Nuasin Next Generation Charter School
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Founded in 2010, Metropolitan Lighthouse Charter School in Highbridge, a few blocks from Yankee Stadium, offers a longer-than-usual school year and day and a college-preparatory program rich in the arts. It has been expanding to serve students in kindergarten through 12th grade.
The school is one of two in New York operated by Lighthouse Academies, a charter network that also runs schools in Arkansas and Indiana. (The other is Bronx Lighthouse Charter School, a k-12 school in Longwood.) High school students can choose a business track offering coursework in marketing, management, finance, and economics projects and problems, or a technology track, covering fundamentals of computer usage and programming with an opportunity to take the Advanced Placement test in computer science.
A small school with only about 50 students per grade, Metropolitan Lighthouse seeks to provide all children with individual attention in classes of 20 to 24 students. To create a sense of community, students belong to a house with members spanning grade levels. On its website, the school says it believes education should “be organized around learning and personal development, not around compliance and discipline,” and that students who fall short of standards deserve second chances.
Test scores are below average, particularly for students with special needs. In a Department of Education survey, teachers gave the school low marks for maintaining order and discipline and saw bullying as a problem. The school has a very high teacher turnover rate, according to the state Education Department.
Metropolitan moved to its current facility in 2014. The building was obtained with support from former tennis star Andre Agassi who has built facilities for a number of charter schools around the country.
ADMISSIONS: by lottery. (Gail Robinson, school website and other web reports, June 2020)