Dear Neighborhood School Families,
Our building is a mess; both inside and out! The custodial staff has been working hard to move and ready classrooms for September. Construction is underway each and everyday. As I write this, construction workers are jackhammering (literally) outside our office window. Thank goodness, Noemi and I have each other to keep sane!
As you may have read, the Neighborhood School was one of 62 schools city-wide selected to participate in the Progressive Redesign Opportunity Schools for Excellence (PROSE) program for the 2014 – 15 school year. The PROSE program was established as part of the new contract between the UFT and the DOE to allow schools to implement innovative plans that fall outside of the Chancellor’s Regulations or UFT contract. TNS applied with a cohort of other like-minded schools: The Earth School, Castle Bridge, CPE 1, CPE 2, Ella Baker, and Brooklyn New School.
We spent a great deal of time talking about assessment this year at TNS; both of children and teachers. Our PROSE proposal modifies the MOSL (Measures of Student Learning) and MOTP (Measure of Teacher Practice) portions of the DOE teacher evaluation structure by substituting collected student work, data and narrative reports for MOSL and classroom observations, narrative responses and one-to-one debriefs with teachers for MOTP. This process includes an emphasis on looking at student work, and reviewing informal and formal assessments. It requires ongoing reflective inquiry, as well as revisions of teacher plans and practice in relation to review of student work, data and feedback. Together, teachers will align criteria to create goals and assess progress. This collaboration, both with the grade level teams, other colleagues and parents, as well as partner schools, will allow teachers to conclude the year with a clear analysis of how they have grown as educators related to their actual performance in the classroom as opposed to a rating based on a student’s individual performance on an individual day.
We are excited about this opportunity to practice and demonstrate how we think about assessment, teaching and learning, and to build on our partnerships with other NYC public progressive schools.
I hope that you are enjoying this time with your children. I’ll be in touch soon….