Bronx Park has grown into a small, innovative school that offers a comprehensive, interdisciplinary college and career preparatory curriculum with a theme of applying learning to problem-based projects within the fields of modern, sustainable careers. Students take the traditional core courses each year, but always learn through interdisciplinary, project-based units that incorporate problem-based curriculum from a variety of career fields. This curriculum is made possible because teacher at Bronx Park work together to design innovative units and lessons tht culminate in a week of experiential learning that we call ‘Project Week’. Teachers use Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe’s Understanding by Design curriculum design model to plan their units in a series of 5 curriculum retreats throughout the school year. As part of this work, teachers craft lessons aligned to Jane Pollack’s GANAG lesson plan model, using a template that is standard across every class in every grade at Bronx Park. This ensures that students know what to expect from the Flow of their classes and ensures that lesson planning is rooted in brain science research on how students learn best.
One unique feature of our school’s approach to curriculum is our Project Week and Project Share day. At the end of each interdisciplinary unit, students have the opportunity to participate in an authentic performance task where they apply the knowledge and skills they learned over the course of the unit and present their work to their peers. The format of the share day is entirely dependent on the theme of the unit but some student favorites have included a simulated trial, an election for a leader of a future space colony and an entrepreneurial product pitch.
An ideal candidate at Bronx Park is certified to teach in their content area in the state of New York, and brings the same PRIDE values to their work that we ask of all members of our community. Staff at Bronx Park make up a diverse group of educators from all over the United States, and work to create the kind of welcoming and nurturing environment that we believe all children deserve.
Teachers at Bronx Park are members of the United Federation of Teachers, (UFT) and are entitled to a number of benefits as part of their union membership and city employment. In addition, employees at Bronx Park enjoy a more flexible program that traditional public schools as part of our unique approach to student learning, our application to become an International Baccalaureate school, and our status as a PROSE school. Bronx Park’s membership in this program provides the teaching staff with significant autonomy to adjust scheduling and curricula to meet the needs of our students. Part of this PROSE innovation takes the form of 5 curriculum retreats, including to PD days without students, built into the regular school calendar to design, revise, and review our interdisciplinary curriculum.