Cardinal McCloskey Community Charter School
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Teachers trained to support children dealing with trauma
New untested school
Cardinal McCloskey Community Charter School has a longer than usual school day and year. It serves all students who are accepted by lottery but teachers are trained to give special attention to the needs of children in foster care, and those receiving prevention services.
Founded in 2019, the school opened with kindergarten and 1st grade and will add one grade per year until it is a full K-5 school with 450 students. The school day runs from 7:30 am to 4:00 pm four days a week with a dismissal of 3 pm on Thursdays to allow teachers to plan, according to the school website.
Each classroom has two (or three) staff members; one general education teacher and one special education and/or teaching assistant, depending on the needs of students. Special classes offered are music and art.
Teachers are trained in the Sanctuary Model, an approach to help staff recognize trauma and understand how it affects children. Developed by Dr. Sandra Bloom, the model uses practices such as “morning meeting,” where teachers check in on kids’ well-being and build trust.
Children who have experienced trauma typically have difficulty focusing in school and are more likely than other students to perform poorly on tests, exhibit unsafe and/or other negative behaviors and lack motivation to achieve, the school website explains.
Cardinal McCloskey Community Services provides individual and group student counseling, health screenings (dental, vision), psychotherapy, tutoring, advocacy, family counseling and more.
Head of School Jennifer Fedele was director at Cardinal McCloskey Community Services, where she managed a trauma-sensitive educational program.
Cardinal McCloskey Community Charter is located in Aquinas High School, a Catholic girls school in District 10, a few blocks west of the Bronx Zoo.
ADMISSIONS: Lottery with preference to District 10. (Lydie Raschka, web reports, June 2020)