BxC is founded on the principle that children learn best when they are active participants in their own learning and are supported by teachers who know them deeply. John Dewey, in Experience and Education, describes the educator’s primary responsibility as one of facilitating experiences that build on students’ prior experiences and move them in a direction of a deeper understanding of the world around them. Instruction at BxC is delivered in a workshop model that allows for direct instruction and large blocks of time for individual and collaborative student work.  Students are expected to ask questions of themselves, each other, adults, books they read, and the natural and built environments around them.  Students will question, explore, and create with math manipulatives, natural objects, art materials, costumes, props, and more.

Students actively engage with curriculum units and stretch those units in new directions with their questions and explorations.  Teachers heavily scaffold this work in the early grades, and students in later grades use their earlier experiences to design and conduct experiments and pursue passions of many sorts, coached and supported by teachers.

  BxC operates upon a basic trust in the intellectual and choice-making capabilities of our students. Students need to know that they are capable not only of finding right answers, but of raising questions that are taken seriously. They need to have the opportunity to make choices, follow through with them, and revise their thinking or decisions. Students must have the space to consider multiple points-of-view and find multiple solutions to a problem in order to gain mental rigor and flexibility. Students must have time to discuss classroom issues with their peers, learning how to work through problems respectfully and finding creative solutions. In order to participate fully as citizens in their local communities, students must learn how to work on projects within a group and explore different roles to play within that group.  All of the adults in the school will work to help students become thoughtful, considerate, and responsible members of a democratic community.  
  Another basic principle of BxC is involvement in the community.  BxC graduates will be prepared to be active participants in their neighborhoods, their city, and their world. We believe that children learn how powerful they can be by taking actions which impact the community at large. Learning is enriched and students are strongly motivated when there are authentic purposes for learning to communicate persuasively or research effectively to create change.

We believe that community involvement increases students’ sense of belonging and self-worth, which in turn, translates to a more successful school experience. Research has shown that student involvement in the community through activism and volunteer projects has direct implications for positive student behavior in school.  

Part of appreciating diversity is recognizing that every individual comes with unique talents and learning styles. BxC is committed to creating classrooms in which every child’s needs are met. Teaching strategies at BxC are responsive to children who have different styles and paces of learning through the provision of different pathways to reaching desired goals. Our teaching has a "capacity-building" approach - focusing on children's interests and strengths rather than viewing differences as deficits.   

Every student has strengths and weaknesses. All children, regardless of ability, will need modifications at some point in their educational career to make content more accessible. Differentiated instruction requires that teachers know children well and work to build on individual children’s strengths to improve areas of need. The workshop model allows for a great deal of differentiated instruction because its flexible structure allows room for multiple forms of instruction. The mini-lesson and share bring the whole group together while work time creates space for independent work, collaboration with a partner or small group, individual or small group instruction, and plenty of time for students to work at the pace that is most comfortable and allows for their best thinking.

Every classroom is by definition a diverse learning environment. Some children are comfortable writing a great deal independently while others need more support to put drawings or words on paper. Some emergent writers are just getting used to invented spelling. Some children lack familiarity with vocabulary, either that specific to the topic or more generally. Fine motor issues may make it difficult for others to draw, label, and write on a single page. Differentiated instruction means that all students are receiving supports that use individual strengths to address areas of need for each student.


BxC recognizes and values the wealth of knowledge and information that students acquire from their families and their interactions within their home communities. All students enter school equipped with unique understandings and skills. At BxC, teachers and staff appreciate the important role that families play in student learning and achievement.

Family members are encouraged to take part in the life of the school through reading or playing a math game with their child at arrival, reading stories to the class, cooking or doing projects with small groups, attending celebrations of class work, and chaperoning trips. Teachers inform family members of opportunities for involvement in regular letters home, and will encourage them to take part in class studies. Teachers also remain in frequent contact with individual families through phone calls and meetings.

Families are essential stakeholders in the school community and BxC is committed to realizing their potential. At BxC, families play a vital role in sustaining and refining the vision and mission of the school. Through positions on the Community Council, the Board of Trustees, and the Personnel Committee, families have a real lasting impact on their children’s education.


We strongly believe in the power of creativity and self-expression, and in providing children with as many opportunities as possible to explore, experiment, and create through the arts. We believe that through the arts, students not only have the opportunity to represent their ideas about the world, but they are given access to media that helps them to construct those ideas. We also value the arts as a social process that allows all people to further understand themselves, their peers, and others in the community. Art, music, and dramatic play are integral parts of all BxC classrooms. Additionally, all BxC students work with a visual arts teacher in the art studio three days a week, and with a drama teacher in the drama studio twice a week. Once a week, the whole school gathers for an all-school sing, in which we learn new songs and sing familiar ones.

Arts instruction at BxC revolves around a materials interaction approach that encourages students to explore and learn about a wide variety of materials and techniques in order to develop mastery over time. The focus is not on projects where everyone is doing the same thing. Rather, the goal is for everyone to spend time exploring the same material or technique to see what the limits are and to share discoveries. Student receive formal direct instruction when it is appropriate, but the emphasis of the arts program is on experimentation, discovery, and free expression.

In addition to dedicated time for visual art, drama, and singing, BxC students have time in their classrooms each day dedicated to materials. This open work time will allow children to follow their own interests to create projects and work with art materials, build with blocks, create plays, cook, explore rhythm instruments, and much more.



At Bronx Community Charter School, our goal is for every child to become a proficient and passionate reader. Learning to read is a highly complex process that involves combining letter/sound knowledge, meaning, and syntax to understand texts. Research has shown that the most important factor in ensuring reading success is thoughtful, systematic, and individually-tailored reading instruction.

Individually-Tailored Instruction
Our reading instruction begins with assessment. We listen closely as students read texts we select, asking ourselves a few key questions:

• Can the child read almost all the words correctly?
• Does the child read with flow(not like a robot)?
• Is the child comprehending the passage well enough to be able to retell it and to talk about it thoughtfully?

If a child can read and comprehend a passage well, then we see what he or she can do with a passage that is a bit more demanding, and we keep going up the ladder of difficulty until we find a passage or book which we think is at the child’s just-right level. (Those levels are drawn from a widely-respected and researched system developed by Irene Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell, literacy experts.)                  

Assessing frequently and carefully enables us to match each student to the texts that will best challenge and support him or her. It also helps us quickly see what children know and what they need to work more on to become better readers. Students who are behind grade level in reading get additional, intensive instruction and practice with their own teacher as well as the literacy specialist.

Systematic, Explicit Instruction
All students at BxC have multiple opportunities to read and be read to each day. Reading instruction and practice lasts 60 minutes or more every day. During a Reading Workshop, students have a chance to read independently and with partners the books they’ve selected that match their reading level, or to meet with a teacher for one-on-one or small group instruction. Teachers also utilize a rich variety of Read Alouds, Shared Reading of poems and big books, and systematic, small-group Word Study instruction (phonics) to provide additional, explicit modeling and practice for students in reading.

A Focus on Comprehension
The ultimate goal of reading instruction is to enable children to understand what they read. Hence, much of our focus in reading instruction is in providing modeling and guided practice in enabling children to comprehend well. Specifically, we focus on coaching students to:
• Activate their relevant background knowledge when reading
• Summarize important ideas in a text
• Predict character actions or story events
•Ask questions to clarify what’s been read

Ultimately, our concern is that children become readers who are able not only to read and comprehend texts at a literal level, but also are able to go beyond literal understandings to interpretation. We teach even our youngest students to actively guide themselves through texts by asking synthesis and critique questions such as:
• How does the information in this book fit together?
• What is the big idea in this book? What might it teach us? • Do I agree or disagree with this character’s choices?

It is this deeper level of comprehension work that leads readers to a more reflective, purposeful understanding of their reading. At BxC, you’ll find students discussing their books with thoughtfulness and passion on a daily basis, across a range of literacy genres, both fiction and nonfiction, across all grades.


At the heart of the writing curriculum at BxC is the belief that all children have a tremendous amount to communicate. In fact, this impulse to express one’s self is so strong that young children often write even before they can read!  We enable children to experience success as writers at school and beyond when we build on students’ natural strengths and passions, provide meaningful opportunities to write, and actively teach the skills and strategies that writers need.

At BxC, children write throughout the school day.  They write about their reading in journals and on post-its; they write observations in science logs; they label their block buildings and Lego creations; they make shopping lists and menus in imaginative play; they write notes to their friends and teachers.    

Students are also provided with an opportunity to develop their writing during a dedicated Writers Workshop three to five times each week. During Writers Workshop, all children work hard to put their ideas on paper.  For some children in kindergarten this might mean a lot of drawing.  Gradually, drawings get labeled with one or two letters, and by first grade, more traditional forms of writing emerge.  At times the whole class studies a genre (such as nonfiction or poetry), and the children learn how to write in that particular genre, using rich literature as examples and mentors for their own writing.

Students receive explicit instruction on a wide variety of writing skills and strategies. A writing lesson on any day might focus on strategies ranging from what makes a great topic choice; how writers stretch out the important parts to add details;  how writers know when they’re finished with a piece;  strategies for making characters come alive; or conventions such as spelling, punctuation, or  capitalization.

Children go through the writing cycle of revising, editing, and publishing their work ten times each year.  In all grades, children have opportunities to discuss their work with each other, to share insights, and to give feedback.  These discussions about writing cultivate trust and respect among classmates, as even the youngest students come to see themselves not only as writers, but also writing teachers. 


Bronx Community uses Investigations in Number, Data, and Space as our core math curriculum, supplemented with additional skills practice. Investigations is aligned with the national standards, and provides a well-articulated and coherent curriculum that supports students in their mathematical reasoning, and teachers in their practice of individualizing math experiences for our students.

In order to be successful mathematicians, students must be able to solve problems flexibly using a variety of strategies. This process requires automaticity with basic facts and standard algorithms. Our program ensures that students review and practice the basic skills required for achieving accuracy and efficiency in problem solving across all strands of mathematics.

Math is taught every day at BxC. Throughout the school day and the school year, students work on developing number sense and computation skills. In addition to targeted instruction, students practice counting and computation through games, classroom routines, pencil and paper practice, and homework. Practice is individualized and happens in small groups and with the support of our math specialist. Assignments are also modified to extend the learning of students who have mastered the basic content of each unit.
Daily classroom routines and in-depth units of study include Geometry, Measurement, Probability and Statistics, and Algebra in accordance with New York State’s Math Standards. Algebraic thinking is also emphasized in each number unit so that student understand the properties of each of the four operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division). ALL students will leave BxC prepared for high school algebra and beyond.

  FOSS science, a research-based program aligned with NYS standards, forms the backbone of the science program. FOSS is an inquiry-based, hands-on approach to learning science. Students will learn to ask questions, observe carefully, and gather relevant data. The school extends science learning through partnerships with organizations such as Clearpool Education Center, the Bronx River Alliance, and the Catskills Center.
  Social studies instruction is thematic and project-based. Within the overall theme, skills and content are woven together to optimize student learning. Content is explored through both informational and fictional texts, field trips, mapping activities, video clips, music, drama, and point-of-view writing.