Chancellor Fariña Announces Expansion of Showcase Schools, Middle School Quality Initiative and Learning Partners

  • Posted: Tue Oct 18, 2016 Updated: Thu Apr 19, 2018

More than 100 schools join collaborative learning programs for the 2016-2017 school year

NEW YORK – Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña today announced the expansion of Showcase Schools, the Middle School Quality Initiative (MSQI), and Learning Partners, three key programs that support and facilitate collaboration between school communities and their staffs, leading to improved instruction across the City’s schools.

“New York City educators are essential to improve schools and ensure every student has an excellent and equitable education,” said Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña. “Our teachers have a tremendous depth of experience and a deep passion for spreading knowledge, and by growing these collaborative learning programs, we’re ensuring that the most effective and engaging teaching practices are not confined to a single classroom or school, but rather, shared with educators and students across the city.”

“The New York City Council is proud to support the Middle School Quality Initiative (MSQI) with an investment of $750,000,” said NYC Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. “ This year, MSQI will promote literacy and family engagement in 115 high needs middle schools throughout the City. Research has already shown that students who participate in MSQI outpace the national norms in reading growth across all grades and demographics. Additionally, students develop critical literacy and civic identity through debate, reading, writing, listening and thinking. The New York City Council has long advocated for the importance of quality middle school programs and is committed to the expansion to ensure as many students as possible benefit.”

The Showcase Schools program brings New York City educators together to learn from schools’ promising practices and insights around a specific Learning Focus Area (LFA), a particular academic or administrative practice that the DOE has designated as a strength. This year, 20 new schools have joined the Showcase program, for a total of 37 – an 11 school increase from last year. During Showcase visits, educators go into schools to get an in-depth look at innovative systems and structures aimed at supporting student achievement, and are then encouraged to bring those promising practices back to their own classrooms. The program is open to any DOE educator who is interested in learning about a Showcase School’s LFA. This year, Showcase School LFAs range from LGBTQ inclusion practices, to the arts, to strategies for strengthening early childhood literacy and math instruction. DOE educators can sign up for a Showcase visit here .

The Middle School Quality Initiative (MSQI) helps spread targeted and research-based teaching and learning practices to improve student literacy in high-need New York City middle schools. This year, 25 new schools have joined MSQI, and the program created an additional 19 new slots, expanding it from 96 total schools in the 2015-16 school year to 115 this year. MSQI creates a school-wide literacy improvement effort, as teachers and school leaders hone their craft and are given the tools and resources to track and improve their students' literacy skills, and prepare them for success in high school and college. These resources include on-site literacy coaches, professional development for teachers and school leaders, and recommendations on school-wide programming and structures to better support literacy. Additionally, MSQI promotes collaboration among our City's educators by creating opportunities for inter-school visits, allowing teachers to share their successful and promising practices with their colleagues across the city. MSQI also offers engaging and effective methods to improve literacy and parent engagement, including debate tournaments and competitive poetry slams and Parent-Teacher Home Visits for MSQI students.

MSQI launched in 2011 as a product of strong collaboration between the New York City Council and the DOE. Now in its fifth year, this collaboration has deepened and through the Council's significant financial support, MSQI continues to grow.

The Learning Partners program matches a host school that exhibits strong practices in a specific learning area with two or more partner schools that are interested in strengthening their own practices in that area. In the 2016-17 school year, the program expands from 145 schools to 191, an increase of more than 30 percent. Throughout the course of the academic year, school teams within each group of Learning Partners schools will participate in a series of biweekly school team meetings and monthly inter-visitations aimed at strengthening a specific Learning Focus Area (LFA).

Staff from within the Office of Interschool Collaborative Learning (OICL) are assigned to groups of schools within each program to support teaching and learning and guide the collaborative process.

“I’m thrilled to keep expanding our collaborative learning programs which allow educators to learn from each other in order to make real lasting improvements in their classrooms,” said Phil Weinberg, Deputy Chancellor for Teaching and Learning. “This is how we accelerate progress for all our students. By solving problems together, school communities help each other grow and innovate, and our students are the beneficiaries.”

“These expansions are great news for our public schools,” said NYC Council Education Committee Chairperson Daniel Dromm.  “By fostering a spirit of collaboration, these three programs will empower our schools' brightest and best educators to improve teaching and administrative practices system-wide.  As a former public school teacher, I am heartened that Showcase Schools will highlight LGBTQ inclusion practices that help schools meet the needs of our most vulnerable children.  I am proud to have worked alongside Speaker Mark-Viverito and Chancellor Fariña to make these expansions a reality.  Our students will reap the benefits of these exciting developments for years to come.”

P.S. 62 in Richmond Hill, Queens is a new Showcase school whose LFA is will emphasize computer science education for all K-5 students.

“Our school is extremely excited to have been selected as a Showcase School,” said Angela O’Dowd, Principal of P.S. 62. “ This is our opportunity to help create equity for New York City students in the field of computer science. We want our visitors to see how we are finding ways to provide opportunities for all of our 900 K-5 students to learn to code, and we are hopeful that when they see young students in action, they will be inspired to begin or advance these programs in their own schools.”

The School of Integrated Learning in Brooklyn is now in its third year of MSQI, and students are active participants in the program’s Poetry Slam.

“The Middle School Quality Initiative has helped open our students’ eyes to the joys of reading and writing,” said Monique Campbell, Principal of the School of Integrated Learning. “The program has not only boosted classroom performance, but it has strengthened teaching practices, and has helped our students become more motivated and engaged in their classes, which will better prepare them for the rigors of high school and college.”

I.S. 34 on Staten Island has been a Learning Partners host since the program began three years ago and focuses on bridging middle school and elementary school instruction by developing rigorous K-8 standards, cultivating teacher leadership, fostering student ownership of learning and strengthening STEM education.

“As a principal of a Learning Partners host school, I’ve seen firsthand the remarkable impact that this program can have, not just on educators and school staff, but most importantly, on our students,” said John Boyle, Principal of I.S. 34 . “By opening our doors to other schools, we’ve had the opportunity to share some of our successful teaching practices with our colleagues, while also fostering thoughtful discussions in which we innovate creative solutions together. Ultimately, this program offers so much more than just professional development, it has created a strong network of dedicated educators with whom we can continue to collaborate for years to come.

The expansion of Showcase Schools, MSQI, and Learning Partners is part of Chancellor Fariña’s commitment to bolstering collaboration between schools, improving instruction and expanding access to the most effective teaching practices to every school in the City. 

The 60 new Learning Partner schools are: 

  • ACORN Community High School
  • Bronx Latin
  • Brooklyn Environmental Exploration School
  • Cascades High School
  • Central Park East High School
  • Central Park East I
  • Chelsea Career and Technical Education High School
  • City Knoll Middle School
  • Claremont International HS
  • East Bronx Academy for the Future
  • East West
  • El Puente Academy for Peace and Justice
  • Gotham Professional Arts Academy
  • Herbert H. Lehman High School
  • High School of Telecommunications
  • Hillcrest High School
  • I.S. 96 Seth Low
  • I.S. 281 Joseph B Cavallaro
  • Intech Academy (M.S./High 368)
  • J.H.S. 217 Robert A. Van Wyck
  • J.H.S. 218 James P. Sinnott
  • Kurt Hahn Expeditionary Learning School
  • Little Friends School Sunnyside
  • Lower Manhattan Community
  • Mather Building Arts & Craftsmanship High School
  • Metropolitan Diploma Plus High School
  • N.Y.C. Lab School for Collaborative Studies
  • New York City Academy / Cambria Heights
  • P.S. 5 Huguenot
  • P.S. 11 William T. Harris
  • P.S. 42 Claremont
  • P.S. 54 Samuel C. Barnes
  • P.S. 57 Hubert H. Humphrey
  • P.S. 130 The Parkside School
  • P.S. 156 Waverly
  • P.S. 185 The Early Childhood Discovery and Design Magnet School
  • P.S. 191 Amsterdam
  • P.S. 214 Michael Friedsam School
  • P.S. 373 Brooklyn Transition Center
  • P.S. 77 (Brooklyn)
  • P.S. 140 (Brooklyn)
  • P.S. 721 Brooklyn Occupational Training Center
  • P.S./I.S. 224
  • Pace High School
  • Pan American International High School
  • Pan American International High School at Monroe
  • Park Slope Collegiate
  • Redwood Middle School
  • School of Diplomacy
  • Schuylerville Preparatory High School
  • South Brooklyn Community High School
  • The Gregory Jocko Jackson School of Sports, Art, and Technology
  • The Highbridge Green School
  • The Stephanie A. Vierno School
  • The Urban Assembly Unison School
  • The Young Women's Leadership School Of The Bronx
  • University Neighborhood High School
  • Voyages Prep
  • Washington Heights Expeditionary Learning School
  • Williamsburg High School for Architecture and Design
  • World View

The 25 new MSQI schools are: 

  • I.S. 286 Renaissance Leadership Academy
  • Washington Heights Expeditionary Learning School
  • P.S./I.S. 224 (Bronx)
  • Hostos-Lincoln Academy of Science
  • Antonia Pantoja Preparatory Academy
  • Pelham Gardens Middle School
  • P.S. 211 (Bronx)
  • John Ericsson Middle School 126
  • M.S. 582 (Brooklyn)
  • Madiba Prep Middle School
  • School of the Future Brooklyn
  • P.S. 184 Newport
  • P.S./I.S. 323 (Brooklyn)
  • Brownsville Collaboration Middle School
  • Brooklyn Environmental Exploration School (BEES)
  • I.S. 77 (Queens)
  • J.H.S. 210 Elizabeth Blackwell
  • J.H.S. 226 Virgil I. Grissom
  • Catherine & Count Basie Middle School 72
  • Queens Collegiate: A College Board School
  • M.S. 358 (Queens)
  • I.S. 27 Anning S. Prall
  • I.S. 49 Berta A. Dreyfus
  • I.S. 61 William A Morris

The 20 new Showcase Schools and their focus areas are:

  • P.S. 63 The STAR Academy – Elementary School Math
  • P.S. 126 Jacob August Riis – Arts Integration
  • Richard R. Green High School of Teaching – LGBTQ: Affirming Student Identities
  • P.S. 165 Robert E. Simon – Elementary and Middle School Math
  • Thurgood Marshall Academy for Learning and Social Change – Middle School Literacy
  • Muscota New School – Social-Emotional Learning
  • P.S. 69 Journey Prep School – Early Childhood
  • Morris Academy for Collaborative Studies – Community School
  • P.S. 196 Ten Eyck – Community, Culture and Wellness
  • P.S. 253 The Magnet School of Multicultural Humanities– Elementary School Literacy
  • P.S. 217 Colonel David Marcus School – Community Building Through Art
  • Brooklyn Landmark Elementary School – School Transformation
  • P.S. 12 James B. Colgate – Elementary School Literacy
  • P. S. 62  Chester Park School – Computer Science
  • Metropolitan Expeditionary Learning School – Collaborative Structures
  • P.S. 354 (Queens) – Steps to STEM
  • P.S. 95 Eastwood – Teacher Development
  • P.S. 150 (Queens)  – Teacher Development
  • East Elmhurst Community School – Family and Community Engagement
  • I.S. 75 Frank D. Paulo Middle School – Arts Integration
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