Van Wyck Receives Second Redesignation!


    Schools to Watch Criteria:

    Academic Excellence (The school is academically excellent. It challenges all students to use their minds well.)

    • All students are expected to meet high academic standards.
    • Curriculum, instruction, assessment and appropriate academic interventions are aligned with high standards.
    • The curriculum emphasizes deep understanding of important concepts and the development of essential skills.
    • Instructional strategies include a variety of challenging and engaging activities that are clearly related to the grade-level standards, concepts and skills being taught.
    • Teachers use a variety of methods to assess and monitor the progress of student learning
    • The faculty and master schedule provide students time to meet rigorous academic standards.
    • Students are provided the support they need to meet such standards.
    • The adults in the school are provided time and frequent opportunities to enhance student achievement by working with colleagues to deepen their knowledge and to improve their standards-based practice.

    Developmental Responsiveness (The school is sensitive to the unique developmental challenges of early adolescents.)

    • The staff creates a personalized environment that supports students' intellectual, ethical, social and physical development.
    • The school provides access to comprehensive services to foster this growth.
    • Teachers foster creativity, curiosity and the development of social skills in a structured and supportive environment.
    • The curriculum is both socially significant and relevant to the personal and career interests of young adolescents.
    • Interdisciplinary approach is used to reinforce concepts.
    • Students are provided multiple opportunities to explore a rich variety of topics and interests in order to develop their identity, learn about their strengths, discover and demonstrate their own competence and plan for their future.
    • All students are given the opportunity to have a voice, posing questions, reflecting on experiences and participating in decisions and leadership activities.
    • School staff members develop alliances with families to enhance the support and well-being of children.
    • Opportunities to develop citizenship skills are provided.
    • The school provides age-appropriate, co-curricular activities to enhance social skills and character beyond the classroom environment.

    Social Equity (The school is socially equitable, democratic and fair. It provides every student with high-quality teachers, resources, learning opportunities and supports. It keeps positive options open for all students.)

    • To the fullest extent possible, all students participate in heterogeneous classes with high academic and behavioral expectations.
    • There are various approaches to demonstrate competence and mastery of standards.
    • Teachers continually adapt curriculum, instruction, assessment and scheduling to meet their students' diverse and changing needs.
    • All students have equal access to valued knowledge in all school classes and activities.
    • Students have ongoing opportunities to learn about their culture and others' cultures.
    • The school community knows every student well.
    • Faculty ensures that families and their participation are an integral part of the school.
    • The school reward system is designed to value diversity, civility, service and democratic citizenship.
    • School rules are fair, clear and consistently applied.

    Organizational Structure and Processes (The school is a learning organization that establishes norms, structures, and organizational arrangements to support and sustain their trajectory towards excellence.)

    • A shared vision of what a high-performing school is and does drives every facet of school change.
    • The school os a community of practice in which learning, experimentation and time and opportunity for reflections are the norm.
    • The school is not an island to itself'; it is part of a larger system, partnerships, etc.
    • The school staff holds itself accountable for students' success.
    • The school and district staffs work with colleges and universities to recruit, prepare and mentor novice and experiences teachers.
    • The school includes families and community members in setting and supporting the school's trajectory toward high performance.



    ~National Schools to Watch Forum