Bronxville Union Free School District

Bronxville School Focuses on Expanding Opportunities for Students

With the close of the school year, administrators and faculty members celebrated successes and looked ahead to the new school year. Over the course of two Superintendent Conference days and three days of additional training in project-based learning, they discussed ways to expand opportunities to students and continue to pursue leading-edge practices that are aligned with the dispositions of the Bronxville Promise.

“The Bronxville Promise calls on us all to celebrate our past and our present, but challenges us to push forward in offering students experiences that expand their knowledge and the opportunity to use that information in collaborative and creative ways that indeed change the world,” said Director of Curriculum and Instruction Dr. Mara Koetke.

The Bronxville Promise was created by the district’s curriculum leaders who studied exemplar work and identified not only strong content understanding but the skills represented in the work that pushed beyond content acquisitions. They determined that the students’ ability to innovate, lead, think critically and engage the world as well-informed citizens are integral to their success.

As part of their professional development, faculty members discussed best practices for using the district’s new learning spaces where the teacher is the facilitator, how to use technology to flip classrooms and allow more class time for problem-solving in order to equip their students with the ability to think critically.

“As we close out the school year, we continue to have much to celebrate,” Dr. Koetke said. “In our elementary school, students learned the differences between fair trade and free trade chocolate, child slavery and economics, and created PSAs to convince others to buy appropriately. Middle school students designed containers to learn about volume in math. Through the process of critique and revision, high school students, who participated in National History Day, perfected their presentation and performance skills.”

Throughout the course of the new school year, students will continue to collaborate and make an impact on their community and the world around them. As part of the work, high school students will serve as principal investigators in the Bronx River water quality project and engage younger students in the data collection.

“I am convinced that the work ahead will inspire and challenge us all to the benefit of our students and our feeling about our own work,” Dr. Koetke said.