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Five city principals are finalists for Teaching Matters prize

Public votes landed five city principals on a list of finalists for a prize awarded annually by the nonprofit Teaching Matters. Laura Scott of P.S. 10 in Brooklyn; Serapha Cruz of the Bronx School of Young Leaders; Sonhando Estwick of Tompkins Square Middle School in Manhattan; Salvador Fernandez of J.H.S. 52 in Inwood; and Doris Lee of Village Academy in Far Rockaway, Queens, are in the running for the Rohatyn Prize for Schools Where Teaching Matters, which rewards school leaders who increase teachers’ capacity. The winning principal’s school will get $15,000.

Jeanne Rotunda, the principal of West Side Collaborative, won the first Rohaytn Prize in 2011.

Information about each of the finalists is below, courtesy of Teaching Matters.

Serapha Cruz, The Bronx School of Young Leaders. (Bronx, NY)To attract and retain high-quality teacher candidates, this school developed an action plan based on the Danielson Framework. The plan was developed in collaboration with Fordham University, and includes revising schedules to increase time for collaboration; compensation for grade team leaders to meet; and dedicated time for looking at student work.

Sonhando Estwick,Tompkins Square Middle School. (Manhattan, NY)This school has a model of distributed leadership that includes a transparent and shared decision-making process used by staff committees. The school recently introduced one-to-one academic coaching. All teachers have taken on the role of academic coach, bringing a new dimension of teacher capacity building and effectiveness to TSMS.

Salvador Fernandez, JHS 52 Inwood. (Manhattan, NY)The initiative aims to develop teachers as reflective practitioners, leaders and collaborative colleagues through a series of supports and structures. Teachers conduct inter-class visitations, using a set of rubrics that set high expectations. In addition, teachers develop a professional portfolio, in which they reflect, set goals and establish next steps.

Doris Lee, Village Academy, Q319. Far Rockaway. (Queens, NY)The “Path to Success” teacher effectiveness initiative promotes teacher learning grounded in feedback and looking at student work and progress using baseline, interim and culminating tasks and other non-standardized results. Professional development costs are decreased because much of the PD is built in; outside PD is targeted to specific teacher needs instead of an entire school.

Laura Scott, PS 10 The Magnet School for Math, Science and Design. (Brooklyn, NY)This initiative supports sharing of Common Core data and resources among teachers using ipads and Google apps. The school would like to offer identified instructional staff the ability to use technology seamlessly to conduct and review paperless assessments, track student progress, utilize data to inform instruction, and align curriculum with the Common Core.

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