The Center for Emotionally Responsive Practice at Bank Street College has had an ongoing relationship with NBFA for five years. We have been impressed, overall, at the school's commitment to children's well-being, particularly as they balance the stressors of score-driven accountabilities that charter schools face. NBFA is one of a small number of charter schools that has made the emotional well being of its children a priority, so important in
these stressful times. This school knows that children learn best when they feel safe. NBFA is committed to integrating Emotionally Responsive Practices into both virtual and in- person classroom experience, to enhance a feeling of social and emotional connection in the community of children and families it serves. Through thick and thin, and changing circumstances over the years, the administration has held tight to the ideal of children's well-being, and the teachers have internalized this value.
I have had the pleasure of visiting New Beginnings Family Academy in my home town of Bridgeport CT several times. Every time I visit the academy I am more and more impressed, not only by the great academic opportunity that the kids receive but by the overall culture of the school community. There is a real commitment to the success of the children throughout everything NBFA does. NBFA provides a great opportunity for many families in Bridgeport where quality educational options are very limited.
Over my career, I've served on numerous boards, but none where the mission is more critical and the successful outcomes more satisfying.
NBFA students are from among the more underserved communities of the State. This presents challenges and calls for even more dedication from the Board, the staff, the teachers and the volunteers and donors who together fill so many deep emotional, physical, psychological and fiscal needs that are largely unmet.
And no one fails NBFA.
With limited tools, the NBFA staff and faculty have enthusiastically met the obstacles and mastered the skills of teaching both in person and virtually during a crisis when even broadband is not widely available across our communities. The emotional needs of the students are being addressed with the interests of the families uppermost. The staff has executive skills that are the match, and possibly the envy, of many of the management teams with whom I have served because they bring and live an enthusiasm for NBFA's mission. The Board, though few, are devoted and committed beyond their numbers. And then there are the donors and volunteers who have sacrificed and freely given with all our gratitude so that, in a meaningful and concrete way, they know they are addressing real societal issues. Together, all this makes it possible for 500 young and aspiring students to successfully prepare for and continue on thru high school and college at a rate that makes comparisons embarrassing to many other comparable students in the communities that NBFA serves.
NBFA has a mission and plans; PLEASE HELP!
I am a volunteer, mentor , at the school and my observation with this program is very good. I really think they are doing a great job in promoting the emotional side of a child as he enters the school each day. A child that is under distress can't properly learn in a classroom but as the school identifies with each child his or hers emotional state and deals with them then they can re-enter the classroom healthier and more productive. I've seen other schools in Bridgeport discipline a child by putting them in a detention type situation as punishment and its not a good approach, the child needs care and get back in the class learning asap.
I have supported NBFA for several years. The level of care that the teachers and faculty give to students is very impressive.
NBFA is doing an excellent job reaching their students on an academic, social and emotional level. They value all aspects of a student's educational experience and look to recruit the whole family in an effort to incorporate holistic developmental skills into a childs education.
NBFA has to struggle to help students overcome incredibly challenging situations at home and must rely on a great deal of donation funding to do so. Their community of students looks to the school as a true home away from home, often getting their most reliable meals of the day at school and bolstering their emotional life with support from the warm, understanding faculty and staff.
In our current circumstances, non-profits like this school need even more help from grant opportunities than before, as individual donors are distracted by their own financial and societal concerns. I hope NBFA continues to thrive and provide the invaluable services it offers to its surrounding community.
This is an exceptional school and it that way for a reason. The leadership cares deeply for the students and they care about them on a number of levels. They care about their intellectual development but importantly they care for their emotional development. They work the balance between love and scholarship, very unique for charter schools in which many have abandoned the caring aspect.
The aspect of the school that I notice and that says it all is the scholars are happy and they return after graduating to see their teachers and the staff. They also want to see if they can help and give what they have gotten to the young scholars. A remarkable place.
I have loved working with the administrators and teachers at New Beginnings Family Academy. Their dedication to their MISSION is so clear and their focus on students is a breath of fresh air. I have thoroughly enjoyed collaborating with their principal to support the literacy instruction throughout the school. I know that the hard work will pay off in terms of students' reading proficiency.
NBFA works with the whole child to help each child succeed.
Lessons look at the individual needs of the children to build self confidence.
Their staff is very caring and supportive.
The faculty and staff of this school have gone above and beyond the call of duty to ensure that its students have the equipment they need to deal with the remote education challenges brought on by the covid-19 pandemic. Everyone involved in the school is dedicated to ensuring that these under-served children receive the best possible education, both in terms of academics and in terms of social-emotional learning. The goal is to enable them to succeed in their future endeavors and be exemplary friends, neighbors and citizens. While working under severe budget constraints, the organization squeezes the most out of every dollar received.
I've been with New Beginnings since 2016. My employer uses a volunteer program that lists all volunteer opportunities in our community. Since I went to school to become a teacher, I felt that a reading volunteer would be a great match. After a few readings, I was also bringing my co workers to join me. When I walked into NBFA it was a different vibe from other schools. I've previously led Junior Achievement seminars in different public schools, but NBFA was different. When I was asked to be a board member, I didn't think twice. The board is very proactive with the school, and they all dedicate their time with other activities (volunteering themselves to classrooms). In my time with NBFA, I've enjoyed working the staff and administration.
I have volunteered at NBFA for the past eight years and have personally witnessed students being honored and respected as whole human beings so they can succeed academically. Spending time there has been an inspiration.
An amazing school that focuses on the whole-child.