(City Hall, NY) – Parents, students and school administrators were joined by City Council Member Albert Vann, New York State Regent Dr. Adelaide Sanford, Dr. Lester Young and community leaders at a gathering at City Hall today to recognize the exemplary achievement of Bedford Academy High School students on the New York City Public School Progress Reports.
On November 5, Mayor Bloomberg and Schools Chancellor Joel Klein released the first-ever progress reports with each school in the City receiving a letter grade – A, B, C, D, or F – based on the academic achievement and progress of students as well as the results of surveys taken by parents, students, and teachers last spring. Bedford Academy received an A marking with outstanding results, being one of only two schools in the City achieving a score greater than 100.
Council Member Albert Vann and members of the City Council including Speaker Christine Quinn, presented Principal George Leonard with a proclamation during the ceremonial portion of the City Council’s Stated Meeting to recognize the hard work and continued academic excellence achieved by Bedford Academy in preparing students for the future.
The Bedford Academy was founded in 2003 with a vision to provide students with a small learning environment designed to promote rigorous academic achievement by maintaining small class sizes where the teacher to student ratio is 1:20. Since its inception, Bedford Academy has had a 90 percent-plus passing rate on all New York State Regents exams, as well as 90 percent-plus graduation and attendance rates. With such success Bedford Academy has become regarded, as one of the best high schools in the City.
Principal George Leonard said, “These results reflect the impact that our school has had on the low achiever. Most students with this profile are usually regarded as the invisible student. At Bedford Academy these students are highly regarded and treated with as much attention and respect as our high achievers and highly motivated students. Schools are finally being evaluated based on how they motivate low achievers.”
Council Member Vann was extremely pleased by the school’s high marks and recommended that the school be honored by the City Council. He said, “I am ecstatic at this demonstration of excellence on behalf of the Bedford Academy family, students, teachers, supervisors, administrators, and especially the principal, Mr. George Leonard. To be able to take average students and inspire and motivate them to make progress to surpass the performance of schools that require entrance examinations is worthy of praise and celebration.”
New York State Regent Dr. Adelaide Sanford who attended the day’s recognition ceremony, stated, “It would be prudent if in our quest for a quality education an analysis of successful principals and staff could be made in order to document the procedures and attitudes that combine to promote every child’s potential. Bedford Academy under the leadership of Mr. Leonard and his staff has once again put to rest any question about our children’s capacity and the ability of strong leadership to fulfill the promise of our ancestors.”
John Rappaport, Executive Director of the Bedford Stuyvesant YMCA said, “On behalf of our CEO and President, Jack Lund, I am thrilled to offer our congratulations to the students and staff of Bedford Academy. They deserve so much recognition, and it is our pleasure to partner with them on our YMCA campus to deliver outstanding programming to the youth of Bedford Stuyvesant.”