The younger students of Bronx Preparatory Charter School lined up outside of 3872 Third Avenue to cheer and chant on Wednesday, November 18, as the high school’s seniors ran through the crowd proudly waving their college applications.
Bronx Prep has established a tradition of celebrating the day its seniors will march to the post office to mail their college applications.
Since its first college application pep rally in 2006, Bronx Prep seniors have earned a 100 percent application rate and a 100 percent acceptance rate.
“The first year seemed surreal to me and this year even more so,” Bronx Prep principal Samona Tait said. “So much attention has gone to gun violence in the borough, so it was affirming to remind ourselves and the larger community that there’s much more to our collective story. These young people have an awful lot to offer the world.”
At Bronx Prep, college acceptance is a graduation requirement and all seniors apply, although some may chose not to attend. That said, the school begins to prepare its students for college as soon as they start at Bronx Prep as fifth graders. Areas of the school are named after different colleges and class trips to college campuses are organized several times throughout Bronx Prep’s longer-than-usual school year.
In addition to the extended school year, additional Bronx Prep school hours are required for fifth and sixth graders, and strongly recommended for other students.
Tait expects no less from Bronx Prep’s 2009 seniors than she expected of past seniors classes and is confident that all 40 will graduate. She refers to Bronx Prep’s seniors as “luminaries.”
“We won’t hand over the diplomas until we see their college acceptance letters,” Tait said.
Tait credits much of her students’ success to Bronx Prep’s dedicated teachers, who work extremely hard, she said .
“For us the basic element is quality teaching and learning,” Tait explained. “We put strong, bright teachers in front of our students. Everyone is committed to the success of our Bronx Preparatory vision.”
Reach reporter Amanda Marinaccio at 718 742-3394 or firstname.lastname@example.org