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.  

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