One Bronx public charter school holds a distinct honor for not only being a top performer, but also as the first borough-based school to be recognized as such.
On Tuesday, December 9, Success Academy Bronx 2, a free public charter school for children grades kindergarten to fourth grade, won a 2014 Blackboard Award for being one of New York City’s outstanding academic institutions.
Recognized by Manhattan Media, which publishes an annual guide to the city’s best schools, Success Academy Bronx 2 was one of only 12 schools across the city to win this year.
Vanessa Bangser, Success Academy Bronx 2’s founding principal, accepted the prestigious honor at a ceremony held inside the Scholastic Auditorium in Manhattan.
“We strive to develop the whole child and help all scholars meet and exceed their potential in every aspect of schooling,” Bangser said.
“We value their ability to strategize as mathematicians just as much as their ability to engage in meaningful conversations with each other, and as much as their love for playing in the snow during recess,” she added.
“We are thrilled by this award and deeply honored,” she said. “We have a wonderful community of parents, students, and teachers here that I am incredibly proud of.”
Located at 450 St. Paul’s Place, Success Academy Bronx 2 is one of 24 elementary schools operated by Success Academy Charter Schools and consistently outperforms others in both math and English Language Arts state exams.
Last year marked the second time its students ranked second in the state for math; outperforming wealthy public and private school students.
Aside from these subjects, students explore a vast array of academic fields including science, dance, music, theater, chess, and other electives.
One unique feature is the school’s robust sense of community, best illustrated every Wednesday morning when families and staff join students in the cafeteria for breakfast and to celebrate their birthdays, cultural traditions, and achievements.
Another instance is ‘Everybody Reads’ days in which parents are invited to read with their children.
“It almost feels like a second home,” expressed Rosemary Varona, whose daughter, Iysis, is a first grader at the school.
“There is a great sense of teamwork,” exclaimed Anthony DePiano, founding science teacher. “No one is left to fall, no one is left stranded. We have everything we need.”
“Ms. Bangser inspires me to think not only about what I can do for scholars, but also what I can do for our community,” said Katherine Genao, fourth grade teacher
“At Bronx 2, we are a family,” divulged Bangser. “I truly love not only the children, but the adults I get to interact with every day. They are passionate, dedicated, fiercely intelligent people who push the school to be even better tomorrow than it is today.”
Both Bangser and teachers are frequently credited by students’ families for inspiring their children to become more engaged in learning.
Cindy Silfa explained her son, Jayden, has excelled in school thanks in part to the educators and services provided in this mind enriching atmosphere.
“He really likes math and he has learned so fast here,” she said.