BSNBCS WEBSITE FAQs
What is a charter school?
Charter schools operate according to the terms of an agreement with its authorizer or “charter.” Initial charters are granted for 5 years and renewal charters are granted subsequently based on the school’s performance, following a thorough review from the authorizer. Charter schools are public schools, approved by the New York State Board of Regents, that operate outside part of the NYC Department of Education. Charters are operated independently, as a 501c3 non-profit charity and governed by a Board of Trustees.
Charter schools commit to meet specific goals for academic performance and their charter can be revoked if agreed-upon results are not attained. Like all public schools, charter schools must follow state laws for health, safety, civil rights and student assessment, however are given wide latitude in developing their educational program to suit the needs of their students.
In addition, charter schools must accept all students who submit a valid application if there is an open seat, or via lottery if there are more applicants than open seats. Charter schools cannot discriminate on the basis of academic ability, English Language Learner status, Special Education status or other demographic factors. For more information about Charter Schools in New York City, visit the New York City Charter School Center website at www.nyccharterschools.org/.
How are charter schools different from NYC public schools?
Accountability: Charter schools are held to very high standards and are responsible for educating public school students. Charter schools are approved only after a rigorous review process. Renewal of a school’s charter is contingent upon demonstration of continued growth, sound financial management, and academic achievement.
Autonomy: Once schools open, they are governed by a Board of Trustees. They are exempt from many state and city regulations regarding the running of the school’s academic program. Instead of being bound by the Chancellor’s Regulations, schools are bound by their charter document.
Choice: Parents, teachers, community groups, organizations, or individuals interested in creating additional educational opportunities for children can start charter schools. Local and state school boards, colleges and universities, and other community agencies can sponsor them. Parents choose to enroll, students choose to attend, and teachers choose to teach at charter schools.
How does BSNBCS define success?
At the Bedford Stuyvesant New Beginnings Charter School, families, educators and community members will join together to create a supportive and rigorous academic environment for all students. Through the pursuit of 21st century learning, project-based & service learning, and traditional coursework, students will be prepared to succeed in academically competitive schools as well as become responsible citizens of the global community.
Our scholars are given opportunities to explore new interests, cultivate new talents, and are exposed to the world beyond Bed Stuy through trips and tours to local colleges and universities. We define success by growing our scholars into impassioned learners, analytical thinkers, and positive members of our society.
Do Students Wear a Uniform?
Yes. Students are expected to arrive neatly dressed in a hunter green polo and khaki skirt or pants. Shirts must be tucked and a black or brown belt completes the uniform.
How large is the student body?
Starting in the fall of 2018, we will have around 700 total scholars K-8, which translates to 3 classes per grade.
Will the school offer free and reduced lunch and breakfast?
Yes. Students receiving SNAP benefits are automatically qualified for free lunch, all others must enter family income information at www.applyforlunch.com to learn whether your child qualifies.
Does the school offer Special Education and ELL services?
Yes. BSNBCS is committed to ensuring all students receive special education services mandated by their IEP. We have a fully staffed Special Education Team, and service providers to meet the needs of all students with IEPs. We also have a full-time ELL instructor to assess and assist our ELL students.
How do I enroll my child at BSNBCS?
Students are admitted through a lottery held in April. Students in other grades are admitted through a backfilling process as seats become available. Siblings of current students receive first preference when open seats are available, followed by residences of NYC Community School District 16. If all sibling and district residences have been offered admission and additional seats are available in a particular grade, they are opened up to eligible NYC residents living in the five boroughs.
The lottery is open to the public. The next one will be held in April 2019. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to inquire, or visit us in person at 82 Lewis Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11206 (Corner of Hart Street and Lewis Avenue.)
Who is on the Board?
The Board of Trustees of Bedford Stuyvesant New Beginnings Charter School is comprised of members with diverse personal and professional experiences. Each member of the Board has expressed and demonstrated a commitment to ensuring students have access to a quality education. Collectively, their experience includes expertise in law, government, business, finance and public education.
What should I do if I want to file a grievance?
Should you have any concerns or complaints regarding BSNBCS, please come to the main office during our regular school day or afterschool hours and a form will be provided to you for review/investigation.
Are there other charter schools in Brooklyn?
Yes. Many community school districts have seen a significant increase in the number of charter schools available to them. Community School District 16 has nearly ten. BSNBCS opened as a K-3 school in 2010. Our first 8th-grade class graduated in June 2016, and we are looking forward to the success of the class of 2019.