December 16, 2019



Dear Brooklyn North,

Happy New Year. I thank everyone at the BCO for their contribution to our Toy Drive. Thanks to Jami Whitney, Anthony Washington, and John McLaughlin for leading this successful event. I also extend a thank you to our Toy Drive sponsor, McGraw Hill, for making the event a huge success. I enjoyed the holiday door decorations and thank all of the departments who participated for adding holiday cheer to the 5th floor. Everyone was a winner! I wish everyone a new decade of vision and insight as we make changes in our mindset to meet the needs of each school and each student.

All support staff are reminded to revisit their action plans to ensure they are aligned to meet the needs of the school. Support staff are also reminded to enter their notes from each school visit in School Link and ensure that they are timely and thorough. Our BCO will be engaging in progress monitoring with the office of the First Deputy Chancellor; therefore I will be reviewing all documents in School Link. I will also be requesting some samples of your action plans to help monitor the work we are delivering to our schools. Since I cannot be in all of the schools, this helps me conduct progress monitoring as well.

Also, a reminder to superintendents to ensure that CEPs are a living document. CEPs should be reflective of the work schools are doing through ILF and the other frameworks. Progress monitoring must be done to help us provide exactly what students need. Superintendents, please also remind principals that January 3rd is the deadline to either accept or appeal FY21 initial register projections data for school year 20-21.

Please note that The Office of the First Deputy Chancellor is convening an important meeting and professional learning opportunity on Monday, January 6, 2020 from 10am to 4pm (location TBD) for all CSI school leaders (including Receivership) and BCO support teams to strengthen schools’ capacity for effective continuous improvement planning. This will be a working session for schools to review and revise their 2019-20 CEPs in response to feedback received from the New York State Education Department (NYSED) and DOE expectations for development of high-quality plans. The focus of the January 6 meeting will be to ensure that schools have annual goals that are SMART and based on baseline data; evidence of a strong, data driven-needs assessment, and progressive action steps that are specific and aligned to goals. School teams attending this meeting should include the principal and one or two other members of the principal’s leadership team. Since this will be a working session, we encourage all participants to bring a laptop.

Lastly, a reminder that the Brooklyn North Spelling Bee is January 15th at 4:00pm at Academy for Young Writers. If you are interested in volunteering, please reach out to David Olesh as soon as possible.

Please see attached for a listing of upcoming events and important dates.

Upcoming Deadlines/Meetings/Events:

1/6—CSI workshop on SCEPs

1/7—Brooklyn North Leadership meeting, District team meetings, and Committee meetings


1/15 –Brooklyn North Spelling Bee at Academy for Young Writers

1/21—District Principal Meetings

1/28—Brooklyn North Leadership meeting in District 14

2/3 –Leading for Equity for Brooklyn North Leadership and Principal Advisory Members

2/4-- Cabinet Meeting

2/11--Citywide Leadership Meeting

2/14—Last day to complete the Sexual Harassment Training

2/25—District Principal Meetings

1. Please view the opportunities on the Special Education professional learning calendar and the SESIS professional learning calendar.

2. Please find the High School Science opportunities here.

3. Superintendents, you can find the nomination form for the Chan Fellows here.

4. At ThinkCERCA, we’ve spent years collaborating with schools that use NWEA assessments. After talking to administrators and teachers to learn more about what they've done to improve MAP results, we've created a list of 12 ideas for improving NWEA scores. See the 12 here!

5. On November 1st, Columbia University announced the availability of paid ($6,000 per summer) summer research fellowships for New York City science teachers. Online applications are available here. Please let the high school Principals know of the availability of these fellowships, and to suggest to them that they urge their science teachers apply for them.

In brief, evaluation shows that the Columbia program elevates teachers’ scientific knowledge, enthusiasm for teaching science, science lab management skills, and inquiry teaching skills, prepares them to implement Next Generation Science Standards-type science courses, and enables them to provide a higher quality science education for their students. Consequently, they are retained in science teaching at a four-fold higher rate than non-participating teachers and 7.1% – 8.2% more of their students pass Regents exams than students of non-participating teachers. Columbia’s Summer Research Program, its graduates, and their students have received 77 national, state and local education awards since 2000, including 9 A.P. Sloan-Fund for the City of New York science education awards and the New York Mayor’s Award for Public Understanding of Science. In the first six years after program completion, each program graduate saves New York City’s schools between $46,000 and $36,000/teacher, net of program, costs for courses and exams students do not have to repeat and teachers it does not have to recruit.

6. STEMPilot uses hands-on project-based learning to promote STEM usage in all classrooms K-12. STEMPilot delivers innovative learning experiences to spark an early interest in science, technology, engineering, and math. Please visit their website to learn more and please share with schools.

7. Year Up is a one-year, intensive educational and professional development program that provides young adults, ages 17-24, with a combination of hands-on skill development, corporate internships with leading companies, a stipend, and the opportunity to access college credits loan free. If you know of schools that would like Year Up to come and host an information session, please have them complete this form.

8. ThinkCERCA has spent years collaborating with schools that use NWEA assessments. After talking to administrators and teachers to learn more about what they've done to improve MAP results, they have created a list of 12 ideas for improving NWEA scores, and have turned it into an infographic. See all 12 here!

9. Code Haven’s annual conference TeachTech will be held on January 25, 2020 at Yale University. The event is 100% free and also includes complimentary breakfast and lunch. Please share with interested schools. TeachTech aims to help middle school teachers incorporate computer science into their curriculum. Many teachers are interested in teaching CS in their classes, but lack the knowledge or resources to do so. At TeachTech, we bring together teachers, administrators, and other educators from New Haven and the surrounding area and equip them with CS curriculum resources, talks from diverse CS education leaders, and findings from our own experiences teaching CS to middle schoolers. If you are interested in attending, please fill out our interest form and we will follow up with more details and tickets as the event approaches: If you are interested in speaking at the event or know someone who would be, please reach out to us at

10. Regis High School in Manhattan runs a middle school program called REACH. With this year’s REACH admissions season officially underway, please share this opportunity with ALL eligible 5th grade families in your schools. Eligible 5th grade young men rely on educators to nominate them for a REACH scholarship. The process of nominating a student for REACH is simple! Simply visit and submit one nomination form per student. The nomination deadline is January 31. Please see the brochure for additional information.

Every year, REACH works in partnership with parochial and public elementary schools, as well as with parishes from all over the New York City area. We currently have just under 150 families in the program, and they represent 114 different middle schools across all 5 boroughs and surrounding neighborhoods. There is absolutely no cost to REACH families—every student is accepted on scholarship. REACH accepts nominations of eligible young men currently in the 5th grade who display signs of academic and leadership potential. After they apply in the 5th grade, admitted students begin the program in the summer before 6th grade. With three years to work with, REACH’s value-added model is set out to further cultivate the potential demonstrated in the elementary school years. It is important to note that REACH is not a school; rather, it is a supplementary program designed to work around the student’s normal middle school schedule. Our programming takes place on Saturdays throughout the school year and during summers every year that the student is in middle school. Over our first 17 years of operation, our 14 graduated 8th grade cohorts have received over $21 million in 4-year high school scholarships. Do not hesitate to contact me with any questions!