Beloved Community Charter School (BCCS) is proud to report that its students have continued to excel and thrive, as their New Jersey Student Learning Assessment (NJSLA) test scores showed that economically disadvantaged BCCS students were almost twice as likely as their statewide peers to meet their grade level’s proficiency standards: the numbers were 55.8% to 30.6% in ELA and 34.5% to 16.6% in Math.
“During the switch to virtual learning, BelovED continued to provide high-quality instruction and maintain high expectations while supporting students and their families in a variety of ways. Throughout this time, there was an emphasis on priority learning skills,” said Jomayra Torres, Director of Curriculum and Instruction at BCCS. “As we reopened for in-person instruction, we used this focus of “go slow, to go fast”, providing intensive foundational instruction within the first six weeks of school and ensuring the rigor of grade-level content as we progressed throughout the year. Through consistent data analysis and targeted reteach plans, we were able to narrow the learning gap. ”
Anthony Bongiorno, a ninth grade ELA teacher at BCCS, explained that “Many factors contributed to our ninth grade scholars’ stellar performance on the NJSLA exam. I think what we saw was the fruit of our labors as a high school team. From the first day of school, we worked really hard to craft rigorous, standards-aligned lessons and to deliver them every day, every lesson, from bell to bell. Our scholars’ success is our chief goal, and we are all so united in our work toward achieving that goal.”
The test scores, released by the New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) this past December 19th, showed a significant overall loss of learning throughout the state. However, BCCS’ test scores show only a small 4.23 point decrease in mathematics and a 3.39 point decrease in English Language Arts (ELA) between 2018-2019 and 2021-2022, as BCCS students outperformed the state average in both subject areas.
“Last year, the math department was willing to adapt and try new ideas to meet the needs of our scholars – such as implementing a new curriculum, using a different data analysis protocol, and consistent small group intervention,” said Camille Sanchez, middle school Math Department Chair. “The department as a whole was constantly reflecting on our teaching practices and making adjustments to further improve student achievement.”
“Our staff’s ability to adapt during the unknown has kept our students performing at their grade levels. Each and every staff member should be incredibly proud of the work they have put in. And, our amazing students should feel equally proud, showing such resilience in the face of so many obstacles. I’m just grateful to be a part of this unique community,” said Ken Schultz, Executive Director of BCCS.
“BelovED is a tremendous example of what is possible in education,” said Harry Lee, CEO of the New Jersey Public Charter Schools Association (NJPCSA). “Even under the most strenuous circumstances, charter schools meet the needs of students, families, and communities. They are a fantastic vehicle to address the social, emotional, and academic needs of students in New Jersey’s most underserved communities.”
BCCS is a public charter school located in Jersey City educating children from kindergarten through high school. To learn more, visit www.belovedccs.org.