Equal pay

in focus

after hours

Pre-K Prep

Arts Education

post-test

internal logic

Student Voice

Growing pains

Third time's the charm

teacher project

for the sake of argument

the end

The Backstory

no cubicle left behind

New York

After a long, fraught fall, high school applications are due today

Eighth-grader Jessica Escolah, right, told GothamSchools at a fair this fall that it's hard to choose a high school knowing her interests might change. High school applications are due today. Throughout this fall, we met students in the throes of a notoriously overwhelming process: deciding which schools to list on their high school applications. Today, they must make their final decisions. The applications are due this afternoon, and students will find out in March which school they will attend — or whether they must enter a second admissions process for students who are not placed anywhere. At high school fairs this fall, some students said they felt anxious about the application process; others said they were confident that they’d get their first choice or end up at another satisfactory school. Their priorities varied widely, as did the level of support they had gotten throughout the process from parents, teachers, and guidance counselors. For some eighth-graders, new information caused old ideas to evolve. Here’s one example: Back in September, Tiffany Mejia had her heart set on the School of Food and Finance because, she said, she likes to cook, and her best friends also wanted to go there. By the time she submitted her application last week in advance of today’s deadline, she had pushed Food and Finance to second place in favor of Humanities Preparatory Academy, a small school in Chelsea that enrolls both traditional ninth-graders and students who have previously struggled in other high schools.
New York

To teach Latino history, Luperón High School turns to El Diario

New York

Community members carve out a role in school guards' training

School safety agents participated in a community-run training session in the Bronx earlier this year. When Lynn Sanchez, a Bronx parent activist, challenged police and education officials to address persistent school climate problems during a public forum on school safety last year, she did not think they would say yes. And yet just months later, Sanchez was sitting with safety agents during one of their training sessions — which, for the first time, community members and advocates were helping to lead. She saw a long-standing vision of collaboration coming together in that room. “We have to make sure everyone is on same page — we have to include school safety officers, teachers, principals, paras, students, and parents — in order for a school climate to change,” Sanchez said. The community-run training sessions represent a striking shift in the city’s strategy for preparing safety agents to work in schools, where their role has historically been fraught. While the Bloomberg administration has famously considered principals to be the CEOs of their schools, principals’ authority does not extend to safety agents, who since 1998 have been under the authority of the New York Police Department in an arrangement that advocates say breeds tension. The quiet shakeup so far has taken place only in a corner of the Bronx, where community groups were able to persuade the police department to let them play a role in the training of 450 agents, and its future is far from certain. But students, educators, and advocates say they are confident that the approach could go a long way toward easing some of the tensions that have plagued city schools, and a small-scale expansion of the first round of trainings appears to be in the works.
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