WSC is a Respect For All School

posted Feb 25, 2016, 10:35 AM by Suzannah Ohring

Congratulations WSC students and teachers!   WSC has been selected by the NYC Department of Education as a Respect for All School for the 2015-2016 school year.  This recognition is an endorsement of the outstanding program we have created to combat bullying and foster an inclusive learning environment.  

At West Side Collaborative Middle School, we strive to nurture and grow the whole child, challenging students to develop into inquisitive, thoughtful individuals with a sense of responsibility to themselves and their community.  Inherent in that goal is a commitment to create a safe and supportive learning environment for all students of our diverse community.

A variety of programs and student opportunities are built into our school design in order to foster collaboration and teamwork, which cultivates a culture of inclusion among all students.  At the beginning of each school year, the entire student body engages in “iConnect Week” when, in addition to academic activities, students engage in storytelling, team building, and improvisation activities with the goal of breaking down barriers and providing students the opportunity to see one another through different lenses. Another school-wide initiative is our interest-based cross-grade Advisory, in which students are grouped according to hobbies or interests to explore their passions while building relationships with students in a mixed-age setting.  

Throughout the school year are community meetings to celebrate student success and achievement in a safe and encouraging environment.  A beautiful tradition and annual highlight is our Thanksgiving Toast.  Sixth and seventh grade students meet weekly in classes that promote discussion of issues in adolescent’s social-emotional development including friendship, discrimination, diversity and bullying. WSC has also worked closely with Common Sense Media for the past four years and utilizes their digital ethics lessons in our social-emotional curriculum.  All of these initiatives create a culture of caring and respect.

Respect for All is an initiative that schools engage in throughout the school year and its goal is to combat bullying as well as harassment based on ethnicity, color, national origin, race, religion, citizenship or immigration status, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, weight, and disability.  The initiative is supported by the City Council, United Federation of Teachers, Council of School Supervisors and Administrators, and a number of community-based organizations.