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Arenas (Four Hour Time Blocks)

Large blocks of time that enable students to work through their courses with flexible, personalized supports

Overview

Students at Bronx Arena spend the majority of their day in a four hour time block called an “Arena.” There are approximately 27 students in each Arena, and they spend this time working through their primary and secondary course credits. A generalist teacher and Advocate Counselor are assigned to each Arena. Specialist teachers push into Arenas, or pull students out, to provide small group instruction for specific content areas. Arenas are a core part of Bronx Arena’s approach to personalization.

Arenas provide students and educators opportunities to build relationships and support systems throughout a student’s tenure. Students stay in the same Arena throughout their time at Bronx Arena, allowing them to build tight bonds with other students and for family-like structures to form. The generalist teacher stays in the same Arena, allowing them to be a consistent presence in students’ lives from their first day until graduation. This not only helps build relationships between educators and students, but also creates a point person to direct personalized learning experiences for each student. Generalist teachers serve as the primary person for identifying student needs, monitoring student progress, adjusting learning pathways, and coordinating student supports. Should a student’s needs fall outside their skill area, generalists coordinate with content specialist teachers and Advocate Counselors to meet those needs.

Arenas also enable students to progress through content at their own pace. As a transfer school, each student arrives with very different needs. Students need different credits to graduate and have different skill gaps that need to be met. These needs never align perfectly with large groups of students or curriculum, which would make teaching through traditional grade levels very difficult. Therefore, Bronx Arena creates customized learning pathways for each student. Students choose two credits to focus on during their time in Arena, a primary and a secondary. They spend the majority of their time on the primary credit, and the secondary credit gives them an additional learning option when they don’t want to work on the primary credit. Students are able to move faster by focusing on two credits at a time, instead of six to eight. Teachers monitor progress daily and make sure students get the support they need to earn course credits and graduate.