• Restorative Justice in Urban Assembly of Design and Construction

    ESI is committed to eliminating the school-to-prison pipeline. Several studies have shown that students with higher numbers of suspensions are more likely to end up in prison, with young men of color disproportionately suspended relative to other groups. To combat these statistics, several ESI schools have implemented Restorative Justice (RJ) practices. The goal of restorative practices is to create school unity, reduce conflict, and foster a safe environment where students can speak their mind. The Urban Assembly School of Design and Construction is one of several ESI schools that have put these practices in place. This year marks its third Read More >

  • Three Powerful Messages for Promoting Mental Health Awareness in Every School

    On March 5, 2015, First Lady Michelle Obama announced the Change Direction campaign, a new mental health initiative designed to raise mental health awareness. This builds on President Obama’s call two years ago where he urged educators to help “bring mental illness out of the shadows.” This national spotlight on mental illness, in conjunction with a number of tragic incidents of violence at schools, increases the need to clearly communicate to students about mental health. Here are three powerful messages every school needs to share to create an open environment for students to talk about mental health at school: It’s Read More >

  • Young Men’s Initiative

    What is the role or vision of YMI? Why is this work so important right now? The role of YMI is to help the government. The best way I can really describe it is to relate it to football. I’m an old jock and I used to play football; when you want to improve on a skill, you work with a specialist. The specialist helps you correct your form, work on your foot work, and force you to do repetitive things over and over again, until you adopt it as your own. That’s what YMI is doing for the government. Read More >

  • Restorative Practices

    The Expanded Success Initiative (ESI), a public-private partnership between the New York City Department of Education and Open Society Foundations, held a summer two-day intensive workshop on Restorative Practices at OSF Headquarters in Manhattan. 16 out of the 40 ESI schools participated in the training. In 2011, 40 schools were selected through a competitive application process as part of a larger citywide effort to dramatically increase the number of Black and Latino young men who complete high school fully prepared to succeed in college and careers. In its third year of implementation, ESI highlighted Restorative Practices as a “promising practice” Read More >

  • CRE Immersion Week

    For school year 2013-2014, Culturally Responsive Education (CRE) remained a key focus of ESI. During the summer’s CRE Immersion Week, teachers received an even deeper understanding of how a culturally relevant lens can be infused into and throughout a curriculum in History/Social Studies (led by Felicia Pride), Math (led by Prof. Danté Tawfeeq), Science (led by Prof. Janell Catlin), and English (led by Prof Yolanda Sealey-Ruiz). James Torta, AP at Teachers Preparatory High School, and a fellow staff member at Teachers Prep attended and shares his reflections. After attending two training sessions on the subject of Culturally Relevant Education at Read More >

  • ESI at the Schomburg Center: A conversation with Deirdre Hollman and Joel Diaz

    This summer, the ESI Team spoke to Deirdre Hollman, Director of Education, and Joel Diaz, Education Associate at the Schomburg Center about the ongoing partnership with the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and their Black History 360: The Schomburg’s Summer Education Institute. Tell us about the Summer Institute. Deirdre: The focus of the Institute is historical literacy, supporting participants in exploring the history of African Americans and African peoples in the Diaspora. The week-long program is for educators to advance their ability to teach history using primary resource materials. Through scholar lectures, historian lectures, curriculum labs, the driving Read More >