At BCCS, our mission is to prepare each student for college. 100% of our graduating classes of seniors have been accepted to colleges. To fulfill our mission, we have developed a college readiness program that begins in fifth grade and is intentional, comprehensive, fueled by data, and executed by a team of seasoned leaders. Students see college in all parts of the school and hear about college as early as fifth grade in order to connect themselves to an idea that has often eluded them or their peers. As many will be the first in their families to attend college, students must see college as something attainable and begin the process of visualizing themselves on a college campus.
Our approach to college readiness has been developed from three angles: school culture, curriculum, and programs.
The college readiness program is supported by a school-wide culture focused on college. From the moment students enter our school in fifth grade, they are surrounded by messages that communicate to students that they will attend college. Their advisories are named after the colleges their advisors attended and are filled with paraphernalia from those schools, and common walls are filled with college posters and information. In the high school, bulletin boards are covered with displays such as the entry requirements for all state and public universities and the college acceptance letters received by the current senior class.
The fifth grade through twelfth grade academic curriculum is rigorous and vertically aligned with the content and skills college students need to know and be able to do in order to be successful, so it is designed to prepare students for a challenging college curriculum.
Finally, BCCS has developed a number of programs designed to make sure all students are college ready. First, starting in fifth grade, all students participate in the Bridges to Success program, based on a series of partnerships BCCS has developed with local universities to allow students to visit 1-2 colleges each year. During high school, students can elect to spend a week each summer on the College Road Trip, which takes them further afield to see at least eight schools. Twice each year, ninth and tenth grade students participate in College Readiness Days and take practice PSAT and ACT exams and eleventh grade students take practice SAT exams, the results from which are analyzed rigorously to inform college readiness instruction moving forward. Lastly, students in grades 9-12 partake in our robust Collegiate Skills program that utilizes time within the school day to address college-ready skills and topics to ensure that all students are truly ready to succeed and persist on college campuses upon graduation.