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Local Schools Work In Teams

DOE Program Aims To Improve Learning

Eighteen schools in Queens have been selected by the Department of Education (DOE) to participate in the Learning Partners program which pairs a host with exemplary practices with two partner schools to create interschool, collaborative learning communities, it was announced Monday, Aug. 25.

The program was introduced as a pilot this past spring and was received quite positively, according to Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña. This fall it will be applied throughout the five boroughs at 73 schools that range from elementary to high schools, with a particular focus on middle schools, it was noted.

The program joins a host school with strengths in a particular area with two partner schools that are seeking to improve in that same area. The selected schools include charter, international and public schools, according to the DOE.

Following a sparkling evaluation of the pilot program by the DOE’s Research and Policy Support Group, 100 percent of participants said they would recommend the program to other schools, 100 percent agreed the focus area they worked to improve met an important need at the school and 97 percent planned to make changes at their school to improve student achievement based on the interschool and collaborative learning and development offered by the program, it was noted.

“When principals and teachers are encouraged to share strong practices and effective strategies, it’s the students who benefit,” Fariñasaidina astatement.”Our educators have such a depth and breadth of knowledge and through collaborative practices, we can ensure a supportive, highquality educational experience for all of our students. As a former teacher, this initiative is a dream come true, and this first full year of the Learning Partners Program will have a tremendous impact for schools.”

A central office facilitator will develop an arc of learning and a schedule for the upcoming school year, according to the DOE. Partner schools will visit hosts five times during the year and hosts will do the same three times, the DOE said. Principals of both host and partner schools will engage in leadership coaching to strengthen their own knowledge and abilities.

Schools that were selected as hosts were required to meet five criteria, including: that the principal have five or more years of experience; earn a proficient rating on the most recent quality review; have promising practices to share; and have a principal and staff eager to share their practices, it was noted.

Partner schools were selected that generally had principals with two to four years experience, serve diverse groups of students or are seeking to strengthen practices in certain areas, according to the DOE.

“LPP provides me with the ultimate team to learn from through ongoing collaboration,” Sarah Goodman, principal of Hunters Point Community Middle School said. “As a new principal in a new school my staff and I have so much to learn by visiting established schools and talking to teachers and leaders that have already set up effective learning communities.”

Queens schools selected are as follows; P.S. 143, Louis Armstrong; P.S. 159; P.S. 71; P.S.169, as a host; Learners And Leaders; I.S. 5 The Walter Crowley Intermediate School; J.H.S. 67 Louis Pasteur, as a host; J.H.S. 194 William Carr; J.H.S. 216 George J. Ryan, as a host; P.S./M.S. 42 R. Vernam; Metropolitan Expeditionary Learning School, as a host; Hunters Point Community Middle School; Eagle Academy for Young Men III, as a host; Catherine and Count Basie Middle School 72; Pathways College Preparatory School; International High School at Lafayette; Academy for Careers in Television and Film, as a host and; Queens High School for Language Studies.

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