Chancellor Fariña Announces Expansion of Showcase Schools

  • Posted: Wed Jul 29, 2015 Updated: Mon Apr 23, 2018

Accompanies Expansion of Learning Partners Program and Middle School Quality Initiative. 249 Schools to Participate Across All Three Collaborative and Innovative Programs

NEW YORK — Chancellor Carmen Fariña today announced the expansion of Showcase Schools and the Middle School Quality Initiative (MSQI), key programs that support collaboration between school communities and lead to improved instruction across the City’s schools. For the 2015-16 school year, the Showcase Schools program will expand from 20 to 27 host schools, positioning more schools that excel in a specific area to open their doors to educators from other schools and share successful structures and strategies. MSQI, a citywide literacy program to improve middle school students’ pathways to success in high school and college, will grow from 87 to 108 schools – a 24% increase. 

Showcase Schools host three half-day visits throughout the year to share promising practices in a specific learning focus area. On these tours, visiting educators explore innovative systems and structures aimed to better support student achievement. Then, educators bring these practices back to their own schools to drive improvements. In the program’s inaugural 2014-15 school year, 98.6% of participants found the visit experience to be valuable, and 55% of participants traveled out-of-borough to visit a Showcase site.

Through MSQI, middle schools receive a wide range of instructional supports, including coaching, funding, teacher and school leader professional development, as well as assessment resources. Across all grades, students in MSQI schools outpace national gains on the Degrees of Reading Power (DRP) literacy assessment. Struggling students benefited the most; over three years, students who could not read and comprehend a 3rd-grade level text independently saw the most significant gains on the DRP – 15 points over three years compared to 12.7 for other students.

“Collaboration amongst schools will elevate the quality of instruction, enable the sharing of best practices and ultimately benefit students,” said Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña. “In my 50 years as an educator, I’ve learned that knowledge must be shared, not hidden away. Through the expansion of the Showcase Schools, MSQI, and Learning Partners programs, we are giving schools more opportunities to share with each other. This will not only improve student achievement, but improve teaching practices and better engage families.”

“The expansion of our collaborative programs is a great step forward, because sharing success across schools benefits all students,” said Deputy Chancellor for Teaching and Learning Phil Weinberg. “Through Showcase, teachers and school leaders share innovative and promising strategies, which directly expands other schools’ ability to drive improvements. Now, more Showcase Schools will host more visitors who are ready to learn and collaborate, leading to real results and transforming teaching and learning for 1.1 million students.”

“It is really special to be part of the Showcase Schools program and MSQI, and see the energy and enthusiasm both of my school’s educators and the educators who’ve come to learn. We love being able to share what we know works for students, but it’s about more than that – we also get feedback and ideas from the great educators who are visiting our school,” said Principal Jean Williams, of JHS 340 in Brooklyn, a Showcase and MSQI school. “In particular, MSQI has truly helped my struggling students and raised achievement across my school.” 

As part of the Showcase Schools expansion, every host school will also deepen their ability to provide visitors with a more in-depth professional learning experience around the host’s learning focus area. This in-depth work, piloted at three Showcase Schools in Spring 2015, will focus on giving visitors new tools to adopt strong practices they observe and will be facilitated by the host school’s Showcase Fellows, teachers with exemplary leadership qualities who have been selected to lead learning across schools. 

Of the 27 Showcase Schools, three are Renewal Schools: PS 154 and JHS 22 in the Bronx, and PS 298 in Brooklyn. These schools have demonstrated strong practices in school improvement, and will only be open to visits from other Renewal Schools and Renewal School team members. Through these Showcase visits, Renewal Schools can learn from other schools that have faced similar challenges. 

As part of the expansion of MSQI, the MSQI Teaching Fellows, a cohort of teacher leaders from across participating schools, will also expand. Throughout the school year, Teaching Fellows meet once a month to collaboratively plan lessons, and take turns visiting each other’s schools to observe and share strong practices.

The expansion of Showcase Schools and MSQI is part of Chancellor Fariña’s commitment to bolstering collaboration between schools, also demonstrated by the launch of Learning Partners Plus and the continued growth of the Learning Partners Program. The new Learning Partners Plus program matches 10 host schools with 61 partner schools that will collaborate to improve in specific focus areas. Each host school will partner with five to seven schools based on a variety of factors such as grade, location, demographics, and learning focus area. In addition to Learning Partners Plus, the DOE will also continue the Learning Partners Program with 75 schools. This is more than a threefold increase from 21 schools that participated in the spring 2014 pilot. Both programs will be partially funded through grants from the Wallace Foundation.

All totaled, 249 schools, with over 135,000 students across all five boroughs, will participate in Learning Partners, MSQI, and Showcase next year – larger than the size of the entire San Diego school system. More information on all three innovative programs is available here.

Here is a complete list of Showcase Schools for the 2015 – 16 school year.

Bronx

Concourse Village Elementary School
PS 71 Rose E. Scala
PS 170
The Highbridge Green School
PS 154 Jonathan D. Hyatt, Renewal
JHS 22 Jordan L. Mott, Renewal

Brooklyn

PS 32 Samuel Mills Sprole
MS 442 Carroll Gardens School for Innovation
IS 340
PS 69 Vincent D. Grippo School
PS 216 Arturo Toscanini
HeartShare Human Services of New York
PS 298 Dr. Betty Shabazz, Renewal
PS 376 Felisa Rincón de Gautier

Manhattan

PS 188 The Island School
East Side Community School
PS 11 William T. Harris
Yorkville Community School
School of The Future High School
Lower Manhattan Community Middle School
MS 250 West Side Collaborative Middle School
Central Park East II
Professor Juan Bosch Public School

Queens

PS 65 The Raymond York Elementary School
Academy Of American Studies

Staten Island

Marsh Avenue School for Expeditionary Learning
New Dorp High School
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