Our approach to creating a culture of literacy has several key components. We integrate the written word into all areas of an enhanced and challenging core curriculum - Writing Programs. Our students take four years of writing, covering the spectrum of creative and nonfiction writing, in addition to four years of literature classes. There are two major school publications — a newspaper and a literary journal—giving our students an opportunity to publish their work and to see the word in action. Through an ongoing process of editing and revision, we ensure that every student’s voice is heard.
All students at the Bronx Academy of Letters are expected to exceed New York State Standards and be prepared for the five mandated New York State Regents Examinations in English Language Arts, science, mathematics, global studies, and U.S. history. All academic courses include interdisciplinary project-based learning designed to grow naturally out of the curriculum and resulting in the development of portfolios. Portfolios, which are compiled and revised in our daily hour-long advisory period, include major pieces of work from each class, as determined by the teachers; published work from the school’s literary journal or newspaper; and a written reflection generated by the student on the student’s progress in school. Students write a guided self-assessment and evaluate their classes, describe what they enjoyed, didn't enjoy, found difficult, and deemed most beneficial. They present their portfolios at formal thirty-minute appointments on our annual Portfolio Day in June.