BSA students participating in Door programming.
It has been a very cold and snowy winter for us this year, but the halls of BSA have been bustling with activity nonetheless. Over the past few months, we’ve looked at BSA’s progress to date and hosted multiple community building events to strengthen our student and caregiver culture.
BSA recently did a comprehensive data analysis of our progress to-date. Specifically, we looked at attendance, grade point average (GPA), New York State Regents (state-mandated exams) performance, and engagement with our partner social service agency, The Door. Half-way through our third year, we have seen a lot of progress and student growth. Highlights from the above categories include:
- Average daily attendance has increased each school year since our opening in 2011.
- Students’ GPAs have improved over time, showing consistent steady growth from year to year.
- Nearly half of all 10th and 11th grade students are ahead of schedule in terms of the number of New York State Regents exams they have passed to date.
- Student engagement in programming at The Door has increased steadily this year compared to previous years, with significant growth in the number of students accessing counseling and clinical mental health services.
We are pleased to see that our model is supporting students on their path to graduation, and we will continue to strive for further growth. Specifically, we are seeking more intensive and deliberate programming for students who are chronically truant, and developing additional cross-organizational programming with The Door, such as college access and career exploration.
School events have proven to be a positive method of engaging students and strengthening the BSA community. In December, BSA hosted its first annual Holiday Talent Show where students performed for friends and family through song, dance, musical instruments, monologues and more. Staff members and Board members also joined in on the fun. Entirely student-produced, everyone who participated felt great pride in putting on a fantastic display of talent. Having been such a great success, BSA plans to host an annual Talent Show moving forward.
As a means to further strengthen the caregiver community, BSA hosted its second annual Winter Wonderland Dinner in January. This pot luck style dinner brings staff, students and caregivers together around the dinner table to share a meal. The dinner functions as a positive space to build relationships with caregivers outside of the classroom. It was a very meaningful evening.
The second week of February was BSA’s Anti-Bullying Week, where teachers, staff and students lead workshops and programming on the negative impact of bullying and the positive impact of acceptance, encouragement and camaraderie. Throughout the week, students and staff wrote anonymous notes, aka “Warm and Fuzzies,” to students, which were then posted on a huge wall for the whole community to see. Students then located the messages sent to them to keep as reminders of their self-worth and positive addition to the BSA community.
Our second annual Winter Art Show is scheduled for March 13th from 6-8pm. Last year’s event was a huge success with over 100 pieces of art being sold. Half the proceeds of each piece go directly to the student artist, while the other half is donated to support the arts at BSA. It’s a fabulous, fun and free event and we encourage you to attend! Learn more and RSVP here today!
Once again, we sincerely appreciate your interest and support of BSA. Visit our website and join our mailing list to learn more about our school and stay up-to-date on events and activities.
Student performers at the Holiday Talent Show
A student performed the tango with Ms. McKeon
The Winter Wonderland Dinner
The Anti-Bullying Week "Warm & Fuzzies Wall"