Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Two Elizabeths

New Design High School was selected as a semi-finalist for the second annual Elizabeth Rohatyn Prize from Teaching Matters for innovative learning.  The $15,000 award is awarded to a principal whose leadership results in an academically rigorous and innovative learning environment.  This year's prize will highlight innovations in the area of teacher capacity building and effectiveness.  If we will the award it will be used to support expansion and replication of the school's milestone work.  "Milestones” is our new buzzword for the substantial summative assessments we give in each quarter of the year for each academic course. These may may include essays, projects, exams, investigations, Socratic seminars or even Regents exams.  They are the assessments where students are asked to demonstrate what they have learned and from which we can better understand who they are as learners. They are our experimental shift towards competency based assessment, which may ultimately help us to move the conversation away from the collection of work kids have done to targeted feedback about what they can do.

Check our what rising 12th grade student Elizabeth V. had to say about the school when she heard about our nomination:  

I am a current student at New Design High School, and as soon as I saw that this incredible opportunity was being presented to my school, I thought that I should help out right away in any way possible.  For reasons being the fact that I have never had the honor to be part of such a great school, one in which the teachers care immensely for the students, are always there for them and do their best at teaching us the young minds.  The only problem many times, is that the school doesn't have enough money to help us learn all the things we need and that we want.  New Design has a very unique environment, and it can make any student feel at home.  For this, and many other reasons I, along with my fellow classmates believe our school should be given the opportunity to better itself, and the education of its pupils. Thank You.  

ESI and the New Design Gents

New Design "Gents"

On August 4th, 2011 Mayor Bloomberg announced the launch of the Young Men's Initiative to tackle the broad disparities slowing the advancement of black and Latino men.  The comprehensive program includes NYC Department of Education's Expanded Success Initiative (ESI).  Last week, New Design High School was selected as one of 40 schools chosen to receive the ESI grant.  The multi-year grant rewards schools up to $100,000 a year to build comprehensive support and achievement programs for supporting the development of Latino and African American boys.  

The New Design program will expand the work we already do at the school with our Urban Arts Partnership iDesign Program and the New Design Gents.   

To learn more about the program and our selection check out the Gotham Schools article. "Schools Picked to Pioneer College Prep Program For Young Men."

Adobe Youth Youth Voices Love Us!!

New Design students recently won the Youth Adobe Youth Voices Prize for Photography.  Adobe Youth Voices Aspire Awards celebrates the extraordinary work of young media artists from around the world by recognizing top talent in media production.  This year, New Designers took the first place for their Propaganda Posters.  The posters were part of the work Urban Arts Partnership teaching-artist Caitlin Meissner did with our 9th graders.  Caitlin wrote, "The inspiration behind “Propaganda Posters” was guided by concepts displayed in Animal Farm by George Orwell and Shakespeare’s MacBeth. Students connected methods of claiming power with the tactics of traditional propaganda art and co-opted them to create social justice posters on issues they identify with and deeply believe in.  These posters, done in the collage/cut-out medium, reclaim power for good." Adobe is planning on bringing a film crew to present prizes during the week of July 9th.  The prizes include 3 Dell XPS laptop, 3 Samsung HD Camcorder and 8 copies of Adobe CS Production Premium.  The youth artist receive a $2,000.00 donation to a charity of choice as well as Mino Pro Flip HD cameras.

Congrats to students Christian O, Karissa M, Juan G, Melody D, Bianca F, Merelyn B, Justin B, Tianna F, Jasmine S, Siara R, Monica E, Eloina F, Jasmine H, Celine G, Freddy C, Nate A, Stephanie A and Amber J.

You can see their work on the Adobe Youth Site.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Senior Civics T Shirts

Laura's 12th grade civics class are working closely with  Hester Street Collaborative on their end of the year projects creating t-shirts conveying messages based on their senior research.  Check out the article written by Patrick Hedlund in DNA Info last year By Patrick Hedlund.  You can also check out some of last year's shirts here.

LOWER EAST SIDE — Police brutality, immigration law and teen pregnancy were just a few of the controversial topics explored by seniors at New Design High School for their year end projects unveiled on the Grand Street school's rooftop Friday.  Students in the school's government and economics class spent the semester researching issues important to their communities, surveying the public and ultimately creating "proposals for change" to tackle the problems.  They then produced Tshirts emblazoned with evocative graphics representative of their subjects, working in partnership with the Hester Street Collaborative, a Lower East Side design based nonprofit.  Tiffany Colon, 17, of the Lower East Side, chose to feature  McDonald's "Golden Arches" logo over the words "i'm hatin' it" on her Tshirt to address the issue of childhood obesity.  Her surveys found that many low income people don't always have access to healthy food options, forcing them to turn the more readily available fastfood restaurants.  Another student chose the topic of police brutality, using the high profile shooting of Sean Bell as a way to explore the legal process.  "I wanted to make people aware that this is a very biased thing," said Alezae Samuells, 18, of the Lower East Side, whose Tshirt featured a portrait of Bell and his fiancĂ©, Nicole Paultre Bell, above wording from the Sixth Amendment related to criminal prosecutions.  Samuells, who believed that the officers involved in the shooting shouldn't have had the right to waive a jury trial, said her surveys revealed people in urban areas had all known someone affected by police brutality.  Micaela Hawkins, 17, of the Bronx, exploring the subject of teen pregnancy, suggested having teens teaching teens  sexual education to make them more comfortable discussing sex, pregnancy and abortion.  Her research found that most teens find sex education ineffective.  "When I was in sexed class, I didn't find it helpful because they didn't talk about details," said Hawkins, 17, said. If it were peer taught, "teen pregnancy wouldn't be so high, dropping out of school wouldn't be so high."  Overall, the project had much more to do with function than fashion, participants said.  "You can kind of think of these