As a part of her visits to selected middle schools across the city, New York City Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina visited WSC in January. Chancellor Farina looked in on classes and met with students, teachers, and staff members to learn about some of our best practices. Afterwards, WSC was highlighted in her Monthly Principal’s Letter, which is shared with all NYC public school leaders. Chancellor Farina described West Side Collaborative Middle School as “a hidden gem” and praised the school for encouraging students to take ownership of their learning. She noted the high quality of our base camp structure in which students work with their academic coaches to set standards-based goals and strategies for meeting them, have the opportunity to resubmit work to show their desire to meet the standards, and share their progress and next steps with parents at student-led conferences. She also admired the school’s flexible scheduling structure which enables students to be grouped by gender, interests or academic needs.
It is gratifying to know that our hard work in building a school culture in which student independence and personalized learning experiences is recognized. Over the past two years, we have been privileged to share our vision and practices through our partnership with the innovation zone (iZone). As an ambassador school for the iZone, we most recently hosted a visit in January for school leaders from Texas. Teachers, staff, and students shared about our personalized learning modules, math focus classes, student-led conferences, and student portfolios.
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