‘A’ giant leap

by Rob Callaghan

Bronx Academy of Promise was one of three schools citywide to go from an F to an A on its School Progress Report.

Teachers, parents and students were beaming with pride at the UFT-represented Bronx Academy of Promise’s board meeting on Oct. 9 after learning that their school was one of just three schools citywide to move from an F to an A on its annual School Progress Report. The A grade should help the school as it seeks a five-year renewal of its charter.

Responding to an Oct. 2 New York Post article on the school’s success, “What Went Right?,” Chapter Leader Reagan Fletcher wrote in a letter to the editor that she attributes the school’s success to the hard work of both teachers and students who together have “created a learning environment that allows students to thrive.”

The Post article quoted no teachers and failed to mention their union affiliation, prompting Fletcher to continue, “I credit these achievements in part to the fact that the staff organized with the United Federation of Teachers, which has helped to create an atmosphere where teachers’ voices are respected.”

Fletcher’s colleagues were also heartened by the A grade.

Third-grade teacher Jennifer Tubbs said she was “proud and humbled” to be a part of the Bronx Academy of Promise community.

“I know I have established a lot of relationships with a lot of families in this school, not only with my students, but with their siblings and their parents,” Tubbs said. “I know them, I trust them, and I believe that they also trust me.”

The A grade means that teachers, parents and students no longer will have to worry that the school may close, said art teacher Ardis Strong.

“The teachers at Bronx Academy of Promise want to make a home here. We want to watch the children grow up. We want the families to know in June that they can count on us to be there in September welcoming old students and new siblings,” Strong said. “We want to start a long tradition of A’s on our school reports.”

Teachers also hope that the A grade will aid them as they negotiate a second contract at the school.