Showcase Schools to Share Promising Practices, Encourage Collaboration
NEW YORK – Chancellor Carmen Fariña today announced the launch of the new Showcase Schools Program at its kick-off event in Manhattan. Under the new initiative, designed to promote collaboration and sharing of strong practices, schools that excel in a specific learning focus area host educators from other schools to share their successful structures and strategies and discuss the path they took to develop those structures and strategies. For this inaugural 2014-15 school year, 17 Showcase Schools from all five boroughs will share their strong practices.
This year, each Showcase School will host three learning focus tours for educators from other schools. With tailored support and guidance from the DOE Office of Interschool Collaborative Learning, the Showcase Schools will build their own capacity to share strong practices and plan and execute learning focus tours. The 17 Showcase Schools – which include five each from Manhattan and Brooklyn, three from the Bronx, and two each from Queens and Staten Island – will also work with the Office of Interschool Collaborative Learning to harness and share their innovative and effective practices citywide.
“Our schools are better when we collaborate, and that’s why the Showcase Schools program will foster growth in our school communities,” said Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña. “When I see schools excelling in a particular area, I want them to share their secrets across the city, not hide them – and principals who articulate their practices get better at their craft. When we work together, all our schools improve, and our students reap the benefits.”
Each Showcase Schools has a Showcase team steered by its principal that is responsible for planning and leading the three learning focus tours for approximately 30 educators each. Over the course of the year, the Showcase School teams will also provide feedback to the Office of Interschool Collaborative Learning to report successes and challenges and facilitate improvements to theShowcase Schools program in coming years.
The Showcase Schools learning focus areas for this inaugural 2014-15 year were selected based on priorities articulated by the Chancellor and feedback received from principals and teachers, as well as field support staff and central office staff, during the last school year. These learning focus areas, identified by educators as areas of greatest importance and need in their classrooms, include effective early childhood education, support for English Language Learners, strong arts and social studies programs, and robust family and student engagement.
“The New Dorp High School community is looking forward to participating in this new initiative that will allow schools to share strong practices and learn from each other,” said Deirdre DeAngelis, principal of New Dorp High School in Staten Island, one of the 17 Showcase Schools. “Each time we have visitors at our school, the conversations about instructional practices, distributive leadership, student supports and improved outcomes are so rich that all of the educators in the room walk away armed with new strategies and practices that can help to improve student outcomes in their own schools. We constantly learn from each individual that walks into our building and we can only hope that we will do the same for our upcoming visitors.”
“We are very excited to be a part of the Showcase Schools program. Investing in DOE schools with proven track records and success supporting other DOE schools just makes sense,” said Mark Federman, principal of East Side Community High School, a Manhattan Showcase School. “The best P.D. often comes from our peers and our colleagues. The Showcase Schools Program is also an amazing opportunity for teachers and school leaders to have an impact on the greater system without having to leave their schools or position.”
The mission and implementation of the Showcase Schools program dovetails with those of another collaborative initiative, the Learning Partners Program. Through the Learning Partners Program, one host school with strong practices in a particular focus area supports partner schools seeking to strengthen their own practices in that area. Building on a successful pilot program in Spring 2014 – 100% of participants surveyed said they would recommend the program to other schools – the first full year of the Learning Partners Program features 73 schools from all five boroughs, collaborating in 23 host-partner triads and one quad.
The Showcase Schools and Learning Partners Program demonstrate a commitment to professional development and collaboration among educators and schools that fosters student learning and school improvement. Each Showcase School will receive $11,000 in DOE funds to cover expenses related to learning focus tours, materials, and additional staff time for program activities and professional development.
Beginning next week, principals will receive information on how they and their school staff can register for learning focus tours. More information on theShowcase Schools and learning focus tour registration will be available online in the coming days.
List of the 17 Showcase Schools and their learning focus areas:
P.S. 71 Rose E. Scala, Learning Focus Area: Middle School Social Studies
P.S. 170, Learning Focus Area: Early Childhood Education
The Highbridge Green School, Learning Focus Area: Middle School Quality Initiative (MSQI)
Academy of Arts and Letters, Learning Focus Area: Fostering Student Voice, Ownership and Independence
M.S. 442 Carroll Gardens School for Innovation, Learning Focus Area: Supporting All Students through Innovative Instruction
M.S. 340 North Star Academy, Learning Focus Area: Middle School Quality Initiative (MSQI)
P.S. 69 Vincent D. Grippo School, Learning Focus Area: Robust Arts Program
P.S. 231, Learning Focus Area: Innovative Scheduling to Support All Students
P.S. 188 The Island School, Learning Focus Area: Community School Program
East Side Community School, Learning Focus Area: Teacher Development through School Culture
Food and Finance HS, Learning Focus Area: Career and Technical Education
M.S. 247 Dual Language Middle School, Learning Focus Area: English Language Learners
Central Park East II, Learning Focus Area: Early Childhood Education
P.S. 65 The Raymond York Elementary School, Learning Focus Area: Family and Community Engagement
Academy of American Studies, Learning Focus Area: High School Social Studies
P.S. 048 William C. Wilcox, Learning Focus Area: Elementary Social Studies
New Dorp High School, Learning Focus Area: Structural and Instructional Reform