Designed for foster children and others in troubled families, a Bronx charter school offers “a small student-teacher ratio, an extended school day, many tutor options and special training” for teachers, reports AP. The Haven Academy is sponsored by the New York Foundling, a private child-welfare agency, and has access to the agency’s large staff of counselors.
Private donations pays for the extra support.
The school has three full-time employees who focus solely on the social and emotional needs of the students. On any day, five to 10 Foundling counselors may be enlisted for student visits lasting from 30 minutes to a full day. All 200 Foundling counselors are invited to school functions.
The school was formed mindful that the only way students will progress academically “is to address the social stuff,” said Gwendy Fuentes, who coordinates support services between the school staff and child welfare workers.
Fuentes said it is not uncommon for counselors to help children who have been removed from their parents or have moved, sometimes multiple times a year.
Test scores are rising: 84 percent of second graders perform at or above grade level in reading and writing.