FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 30, 2010
SCHUMER SECURES 4.5 MILLION DOLLARS TO HELP CREATE SMALLER LEARNING COMMUNITIES IN FIVE LARGE STRUGGLING NYC HIGH SCHOOLS
Grant Will Fund Smaller Learning Communities At Five Large Under-Performing High Schools: Boys and Girls, Long Island City, Port Richmond, Richmond Hill, and Washington Irving
Program Will Provide Intensive Assistance For Struggling Students And Help Put Them On A Path Towards College
Schumer: This Program Will Do Wonders For Students Who Get Left Behind In These Large High Schoo
U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today announced that five large, under-performing New York City High Schools had been awarded $4,587,741 by the U.S. Department of Education to create smaller learning communities in order to help students most at risk. The schools are Boys and Girls in Brooklyn, Long Island City and Richmond Hill in Queens, Port Richmond in Staten Island, and Washington Irving in Manhattan. The program will focus on helping struggling students through increased teacher time and rigorous expectations. It will also help students prepare for college by introducing college prep coursework and helping educate them about all their available college options.
“We all know that at large schools, sometimes kids fall through the cracks. But by creating smaller learning communities to focus on sending struggling students to college, we can help every student get the attention they need to succeed,” Schumer said.
The District's Office of School Redesign, which will oversee the project, has codified effective SLC practice into a four-core Framework for SLCs in NYC: (1) facilitative leadership; (2) dedicated teaching, learning & support teams; (3) a data driven system of accountability; and (4) rigorous curriculum and instruction for all students. Across the five schools, all teachers “sharing” students in each SLC will have daily planning time to coordinate grade-level thematic curriculum goals, and all schools’ SLCs will be “wall-to-wall” by the end of year two. Additionally, each school’s 9th grade will focus on academic interventions and credit accumulation and attendance. Summer school is mandatory for those students not promoted to 10th grade, and those who still lack the skills and credits for 10th grade will enter a credit-recovery program designed to prepare/move students into a theme based 10th grade SLC through a personal learning plan, encouragement, targeted interventions, increased parent involvement, and close monitoring.
To improve postsecondary success for greater numbers of students the schools will increase student participation in pre-advanced placement coursework and College Board programming strategies such as SpringBoard. Project schools will leverage partnerships and campus visits for students will include Historically Black Colleges as well as local colleges. Informational workshops in English, Spanish, and other languages on college and financial aid application procedures, as well as student participation in the National Hispanic College, and other college fairs are among a number of strategies planned to assist students and parents in understanding and preparing for post-secondary education after high school.