The T-Shirts read
"A school in Bushwick" and that’s what students, faculty, and
community members were celebrating in the gym of the Bushwick High School
Campus. The Bushwick School for Social Justice, one of four small high schools
in the building, held the party in honor of the "A" it received on
the City’s first-ever school progress report this fall.
I love this school and the teachers
because they have helped me a lot," a Bushwick School
for Social Justice senior, Leidy Cruz, said. "In the beginning, I wasn’t
doing so well as a student, but the school has helped me improve, and I’m now
planning to go to college as a pre-med student."
The school graduated its first class of seniors in June 2006.
About 75 percent graduated, a rate more than triple the 23% graduation rate of Bushwick High School, the large school it
replaced five years ago.
"Too often, people
look at this school and this community and assume nothing is happening here,"
Principal Terry Byam said. "For us, the ‘A’ grade was a validation of all the
good work being accomplished in our school. We wanted to come together to
celebrate this achievement as a community."
The party, which was hosted by the school’s community partner, Make the Road by
Walking, reflected the vibrant cultural programming available to
students, including music and art.
"This is just the beginning," Byam said. "We
won’t be satisfied until all of our students are graduating with the tools and
skills they need to succeed."
(PHOTO CAPTION: The Bushwick School
for Social Justice drumline performs at a party to celebrate the school’s
"A" on its progress report.)