A new charter school made its official debut in the Bronx Tuesday, even though it's been open for a few weeks. NY1's Roger Clark filed the following report.
The brand new Hyde Leadership Charter High School is already a hit among students who say it's better than sharing space in another public school building.
"I just feel like it's finally just a space of our own and a place that I can really call Hyde," said one student.
Elected officials plus school and community leaders were on hand Tuesday to cut the ribbon and officially open the high school which will eventually hold 300 ninth through 12th graders.
Hyde Leadership's Kindergarten through eighth graders remain in a nearby Department of Education building. But the state-of-the-art high school building is the first educational facility to open in Hunts Point in more than 30 years.
"This school is unique in that it really builds student character," said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.
Hyde Leadership is a public school, but as a charter it can establish its own policies. In this case it uses the approach to education of the Hyde Schools, two private boarding schools in Maine and Connecticut where students are asked to apply principles like courage, integrity, leadership, curiosity and concern.
"We involve the parents a lot, they are very engaged, they come to monthly meetings, we go on retreats, we really believe that it's a partnership with parents," said Head of School Betsy Olney.
Students, meantime, say the new building makes focusing on their studies much easier.
"It's great space, we have a lot of room to walk around, we know everybody here," said one student.
"For us, following rules and principles just makes life easier and it prepares us for future life outside of Hyde, and for college, so I feel like the values and morals that I learn here I will use in my outside life," said another.
"They feel free here they feel more like this my school, this is our school," said parent Michellee Medina.
Hyde Leadership is one of 136 charter schools in the city with 45,000 students.
More than 50,000 students are on waiting lists to get into a charter school.