The holidays are around the corner—and we want to send you off into Winter Recess (Monday, December 23, 2019—Wednesday, January 1, 2020) with some good news. And it all began in the Bronx!

Last year, Chancellor Carranza, Mayor de Blasio, and UFT President Michael Mulgrew launched the Bronx Plan, which is bringing a new set of powerful supports to 50 schools that have been historically under-resourced—primarily in the Bronx, with additional schools in Brownsville and East New York, as well as the Rockaways. These supports included the adoption of the Bronx Plan Collaborative Schools Model, which facilitates cooperative decision-making between teachers and principals, a $7,200 salary differential for hard-to-staff positions to help with teacher recruitment and retention, facilities upgrades, microgrants, and more.

(Decorative) Student raising their hand inside a classroom

“For too long, a child’s zip code determined their success. We are changing this unacceptable reality by bringing equity and excellence to every school,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “The Bronx Plan is working – teacher vacancies are down, students have more support, and facilities are being repaired. This expansion will ensure even more students benefit.”

This year, the Bronx Plan is officially expanding across the City with the addition of up to 70 more schools!

Over the course of year one of the program, Bronx Plan schools formed a Collaborative Committee where diverse stakeholders including teachers, parents, and school leaders came together to address specific challenges facing each school community.

(Decorative) Teacher sharing a laugh with her class of earth science students

“The Bronx Plan brings out the best in our schools—innovation, collaboration, and positive change,” said Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza. “I’m so proud of the progress we’ve made in the first year to ensure that academic excellence is achieved through equitable investments in our school communities, and I can’t wait to expand this initiative across the City.”

$13 million in facilities upgrades and enhancements yielded refreshed libraries, auditoriums and classrooms. And with the $7,200 hiring incentive, total vacancies in these schools decreased by more than 50 percent this school year from the year prior.

This is the kind of change we look forward to seeing across the City in year 2. We believe in tailoring support to schools so each school gets what it needs to succeed. That’s how the Bronx Plan is helping schools making strides in the Bronx—and beyond.

(Decorative) Young student reading aloud a speech she wrote for a class assignment

“We’re very encouraged by the progress so far in the Bronx plan, particularly by the fact that the schools themselves chose where to focus their new resources, and in many cases let the school staff take the lead in recruiting new teachers for their buildings,” said Michael Mulgrew, president of the United Federation of Teachers.

The Morning Bell

Official blog for the NYC Department of Education, home of over 1.1 million students across 1,800+ schools

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NYC Department of Education, 2019