Four Bronx charter schools set to open this year, giving the borough the most in NYC

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DREAM Charter School Highbridge is one of four new Bronx charter schools set to open its doors later this month.
Photo courtesy DREAM Charter Schools

Four Bronx charters are set to open their doors this school year, making the Bronx the borough with the most charter schools — 94 of the city’s total 275 charters — in New York City. Three schools set to open this August are the DREAM Charter School Highbridge, Family Life Charter High School in Mount Eden and two schools under the Success Academy Charter School Umbrella in Mott Haven.

The four new charter schools move the Bronx past Brooklyn’s 90 charter schools.

DREAM Charter is a new elementary school that specializes in a Whole Child Model, an education approach that blends rigorous academic instruction and social-emotional support for its students.

Success Academy’s two elementary schools Bronx 5 Lower and Bronx 5 Upper aim to foster a “love of learning” among its students, while creating career opportunities, school administrators tout.

Family Life Charter High School, administrators say, aims to conditions for self empowerment for all students to excel academically, take responsibility for their own learning in preparation for college and beyond.

“This year, DREAM’s nationally recognized summer learning program served over 1,000 scholars through a signature mix of reading and math instruction, social-emotional learning, and team-based athletic programming — helping over 95% of participants prevent summer learning loss. So while we’re proud and excited to be opening our doors on August 29th for the first day of school, in many ways we really never closed them,” said Eve Colavito, co-CEO of DREAM. “This first day of school is particularly special, as we welcome our founding class of kindergarteners at DREAM Highbridge Elementary School, deepening DREAM’s ability and commitment to serve the Bronx community that we joined nearly a decade ago.”

Roughly 60% of charter schools in the city will open this month, and nearly 80% will open before Sept. 8, the official start date of the city Department of Education (DOE) school system.

“As charter schools across the city welcome students back for the new school year, our leaders and teachers are excited to get back to doing what they do best: providing a quality education that sets all students up for lifelong success – both in the classroom and beyond,” said James Merriman, CEO of the New York City Charter School Center. “After three years of historic challenges, the stakes have never been higher for students and families – and public charters stand ready to ensure that every student continues to receive access to a safe, supportive, and rigorous learning environment.”

Charter schools in New York state are authorized by three groups: city DOE, New York State Department of Education and The State University of New York Charter Schools Institute.

Charter schools now educate an estimated 15% — 142,500 students — of the city’s public school students. According to the Independent Budget Office, New York City’s traditional public schools saw enrollment drop by 8.3% over the last two school years.

The Department of Education Office of Student Enrollment projects the loss of another 30,000 students in 2022-23.

Reach Robbie Sequeira at [email protected] or (718) 260-4599. For more coverage, follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @bronxtimes.

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