Children’s Aid Society Community Charter School Approved by State University of New York

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Community Charter School will open in August 2012 to meet needs of at-risk students in the South Bronx

New York, NY, June 21, 2011 – The Children’s Aid Society (CAS) is thrilled to announce that the SUNY Charter Schools Institute and the Education, College Readiness and Success Committee of the State University of New York Board of Trustees have approved the opening of the new Children’s Aid Society Community Charter School in the Morrisania section of the Bronx. The school will open in August 2012 and begin offering Kindergarten and 1st grade classes in the fall 2012 semester for some of New York’s most at-risk students.

CAS has collaborated with the New York City Department of Education to create more than 20 community schools in Washington Heights, Harlem, the South Bronx and Staten Island. Community schools offer a powerful approach to education that expands learning time, embeds supportive services within the school, and offers partnerships with parents and other adult caregivers that extend well beyond what traditional public schools can offer.

“The Children’s Aid Society is excited to deepen our commitment to children’s long-term educational outcomes through this new partnership,” says CAS President and CEO Richard Buery. “We know that the best way to escape poverty is through a holistic approach to supporting children that includes health, social, recreational and youth development services, in addition to education. With this new charter school, we can combine excellent instruction, quality arts, sports, and enrichment programs, and effective social services for children and their families, and create a school where every child is put on the path to college.”

“Over the last 16 years, The Children's Aid Society has partnered with hundreds of educators, human service leaders, funders and policymakers to help develop more than 15,000 community schools nationally and internationally,” said Jane Quinn, Director of the CAS National Center for Community Schools. “We provide the consultation, advocacy and innovation that enable schools and their community partners to meet the comprehensive needs of children, strengthen families and empower neighborhoods. We are grateful to the SUNY Charter Schools Institute for giving us this opportunity to create a true community charter school and excited to utilize the years of research and evaluation we have collected to ensure positive outcomes for our students.”

With a planned opening in the fall of 2012, The Children’s Aid Society Charter School will serve 120 students in Kindergarten and 1st grade and eventually 304 students in Kindergarten through 5th grade. CAS’s deep roots in the South Bronx and its multi-site service centers in the surrounding community will enable the proposed school to provide effective youth development practices, comprehensive health care, and a commitment to empowering parents, foster parents, and other care-giving adults to become full partners in their children’s success. CAS would provide a range of support services to the school, consistent with a community school model.

“I had the opportunity to meet the lead applicants and prospective boards of each of these schools,” said Dr. Pedro Noguera, SUNY Trustee and Chair of the Trustees’ Education, College Readiness and Success Committee. “I feel confident that the schools they create will continue SUNY’s proud record of excellence in the charter schools we have authorized.”

The Children’s Aid Society Community Charter School is designed to meet the needs of the most vulnerable students in the Bronx neighborhood of Morrisania, especially those children who are currently in foster care or have been in the child welfare system; are performing below grade level or are not “school ready” by the time they reach Kindergarten; live with one parent or a single caregiver; and/or speak a language other than English at home.

The school’s mission is to ensure that children will achieve academic success by providing them with the best instructional practices, advancing their physical, emotional, and social needs, fostering a sense of pride and hope, and serving as a safe and engaging community hub.

Poverty levels in Morrisania, a community where CAS has established service hubs and community schools over the last 10 years, are well above the levels of other neighborhoods in New York City. The new Charter school would add much-needed resources, and CAS will continue to strengthen its presence in Morrisania, including building a state-of-the-art children’s health care center also to open in 2012.

Learn more about CAS’s community schools model – read Richard Buery’s Huffington Post “True Education Reform: Community Schools and Collective Impact”

About The Children’s Aid Society
The Children’s Aid Society is an independent, not-for-profit organization established to serve the children of New York City. Our mission is to help children in poverty to succeed and thrive. We do this by providing comprehensive supports to children and their families in targeted high-needs New York City neighborhoods. Founded in 1853, it is one of the nation’s largest and most innovative non-sectarian agencies, serving New York’s neediest children. Services are provided in community schools, neighborhood centers, health clinics and camps. For additional information, please call Anthony Ramos at (212) 949-4938/ (347) 439-7727, email anthonyr@childrensaidsociety.org or visit www.childrensaidsociety.org.