LEARNING AT BELA

Science, Technology Engineering, Art Design, and Mathematics (STEAM) Pathways

Adopted from Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders, STEAM Pathways will deepen BELA students’ understanding of a STEAM field. Students will choose a particular STEAM pathway after taking a year-long STEAM course where students engage with different challenges from each pathway. During Year 9, students will take a STEAM course offered by FUSE. In their subsequent years, students will take classes in one of three pathways: Engineering, Biomedical Sciences or Media Technology.

Advance Studies Students at BELA will take a number of advance level courses to prepare them for the demands of college-level work. Latin will be a 4-year program for all BELA students. Additionally, students will either take courses or enroll in International Baccalaureate (IB) program. The IB course of study aligns with the BELA mission and core values by teaching students to think critically, creatively, ethically, and globally and to become lifelong learners.

Advance Studies


Students at BELA will take a number of advance level courses to prepare them for the demands of college-level work. Latin will be a 4-year program for all BELA students. Additionally, students will either take courses or enroll in International Baccalaureate (IB) program. The IB course of study aligns with the BELA mission and core values by teaching students to think critically, creatively, ethically, and globally and to become lifelong learners.

S-Term Interdisciplinary projects are typical at BELA. Each year, BELA students will deepen their understanding of the interconnectedness of the core values: Scholarship, Sisterhood, Strength, and Service by engaging in weeklong experiential projects or, as we call them at BELA, S-Term. For example, in their 9th grade year, BELA students will identify a community need, develop teams based on common interest, and utilize the Stanford Design Thinking process to propose a solution to members within the local community.

S-Term


Interdisciplinary projects are typical at BELA. Each year, BELA students will deepen their understanding of the interconnectedness of the core values: Scholarship, Sisterhood, Strength, and Service by engaging in weeklong experiential projects or, as we call them at BELA, S-Term. For example, in their 9th grade year, BELA students will identify a community need, develop teams based on common interest, and utilize the Stanford Design Thinking process to propose a solution to members within the local community.

Core Academics To graduate with a BELA diploma, students must meet the BELA graduation requirements, which is inclusive of the New York State Education graduation requirements. Their course of study will be culturally relevant while integrating the classics to ensure students are exposed to the necessary common knowledge at the collegiate level. Through a project and problem based approach, BELA students will have the opportunity to connect their learning to real world issues from a local, national, and global perspective.

Core Academics


To graduate with a BELA diploma, students must meet the BELA graduation requirements, which is inclusive of the New York State Education graduation requirements. Their course of study will be culturally relevant while integrating the classics to ensure students are exposed to the necessary common knowledge at the collegiate level. Through a project and problem based approach, BELA students will have the opportunity to connect their learning to real world issues from a local, national, and global perspective.

Professional Learning Community Teacher learning is an ongoing daily process at BELA. We recognize that we grow stronger as a professional community and become better at meeting the individual needs of our students when BELA teachers are involved in activities that provide new ideas, skills, and competencies such as: critical friends groups, subject and grade team meetings, professional conferences, co-planning, peer observations both internal and external, and course work to name a few. Our commitment to continuous and sustained learning will allow BELA teachers to focus on the learning and teaching that is required for student centered learning environments.

Professional Learning Community


Teacher learning is an ongoing daily process at BELA. We recognize that we grow stronger as a professional community and become better at meeting the individual needs of our students when BELA teachers are involved in activities that provide new ideas, skills, and competencies such as: critical friends groups, subject and grade team meetings, professional conferences, co-planning, peer observations both internal and external, and course work to name a few. Our commitment to continuous and sustained learning will allow BELA teachers to focus on the learning and teaching that is required for student centered learning environments.

CULTURE AT BELA

Firmth Dr. Michael Carrera, founder of the Children’s Aid Society Carrera Pregnancy Prevention program (an “above the waist” approach to supporting the developmental needs of our young people), coined a term that will permeate throughout BELA. FIRMTH is a term that embodies the love, compassion, expectations, and responsibility the young women of BELA will feel. Dr. Carrera says you must be firm yet warm with our young people or FIRMTH. At BELA, FIRMTH means believing in the success of every student, but also holding them accountable to being BELA young women and all the honor and distinction that comes with representing our community.

Firmth


Dr. Michael Carrera, founder of the Children’s Aid Society Carrera Pregnancy Prevention program (an “above the waist” approach to supporting the developmental needs of our young people), coined a term that will permeate throughout BELA. FIRMTH is a term that embodies the love, compassion, expectations, and responsibility the young women of BELA will feel. Dr. Carrera says you must be firm yet warm with our young people or FIRMTH. At BELA, FIRMTH means believing in the success of every student, but also holding them accountable to being BELA young women and all the honor and distinction that comes with representing our community.

Traditions BELA’s traditions reflect our commitment to building a community where adults and students feel valued, heard, respected, and challenged. One of the traditions begins the summer before Year 9. All BELA students are required to attend BELA Academy, a 4-week summer intensive where students will deepen their understanding of the mission, core values, and academic program. The Academy will culminate with an overnight trip. Other BELA traditions include: student-led morning meetings, uniform, and core value pins.

Traditions


BELA’s traditions reflect our commitment to building a community where adults and students feel valued, heard, respected, and challenged. One of the traditions begins the summer before Year 9. All BELA students are required to attend BELA Academy, a 4-week summer intensive where students will deepen their understanding of the mission, core values, and academic program. The Academy will culminate with an overnight trip. Other BELA traditions include: student-led morning meetings, uniform, and core value pins.

Uniform 1,036,800 minutes, 17,280 hours, 720 days, 4 years until a BELA graduate enters the world, independently, to become those agents of change we need. BELA time will be focused on achievement both academically and personally. BELA time will be free of unnecessary distractions but filled with challenges and learning opportunities. Thus, at BELA, knowing the length of time and the scope of work, our young women will wear the prestigious BELA uniform and be prepared to embrace the day’s transformative learning experiences.

Uniform


1,036,800 minutes, 17,280 hours, 720 days, 4 years until a BELA graduate enters the world, independently, to become those agents of change we need. BELA time will be focused on achievement both academically and personally. BELA time will be free of unnecessary distractions but filled with challenges and learning opportunities. Thus, at BELA, knowing the length of time and the scope of work, our young women will wear the prestigious BELA uniform and be prepared to embrace the day’s transformative learning experiences.

Leadership Academy Leadership Academy is a small group, talking circle format leadership meeting facilitated by a teacher mentor. During these meetings, BELA students will explore themes such as: speech writing, service learning, advocacy leadership, college and career readiness, financial literacy, healthy relationships and other themes pertinent to being active leaders. BELA students will take this course for the duration of their tenure at BELA.

Leadership Academy


Leadership Academy is a small group, talking circle format leadership meeting facilitated by a teacher mentor. During these meetings, BELA students will explore themes such as: speech writing, service learning, advocacy leadership, college and career readiness, financial literacy, healthy relationships and other themes pertinent to being active leaders. BELA students will take this course for the duration of their tenure at BELA.

ENVIRONMENT AT BELA

Learning Spaces At BELA, we are reimagining the 21st century classroom for our young women. Through the extensive research published at Center for Research on Girls at Laurel School, we know that girls learn best when they are working in a collaborative and tinker-friendly environment. BELA’s classrooms are not just classrooms, but seminar rooms and learning labs. They are spaces conducive to learning, collaboration and innovation with the necessary tools for our young women to be at their best.

Learning Spaces


At BELA, we are reimagining the 21st century classroom for our young women. Through the extensive research published at Center for Research on Girls at Laurel School, we know that girls learn best when they are working in a collaborative and tinker-friendly environment. BELA’s classrooms are not just classrooms, but seminar rooms and learning labs. They are spaces conducive to learning, collaboration and innovation with the necessary tools for our young women to be at their best.

1:1 Technology 1:1 Technology – BELA will have a 1:1 program providing each student in Year 9 with a laptop for use at school and home to support our blended learning environment. We believe our students must be prepared to flourish in an environment where agility with technology is a necessity. Furthermore, our personalized digital learning environment will provide our students with access to real-time resources, timely feedback, and tailored support to further enhance their individualized educational experience.

1:1 Technology


1:1 Technology – BELA will have a 1:1 program providing each student in Year 9 with a laptop for use at school and home to support our blended learning environment. We believe our students must be prepared to flourish in an environment where agility with technology is a necessity. Furthermore, our personalized digital learning environment will provide our students with access to real-time resources, timely feedback, and tailored support to further enhance their individualized educational experience.