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Bronx Charter School for Better Learning II

Grades: K-4
Noteworthy
2545 Gunther Avenue
Bronx NY 10469
Phone: 718-655-6660

Our Insights

What’s Special

Unusual hands-on system for teaching math

The Downside

Far more applicants than seats

Founded in 2015, Bronx Charter School for Better Learning II is based on the school of the same name, located about a mile away. It is based on the teaching of Caleb Gattegno, an Egyptian-born mathematician who developed methods of teaching literacy and math using color-coded charts and wooden rods some 70 years ago. His multi-sensory approach has been used widely in Europe and Africa.

In some respects, the school is traditional, with an emphasis on discipline, spelling and grammar. But teachers are also intent on sparking children's imagination and allowing them to grapple and try and be curious. “You never tell them anything they can figure out themselves,” said long-time math coach Paula Hajar, who has an EdD from Harvard.

Most of the work in class is done in small groups. Children use Cuisenaire rods (brightly colored wooden rods) to learn addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. The rods come in 10 different lengths, each representing a different number and color. Children put the rods together in a way that allows them to visualize arithmetic facts or fractions.

Reading is taught with a program called "Words in Color." In this method, each letter-sound is assigned a different color, and all the sounds in the English language are listed in color-coded charts on the wall. For example, the "f" sound in English may be represented by the letters "f" or "ph" or "gh." Each of these letters or letter combinations is color-coded lavender, to help children sound out words like "rough" or "telephone." 

The school occupies a building with two middle schools. Classes have about 25 children each and typically two or more adults working with children in each room. 

Music, chess, art and gym are among the special classes offered. After school programs may include robotics, dance, cooking or soccer, depending on the year. Children through grade 3 study Korean and are exposed to aspects of Korean culture like Lunar New Year and martial arts. 

ADMISSIONS: A lottery is held in April. Priority is given to District 11 residents. There are far more applicants than seats. (Lydie Raschka, interview, April, 2020) 

 

 

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School Stats

Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Is this school safe and well-run?

From 2018-19 NYC School Survey

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
97%
79% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
84%
81% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
91%
83% Citywide Average

From 2017-18 NY State Report Card

How many students were suspended?
6%
1% Citywide Average
Teacher turnover rate
10%
35% Citywide Average

How do students perform academically?

From 2018 State ELA+Math Results Summary

How many elementary school students scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
75%
51% Citywide Average
How many elementary school students scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
60%
49% Citywide Average

Who does this school serve?

From 2018-19 Demographic Snapshot

Enrollment
298
Asian
1%
Black
85%
Hispanic
14%
White
0%
Other
0%
Free or reduced priced lunch
74%
Students with disabilities
10%
English language learners
3%

From 2018-19 School Quality Guide

Average daily attendance
94%
93% Citywide Average

How does this school serve special populations?

From 2018 State ELA+Math Results Summary

How many students with disabilities scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
43%
28% Citywide Average
How many students with disabilities scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
29%
23% Citywide Average


For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data · More DOE statistics for this school

Contact & Location

Location

Baychester (District 11)

Contact

Principal
Kevin Brennan/Anne Clarke-Raysor

Other Details

Shared campus?
Yes
This school shares the building with Pelham Gardens Middle School and JHS 144
Metal detectors?
No

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