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News & Announcements
Pajamas and slippers, paperbacks and hot chocolate -- welcome to the WSC All-School Read-a-thon! Students took pleasure in cozying up with their books for a morning of reading and relaxation. Some even came prepared with pillows and blankets! While the goal of the event was to build reading stamina, the result was classrooms filled with students taking the time to delve deeply into the characters and action of a story of their choice. Snacks and hot chocolate were available, and students were able to participate in our “Reading in the Hood” fundraiser by paying $1 for the privilege of wearing a hat or hood. Many thanks to all the families who supported our read-a-thon with monetary and food donations!
Students had a blast at the WSC PTA First EVER Halloween Party! Costumes, music, dancing and delicious treats filled the room. The event was an enormous success due to the leadership and dedication of our PTA. Many thanks to all the parents who donated their time and tasty treats, and our devoted teachers and staff who supported the event. We are grateful to the parents, staff and students who came together to create a positive celebration for our community.
Last week, students embarked on an all-school adventure to Storm King Art Center, an outdoor sculpture garden in the Hudson River Valley. Students were challenged to work in base camp groups to explore what it means to be competent in a fun, engaging way. Competency, to have the necessary ability, knowledge, or skill to do something successfully, is an important theme for WSC students as they strive toward becoming independent learners. The WSC Competencies -- investigate, explain, argue, communicate, discern, plan, collaborate and innovate -- guide student goal-setting in base camp throughout the year. Students discussed the competencies and then were challenged to take photographs which demonstrate these concepts. The sculptures, landscape and beautiful fall foliage were an inspiring backdrop for the day!
Read and Discern Investigate
Sixth grade WSC art students visited the Whitney Museum of American Art today for a guided tour of two exhibits: Carmen Herrera: Lines of Sight and Human Interest: Portraits from the Whitney's Collection. Students participated in discussions about the art, as well as sketching and drawing activities in the gallery.
Welcome back! The entire West Side Collaborative team is looking forward to a school year filled with academic achievement, collaboration and many successes!
We are excited to share with you that on the first day of school, West Side Collaborative hosted a visit from Deputy Chancellor of Teaching and Learning, Phil Weinberg. Deputy Chancellor Weinberg was able to see first-hand our iConnect immersion program which fosters teamwork, collaboration and trust within our learning environment, and establishes a caring and supportive tone for the year. In our community, staff and families work together to build a student centered learning environment which supports each child in developing independence, curiosity, compassion, and critical thinking. Our staff is committed to creating dynamic and rigorous learning experiences for all of our students.
To support student learning, WSC was awarded a $100,000 capital grant from Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer which will be used for a technology upgrade. Through this generous grant we will continue to maintain a 1-to-1 laptop ratio in each classroom. Students will access technology to support their mastery of common core learning standards and 21st century skills across content areas.
This year we will continue to provide a free full-time on-site after school program, in collaboration with the City Parks Foundation. The program will include environmental science learning, digital media explorations, homework help, field trips, and service learning. Applications for this program will be distributed in your child’s homeroom.
We are pleased to announce that WSC was again selected to participate in the Department of Education’s competitive Showcase Schools Program. Our teachers and staff will host three visits throughout the year for teachers, administrators, and Department of Education officials to share practices that facilitate student ownership of learning through development of digital student portfolios, student-led conferences, and our academic goal setting program.
WSC will begin its third year of participation in the Progressive Redesign Opportunity Schools for Excellence (PROSE) program. We were recognized as a PROSE school by the Department of Education and the United Federation of Teachers for our innovative programs to support student achievement.
This year we are continuing to implement practices to cultivate a culturally responsive learning environment that celebrates the diversity of our student community. We will also continue our programs to support your child’s social and emotional growth including passion based advisories and our Teens and Tweens in action curriculum.
As we embark on this new school year together, we welcome and value your participation, support and feedback as we work together to ensure a wonderful year of learning for your child!
GOOD NEWS... Thank you to Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer! West Side was awarded a $100,000.00 grant to update our current laptop program! From the announcement: "Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer is pleased to announce a slate of capital funding awards supporting the borough's schools, parks, libraries, and community-based nonprofit organizations, including $2 million supporting urban agriculture in public schools and funding facilities like in-school hydroponics labs and rooftop gardens. The awards were included in the city’s budget for the Fiscal Year 2017, which began on July 1. Read the press release for more complete breakdown. You can also download a complete list of the FY17 Awards."
We are pleased to share that West Side Collaborative was identified by New York State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia as a Reward School. 220 schools in New York State have been identified as Reward Schools this year. West Side Collaborative was identified as a high progress school due to the progress made in relation to academic achievement on state assessments. Additional information can be found on the New York State Department of Education website.
Congratulations to all sixty-one of our 2016 graduates! Teachers celebrated students with wonderful speeches about each child! We hope that the experience for each of our students was that of personal accomplishment and celebration. Parents shared lots of positive feedback about the day!
Congratulations to WSC teachers and students on the recent broadcast of a WNYC radio segment featuring West Side Collaborative. The segment was part of a series the public radio station produced on testing. It highlighted our school's innovative philosophy toward assessment and our collaborative work with Teaching Matters in this regard.
Use this link to listen to the story: http://www.wnyc.org/story/testing-doesnt-have-be-dirty-word/
WSC has hosted three Showcase School visits this year, with a fourth coming up in May. We were one of 24 schools throughout New York City to be selected for the Showcase Schools Program, which is designed to promote collaborative learning through the sharing of exemplary practices within the schools. Our school’s learning focus areas have been student portfolios and student reflection on a body of work. One recent visitor to our school remarked: “I believe I have developed a clearer understanding of how student ownership can truly come alive in a classroom. I was able to ask questions (I felt super welcomed!) and deepen my understanding.”