Brooklyn High School for Law and Technology
About the Practice
The goal of the summer bridge program was to expose incoming 9th grade students to BK Law and Tech’s unique and enriching learning environment. Utilizing Math, English, Science including the common core literacy instructional shifts, technology and programming skills students conceptualized, designed, and marketed a robot. Our goal was to provide students with a variety of engaging opportunities and experiences that would not only ease the transition from middle school to high school, but would strengthen the new peer relationships and develop key academic understandings and skills. During the week we had four hour sessions per day. We designed Tuesdays and Wednesdays sessions for Science and Math literacy. Thursdays were used for CRE lessons and for team building activities. On Fridays students were split into two groups for robotics classes and for Brooklyn College sessions on Brooklyn College’s campus. In addition to the academic component we had a college campus visit to Hofstra University, Liberty Game and ended with a celebration and team building at Great Adventures.
Target Population/Total Students:
9th grade males who had the worst attendance and who were coming to us with the lowest skills, Level 1 and 2. We invited more than 40 students. 35 students confirmed and participated, 80% males, 20% females.
- Scheduling, we were working with 2 different sets of staff members. We had to work around the summer scheduling constraints and the contraits of Brooklyn College’s campus. The program had to be extended 5 weeks.
- Late disbursement of grant money.
- Lesser enrollment from the targeted black and Latino males.
- Attendance and tardiness.
Others had already signed up for other summer programs or had to participate in summer school to complete middle school requirements.
How did school overcome challenges?
- We extended the program for a few weeks. Students were separated into 2 groups and rotated between visiting Brooklyn College and participating in robotics classes.
- We used old resources and paid out of pocket until the money came in to get the supplies we needed.
- We opened the program to the general 9th grade population.
- We made necessary calls to students who missed days. Introduced students to our school’s email account. Students with poor attendance were not allowed to participate in team building trip to Great Adventures.
How will you continue to sustain this practice?
- External Partners: the principal has been working with external partners and colleges.Acuring additional resources and funds will allows us to continue this practice. The new partnerships extend the scope of the community.
- Enrollment and Participation: we will try to send letters of invitation home to parents and students. This will encourage them to pass their required courses, so that they can participate in the program.
- Scheduling: we can plan to put pieces into place earlier, before the summer.
- STEM/Robotics Focus: more kids will be able to work in smaller robotics teams.