ESI Update – DOUBLE ISSUE Weeks of May 19 and May 26




ESI Update


Weeks of May 12 and May 26



Principals and ESI Team Members,

The Expanded Success Initiative is focused on increasing the number of Black and Latino young men who graduate from high school prepared to succeed in college and pursue positive and productive career pathways. Through ESI, starting in 9th grade, our young men have been exposed to colleges and university as a result of the many college fairs and visits to college campuses. This enables the young men to see themselves in a lecture hall and on a college campus in a few, short years. Sometimes, however, it’s more difficult for our young people to see the importance and relevance of the education that they are receiving when it comes to a career. An easy way to help them make the connection between their education and a career is to bring professionals to the school and allow them to talk to the young people about their experiences.  A number of ESI schools have hosted a career day/fair to help with this process. (See highlights from East Bronx Academy’s Career Day in the School Spotlight below.)  As we are thinking about and planning for Year 3, the ESI Team encourages our schools to think about ways to increase career readiness and expose our young men to various career pathways.


In this issue you will find the following features:

  • News and Updates: PSAT Exam Ordering Deadline, ESI  Liaison Meeting and June 12 ESI Symposium!
  • Opportunities: College Board Advisory Panel, Beat the Odds Scholarship Program, Mayor’s Youth Leadership Council Program, NYS STEM Incentive Program!
  • School Spotlight: East Bronx Academy!
  • Operations Corner: Important Budget News!
  • Student Voices: Luis Troncoso from Central Park East!
  • Inside ESI Schools: More scenes from East Bronx Academy!
  • Resources: Building a Beloved Community report from Open Society Foundations and White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics’ ¡Gradúate! Financial Aid Guide to Success!

News and Updates

*This feature is intended to keep you up-to-date on what’s happening in ESI. 

Order PSAT Exams

As noted in the April 23 edition of Principals’ Weekly, all grade 10 and 11 students may take the PSAT on October 15; the DOE will cover the cost of exams for students who take the exam on this date.

The deadline for ordering PSAT materials is June 30.

Note: Schools will receive PSAT/NMSQT Student Guides for orders placed by the deadline. The College Board will host an SOAS workshop specifically for ESI schools to assist in interpreting the score results and implications for practice in February 2015.


For further questions, contact Grace Gonzalez.

ESI Liaison Meeting May 29

This year’s final ESI Liaison meeting will take place on May 29 at Open Society Foundations. During this session, participants will get a peek into the topics that ESI will focus on in Year 3 – a) Infusing a culturally responsive lens throughout the curriculum, b) Eradicating the school-to-prison pipeline and c) restorative practices: an alternative to suspensions approach.

Liaison meetings are an opportunity for ESI Point Persons to meet, collaborate, and share best practices across ESI schools. All ESI Point Persons/School Liaisons are expected to attend.

Where: Open Society Foundations, 224 W 57th Street, New York, NY 10019

When: Thursday, May 29th

Time: 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Breakfast and lunch will be provided 

RSVP for the June 12 ESI Symposium

During this year’s ESI Symposium, participants will reflect on the work and strategies that have been implemented in Year 2 and teams from each ESI school will meet and discuss the vision and plans for Year 3. There will also be musical selections from our students and words of inspiration from a young man who is graduating from one of our schools.

Come out and join us for this annual celebration. Click here to RSVP.

WHERE:  Brooklyn Law School

Subotnik Center – 10th Floor

250 Joralemon Street

Brooklyn, NY 11201

WHEN:  Doors open at 3:45 p.m.

Refreshments will be served.



*Check out these exciting opportunities for students and staff members! Please note: If you or your students take advantage of any of the opportunities we spotlight, take a moment to let us know

For Students

College Board Advisory Panel on Student Opportunity

The Advisory Panel on Student Opportunity (APSO) is seeking representatives from the New England, Middle States, Midwestern, Southern, Southwestern, and Western Regions.

The APSO enables students to provide their valuable perspective on the College Board’s programs. The panel members have varying levels of experience with College Board programs and services such as Advanced Placement®, SAT®, PSAT/NMSQT®, and College Board Search.

Nominees should be active members of their school and community, with a special understanding of and commitment to educational opportunity and postsecondary preparation options for all students. These students should be comfortable interacting with peers from varied backgrounds, interests, and perspectives. They should be able to think locally and globally, and collect, analyze, and synthesize material and information quickly and concisely.

Selected participants must be able to travel independently while maintaining academic and extracurricular responsibilities. All travel and lodging expenses will be arranged and paid for by the College Board.


Each member school may nominate only one student.

Nominated students must be high school juniors in the 2014-2015 academic year.

Nominations forms for the 2014-2015 cohort will be accepted from schools in the following College Board regions: Middle States, Midwestern, New England, Southern, Southwestern, and Western.

Nominated students must have health insurance.

Selected students and their parent are required to sign code of conduct, insurance, and model release forms.


APSO panel members are expected to:

Attend two meetings in their first year of service and up to four meetings in the subsequent two years of their term. (Students should allot two to three days for meetings, plus travel time.)

Participate on panels at major conferences that include teachers, counselors, administrators, and faculty.

Give feedback to departments at the College Board on enhancing products or services.

Be willing to speak in public.

Application and selection process

The nomination form has three parts, to be completed by the student, a counselor or teacher, and a parent or guardian. See complete instructions on the APSO Nomination Form.

A number of factors are taken into consideration to ensure that panel members represent a diversity of activities, school environments, and backgrounds. It is important to note that selection is not solely determined by academic achievement; other criteria include counselor input, student interests, and current regional vacancies.

Deadline and submission

Completed nomination forms must be mailed, faxed, or emailed (in PDF format) and received by 5 p.m. EDT, Friday, June 6, 2014.

Submit an APSO Nomination Form by:


Fax: 770-225-4064

(Attention: Cathy Brusko)


Cathy Brusko

The College Board

3700 Crestwood Parkway NW

Suite 700

Duluth, GA 30096

For additional questions about the Advisory Panel on Student Opportunity, send an email.

Beat the Odds Scholarship Program

The Beat the Odds Scholarship Program (BTO) provides social and academic college readiness programming to high school students that are working hard to overcome tremendous obstacles in their personal lives, who demonstrate academic achievement, and give back to their community. In addition, the program also offers scholarship opportunities and support services to aid scholars throughout their college career; including ongoing mentoring, internship placements and career guidance.


Five juniors will be selected from the nomination pool. All five junior Beat The Odds scholars will have the opportunity to apply for scholarships provided by the Children’s Defense Fund- New York during their senior year.

Ten sophomores will be selected from the nomination pool. All ten sophomore Beat The Odds scholars will have the opportunity to apply for scholarships provided by the Children’s Defense Fund- New York during their senior year.

While in the New York Beat The Odds Scholarship Program, all scholars will receive the following:

  • One-on-one college counseling, career guidance, SAT preparation, opportunity to tour colleges, life skills & leadership development;
  • Support services throughout their high school and college career; including ongoing mentoring, internship placements and career guidance;
  • Opportunities to participate in CDF-NY policy and programs; CDF Freedom Schools, Young Advocate Leadership Training (YALT) and internships; and
  • Membership to an extensive BTO alumni network.

All nominees must agree to share their story on camera. Videos of the 2014 Beat the Odds honorees can be found on


Complete the CDF-NY Beat the Odds Scholarship Program application. There are two ways you can apply.

1. Click here to complete the online application.

2. Print the application, once completed email a scanned copy to You can also fax the application to (212) 697-0566 or mail it to:

Children’s Defense Fund – New York

Beat The Odds Scholarship Program

15 Maiden Lane, Suite 1200

New York, NY 10038


By 5:00PM on Friday, June 13, 2014.

Mayor’s Youth Leadership Council Program

Coro New York Leadership Center, New York City’s premier civic leadership training program, is recruiting for its 4th cohort of the Mayor’s Youth Leadership Council Program (MYLC). The MYLC, in partnership with City Hall and the Department of Education, will develop the leadership skills of a diverse group of New York City public high school students to serve as an advisory resource to decision makers at City Hall.

Coro is now accepting applications from students that will be in the 10th or 11th grade the fall of 2014 that have demonstrated:

  • commitment to their community
  • leadership experience
  • good academic standing
  • interest in exploring social issues and city governance

Nominated students should be directed to to apply online and learn more about the program.  All applicants must have a written recommendation from a nominator. Because of the rigorous nature of the MYLC schedule, we ask that nominators choose students that are able to commit to all of the program dates listed on the website. Applications and letters of recommendations are due on May 30th. Please contact José Dobles, Program Director, at 212-248-2935 ext. 323 or via email at with any questions regarding the Mayor’s Youth Leadership Council.

NYS Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Incentive Program

New York State has announced the creation of a Science, Technology, Engineering, and  Mathematics (STEM) Incentive Program which provides full tuition scholarships for students who graduate in the top 10% of their schools’ senior class, pursue an approved-STEM major at CUNY or SUNY, and commit to living and working in NY State in an approved-STEM career after graduation for five years. Students should visit the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC) website to see all requirements and to initiate an application. As with other scholarship and opportunities, students should be advised to carefully review the terms and conditions of the agreement before applying.

Students who wish to apply for the program will need proof from their schools that they are in the top ten percent of their class. (To determine which students are in the top ten percent if your school does not finalize rank in STARS, see this guidance.)

For more information on the scholarship, see the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation (HSEC) website. For questions about ranking your students, contact your network academic policy point person. For other questions, contact Sugeni Pérez Sadler at

For Staff Members

Technical Assistance Center on Disproportionality’s 2014 Summer Institute

The Technical Assistance Center on Disproportionality (TACD), in partnership with the New York State Education Department, invites you to attend TACD’s 2014 Summer Institute Equity in the Era of Common Core: Igniting Student Learning by Fostering Transformative Teaching.

Date: June 27, 2014

Time: 8:30am – 5:00pm
Cost: Free
Location: NYU’s Kimmel Center, 60 Washington Square South, New York, NY 10010

Click here for more information and registration.

2014 Schomburg Summer Education Institute in Partnership with the Expanded Success Institute

ESI is thrilled to partner with the education department at the Schomburg Center this summer during their 2014 Schomburg Summer Education Institute (July 14th through July 18th)!  This year’s topics include: Freedom Summer, American Maroons and Resistance to Slavery, The Motown Sound: A Voice for Freedom, The History of Education in NYC, Book Arts and the Black Experience, The Civil Rights Act of 1964, Hip-Hop History, Abolitionism in Brooklyn, and more.

Educators will gain valuable content knowledge and learn inquiry-based approaches to teaching history across the grades and across disciplines with the Schomburg’s rich primary resource collections, scholar lectures, interactive workshops, curriculum labs, curator talks and community walks.  Each teacher will take home books and extensive resource materials for their classrooms.  Teaching and learning activities at Black History 360° exemplify the Common Core State Standards and support the Danielson Framework for Teaching.

The ESI Team is supporting staff at our schools who are interested in attending the week-long institute by covering the $500 registration fee. The first twenty-five (25) staff members who commit to attending the Schomburg Summer Education Institute will attend for FREE! Please email Paul Forbes ( with your name and school if you are interested.



School Spotlight

Location: Tremont, Bronx

Principal: Sarah Scrogin

Total student enrollment: 628 

Percent Latino/Latina: 68% 

Percent Black: 29

Last week, East Bronx Academy (EBA) hosted their annual Career Day. The event was an opportunity for students to meet professional from various careers, engage in conversation, and learn first-hand the skills, work and education that is required to pursue each career. It was also an opportunity for the students to network and connect with these professionals with a possibility for summer employment, internships or volunteer work that could lead to endless options and opportunities.

Recent and former EBA graduates also participated in the day’s event as they shared their stories about life since they left East Bronx Academy. During the day, students cycled in and out of the fair and asked professionals about their favorite subjects when they were in school, their major, the college they attended, the degree(s) that they received, and the things they enjoy doing when they are not working.

The young men and women heard from an architect, a nurse, a lawyer, an athletics director for sports marketing, a writer & illustrator, a firefighter, an interior designer, a product trainer from Buick and GMC, an engineer, a gaming designer, a small business owner, a cosmetologist, a pastry chef and directors from NYC’s Department of Information Technology & Telecommunications (DOITT).

To learn more about this event or any ESI related activities at EBA, feel free to reach out to the ESI Liaison, Naiomie Gonzalez (



Operations Corner

FY ’14 – ’15 De-Obligation Process for ESI Schools:

In an effort to promote efficient usage of funds across the ESI community, schools will be required to complete the de-obligation process at the end of SY 14.  This process is designed to ensure that ESI schools will have access to the funds needed to implement Year 3 programming at the school’s desired timeline.

SY ’15 is the final year of ESI and unused funds from Year 2 will not be available for disbursement to schools until late in the spring semester of 2015. As this period coincides with the end of the grant initiative, ESI schools that do not complete the de-obligation process and leave unused funds scheduled in Galaxy after June 27th will forfeit use of those funds in Year 3.

Subsequently, please the keep following deadlines in mind:

6/9/14 – Second and final opportunity to identify rollable balances.  Rollable balances in Galaxy should be un-scheduled (placed in lump sum). After this date, remaining unscheduled funds will be removed from Galaxy.  Once you’ve unscheduled the funds, send Charisse an email indicating how much you would like withdrawn from Galaxy.

6/27/14 – Last day for modifications to existing per session jobs.  No further budget changes to FY’14 will be allowed.

6/27/14 –Last day to submit receipts/ invoices for FY 14 expenses charged to FPS lines.

Please be aware that the ability to disburse Year 3 summer funds is directly linked to meeting these deadlines For more information, click here. If you have any questions about closing out your Year 2 budget, please contact Charisse Taylor.



Luis Troncoso, 10th grade, Central Park East High School

What do you think about the ESI program? “ESI is a good program. It has helped me think about what I want to be. Currently I am applying to be a mentor with the PGC (Peer Group Connection) program because it was very helpful when I was a 9th grader and I want to now mentor the incoming freshmen next year.”

How are you doing academically? Luis has fallen off recently but he is very motivated and goes to teachers for extra help and support. He is on an honors track and plans to take a number of AP courses in his junior and senior year.

What do you want to be when you grow up? An actor or a business man or an engineer.

Where do you want to go to college? NYU or MIT

Inside ESI Schools

More from East Bronx Academy.



New Guide Helps Hispanic Students in College Process

The Obama administration has released a free guide to help the growing number of Hispanic students who aspire to go to college connect with the resources they need to pay for and complete a degree.

Available online in English and Spanish, the 21-page booklet includes information about college applications, the search process, and financial aid. It has details particular to the Hispanic community including filling out forms for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and non-U.S. citizen students.

The White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics developed the materials to help increase access, persistence, and completion in college for this expanding group of students, according to a press release from the U.S. Department of Education.

Building a Beloved Community: Strengthening the Field of Black Male Achievement report from Open Society Foundations Center for Black Male Achievement

Open Society Foundations Center for Black Male Achievement and the Foundations Center the released a new report entitled Building a Beloved Community: Strengthening the Field of Black Male Achievement. Based on interviews with 50 leaders in the social, academic, government, and business sectors, the report maps the landscape of work in black male achievement and offers recommendations for what it will take to strengthen the field moving forward.

Visit to access additional bonus content related to the report, including podcasts and resources.



“I change myself, I change the world.“ – Gloria Anzaldúa






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