Bayfront Charter High Hosts its First 9th Grade Class

There were festive school cheers, inspirational speeches by city leaders, and performances by a live band. And that was just day one at Bayfront Charter High, which opened on Wednesday to 80 ninth grade students in modern, office-style classrooms in a building that also is home to United States University.

Mayor Cheryl Cox was guest speaker and shared her vision of the bay front, a highly anticipated transformation that students will experience first-hand and could help shape as future architects, engineers, and environmental scientists. The school is located in the middle of the city’s multiyear bay-front development project  Administrators plan to add one grade level in each of the following three academic years to build its 9-12 grade student body.

Bayfront Charter High is an extension of Mueller Charter School and its middle school, Mueller Charter Leadership Academy. Ryan S. Santos, Ph.D., Student Advocate at Mueller, was part of the initial planning group for the new high school.

“The school is alive now,” Santos said. “Before, it was just a skeleton. There was a tremendous amount of planning put into everything from the lockers, to ordering tables, and selection of light fixtures. It is exciting, affirming and rejuvenating.”

Students and parents were greeted in festive welcome in a lecture hall that had the feel of a small college.

“We hope that it feels like home to our students,” Santos said. “It is important for them to feel connected to school. This where they spend a tremendous amount of their day. If they feel connected here, that also helps how they will do academically.”

The classrooms and furniture promote student engagement, such as flexible seating that facilitates collaborative grouping, individual or project-based learning.

“We want to make sure the chairs are comfortable, and that we have flexible, agile seating,” Santos said. “In a split second, the teacher can organize the students in a big circle or smaller circles. We also wanted the furniture to replicate what you would find in the workplace. It is comfortable, but it also mirrors the workplace.”

For more information, visit http://www.bayfrontcharter.com

 

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