focused on its teaching approach, combining online learning and face-to-face instruction. A video interviewing students in the school has been posted on YouTube [see video on this page.]
Students are paired with advocate counselors from the SCO Family of Services, a social service agency that provides social and emotional support as well as college counseling.
Bronx Arena is located in a desolate neighborhood a block away from the Bruckner Expressway, but it is housed in a new building with a handsome skylight and bright, clean interiors. The Soundview Educational campus, opened in 2003, also houses the Felisa Rincon de Gautier Institute for Law and Public Policy. Bronx Arena replaces Bronx Academy High School, a transfer school that is being closed for poor performance.
Admissions: The school accepts students ages 16-21 who have had at least one year in a general high school. Mid-year admissions are possible. Contact the school by phone or through its website for details. (Clara Hemphill, web reports, interviews, August 2012)Read more