Bridge to 10th Grade (Literacy Bridge)
In the Heckscher Summer Literacy Bridge, our objective is to have students to be more open-minded about reading and hopefully change the predominantly negative “group-think” opinions of reading by giving student autonomy around books to purchase and read in the classroom. We also aim to cultivate a more student-centered learning experience around this endeavor. We ended the program (last summer) and ELA curriculum (in June) by deciding what book students wanted to read, then read and learned from the book together. This experience should be a starting point in our hopes for student engagement through this program and the next year.The Heckscher program is the vehicle to accomplish the higher goal of creating setting and achieving their personalized learning goals. Students will be asked not only to choose a book and pitch it for addition to the curriculum, but we will begin to think about learning goals for this unit; students will formulate a draft of an “essential question” to pursue throughout the texts next year, culminating in exploring their personal questions with the chosen Heckscher book.
Bridge to 11th Grade (Enrichment Program Office)
Enrichment Programs (EP), or out of school learning opportunities, add breadth and depth to the student learning experience; additionally, EP programs empower students to pursue personal and academic goals beyond the South Bronx while also sharing and integrating this knowledge into their community.
BCSM takes a holistic approach to EP selection by academic year; generally, there are three types of program offerings: academic (local or college immersion), leadership (programs designed to motivate students to reach their full potential), and travel (summer travel abroad programs for rising seniors). Modeled after successful programs such as Sponsors for Educational Opportunity’s (SEO) Scholars Program, the aim is to involve all BCSM students in at least one in school or local academic program and one leadership/travel/college immersion (out of the city) program by senior year. Overall, the goal is to have students engaged in some type of learning opportunity afterschool based on their interest and need; special emphasis will be placed on summer programs for rising juniors and seniors to prevent summer melt – a well-documented time when students enter academic inertia. Not being in school is no excuse for not learning, particularly when there is an academic achievement gap.
Bridge to 12th Grade (Pre-College Program)
The Pre-College program was developed to guide students through approximately 80% of the college admission process (Common Application Essay, college list, supplemental essays, scholarships) – divided into two segments (1) 3-day series for all juniors (2) 6-day series for those Juniors eligible for highly competitive scholarships (Gates, Questbridge, NY Times, etc.) and selective colleges as well as any other students who want to attend on a voluntary basis.