Back to School at a Child Welfare-Focused Charter in the Bronx

Last week, a New York charter school catering to children caught up in the city’s child welfare system started the new school year with almost 100 new fifth and sixth graders.

Mott Haven Academy Middle School, located in the South Bronx, is an expansion of Mott Haven Academy, a charter school for pre-K to 5th grade that is uniquely designed for at-risk children in the child welfare system.

The school benefits from a partnership with New York Foundling, a nearly 150-year-old youth services organization, which gives administrators and teachers access to resources like healthcare and nutritional services and provides social services support for families and social workers who know the child’s family situation.

“I believe our greatest obligation to the kids we work with is to educate them,” said Bill Baccaglini, president and CEO of The New York Foundling, in a press release. “It is, so to speak, their admission ticket to a productive and satisfying life.”

Among the school’s guiding principles are empathy, valuing community and never giving up. These core values are paying off.

Students “consistently outperform their peers in New York City and New York State in Math, and beat their district in English Language Arts,” according to a press release.

“We have proven that we can make a significant, lasting impact on educational outcomes for at-risk kids through our work with elementary scholars and will continue through the expansion to serving middle school scholars,” said Haven Academy Principal and co-founder Jessica Nauiokas in the press release.

The school intends to expand its services to seventh and eighth grade students in the next two years.

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Marisol Zarate
About Marisol Zarate 16 Articles
Marisol Zarate is a summer intern for Fostering Media Connections. She is a rising senior at Stanford University majoring in urban studies. After graduation, she aspires to attend law school and become a public defender.