Lehman High School starts new screened enrichment program

Students looking for a high-school version of the Beacon program need look no further than Lehman High School.

The school’s new Anne Hutchinson Academy will start just in time for the 2012-13 school year, focusing on math, science and engineering in a small-learning community for students who have done exceptionally well in middle school, said Lehman principal Rose LoBianco.

The academy will be accepting 60 to 85 incoming freshman based on criteria very similar to the Beacon program for high performing students at junior high schools.

Whether Lehman High School becomes part of the federal “turnaround” program or not, the creation of the small academic program is a done deal, LoBianco said.

The program was approved by the NYC Department of Education in late March after Councilman Jimmy Vacca and DOE official Jose Ruiz worked with her to crafting the plan.

The program will help students who may have had an exceptional record in middle school, but did not take the test for and/or gain admittance to a specialized city high school, Vacca said.

“There is no test to get into the program,” Vacca said, urging parents to put in their requests for their children with LoBianco and her staff.

One of the highlights of the academy, expected to eventually expand to a full four-year program, is more personalized interaction between the teachers and the students, important in a school the size of Lehman, LoBianco said.

That should allow teachers “to work across grade-levels and disciplines to improve the learning experience, allowing them to collaborate to develop ideas and implement methodologies” she said.

“We are learning to integrate engineering methods of problem solving, seeing how global issues are impacted by math, science and engineering – and vice versa,” she said.

For Bronx trivia fans, the school straddles the Hutchinson River Parkway, also named after the 17th Century Puritan woman, banished with many of her followers from the Massachusetts Bay Colony for her strong religious convictions.

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