Noteworthy: The Showcase Schools Newsletter 
Volume 2, Issue 2 - Winter 2016

Dear Friends of Showcase,
Following the conclusion of fall visits, the Showcase team spent a few days mulling over feedback data, brainstorming new ways to meet visitor needs, and sharing promising practices with each other to become better facilitators of adult learning. It is a rare and treasured opportunity for us to come together for several days with this focus, and after our planning, we’re even more excited for the winter visits.

The focus of our third year is demonstrating impact. Having spent the last two years building structures for our program, broadening our knowledge around adult learning, gathering resources, and gaining insight on visitor needs, we want to pay special attention to the change that is happening beyond the walls of our Showcase Schools after the days of visits. In what ways have you been able to move your practice after attending a Showcase visit? What challenges have you faced, and what successes can you celebrate? If you have a story of change to share with us, we would love to hear from you; please reach out to Zach Millington.
Part of the strong initial impact on visitors can be credited to storytelling. To demonstrate a spirit of transparency and authenticity, Showcase Principals open each visit with a story of a personal journey connected to their school’s learning focus. Through these stories we find commonalities in our experiences as educators, and with that developed empathy, our minds become open to new ideas. Earlier this month, members of the Showcase team presented on our model for professional development and how we build a culture of collaboration by harnessing the power of storytelling at the Coalition for Essential Schools (CES) Fall Forum. You can read more about how it went below.

On behalf of the Showcase team, we wish you a warm and festive holiday break full of rest and good company.

Yours in collaboration,
Chau Ngo-Rayman
look out for us!
We'd love to know how you're doing with the practices you saw at our Showcase visits. Look out for a survey from us in the coming weeks. By sharing with us, we hope to gain a deeper understanding of your needs and think of better ways our program can support you as adult learners. Stay tuned for more!
in this issue 
 apply to be a 2017-2018 showcase school

fall 2016 feedback

 stories of change

 sign up for winter showcases


 conference recap: Coalition for Essential Schools
 showcase on the road

 featured video: Creating Shared Experiences

 showcase in the news

 follow us

 social share
apply to be a 2017-2018 showcase school
On January 10, 2017, the Office of Interschool Collaborative Learning will launch an application process for the 2017-2018 Learning Partners, Middle School Quality Initiative, and Showcase Schools programs. These three programs aim to build the capacity of school communities within a focus area by providing structured, supportive opportunities for interschool collaboration, tailored coaching, leadership development, resource sharing, and constructive feedback.

The Showcase Schools program is designed to promote collaborative learning by inviting teachers and administrators across the city to visit schools that highlight promising practices. Participating schools will have the opportunity to open their doors to demonstrate and discuss successful strategies in a specific area of learning, as well as the process behind their development. Schools interested in Showcase are invited to attend an upcoming Showcase Schools visit to better understand our program’s goals and expectations. Check out our list of upcoming visits below.

Please review the high-level overview and discuss with your school community whether one or more of the programs may support your growth in strengthening teaching and learning. The application itself as well as more detailed program overviews will be available in the January 10 edition of Principals’ Weekly. The application window will run from January 10 - February 3, 2017.
If you have questions, let us know.
fall 2016 feedback
In demonstrating impact, we aim to find out which specific parts of the Showcase day resonante most with visitors. According to feedback surveys conducted at the end of each visit, 99% of participants found the Principal's Opening Story to be valuable or very valuable. Below, visitors shared with us some insights on their experience participating in Showcase Schools visits.
stories of change

Above: Principal Fred Tudda & teachers from P.S. 188 Michael E. Berdy in Brooklyn
p.s. 188 brooklyn

One of the biggest hurdles visitors face after a Showcase visit is gaining the buy-in to move forward with a new practice. That’s why we’re so excited when educators are able to attend our visits with others that they work with. We first met Principal Fred Tudda and members of the P.S. 188 Michael E. Berdy school team at a Showcase visit last fall hosted by P.S. 154 Jonathan D. Hyatt.

A Renewal School in the Bronx, P.S. 154 has spent the last few years working on school culture, one key driver being the Responsive Classroom work that they shared during their 2015-2016 Showcase visits. Inspired by P.S. 154’s contagious sense of community, Principal Tudda sent a second team to P.S. 154’s next Showcase. They returned, ripe with ideas and ready to work.

However, there were some challenges in gaining buy-in from other staff and building understanding around the new program. Despite this, the team spent time thoroughly investigating these new strategies, and forward movement continued. Principal Tudda hired a consultant from Responsive Classrooms and took his school’s work to the Chancellor’s Conference in June. This past summer, he went with a team of teachers for a full week of professional development to be trained and certified in the Responsive Classroom approach. In September, they shared what they learned with the rest of their staff and rolled out their plan for the new year.

Now in their third month of implementation, there is a noticeable difference within P.S. 188. You can hear a common language and see universal hand signals being used in classrooms. A shift occurred as negative statements about behavior turned into positive ones, which helped strengthen culture among students and improve behavior. Morning Meetings and Morning Greetings take place in every classroom, helping to build a sense of community and respect between students and teachers.

"What might work in one school may not work in another, but until you find out more about it, investigate it, and tweak it to meet the needs of your building, you may never have known differently."
- Principal Frederick Tudda,
P.S. 188 Michael E. Berdy

"Some communities might have more people ready to make change and to investigate that change more quickly than others," Deputy Chancellor Phil Weinberg reminded us in an interview this past spring. "However, as long as there’s a core group of people—and it could be two—who are willing to try something and to have some institutional support, you are doing the right thing by your school."

P.S. 188 hopes to continue growing this work. As they monitor the new changes, they're also working to ensure that the Responsive Classroom philosophy is built into the curriculum as well as the daily life of the school. Most importantly, they continue to open their minds to new ideas. This fall, Principal Tudda took his school team to a Showcase visit at Brooklyn Landmark Elementary School to learn more about the strong core values and community circles highlighted in their School Transformation focus. “Showcase Schools is a wonderful opportunity for educators to get together to collaborate and learn from one another,” Principal Tudda shared with us after the visit. “There are many best practices out there, and we can all learn from one another. What might work in one school may not work in another building, but until you find out more about it, investigate it, and tweak it to meet the needs of your building, you may never have known differently.”
sign up for winter showcases
**Link is accessible to NYC DOE employees only. If you are not a NYC DOE employee but would like to learn more about Showcase Schools, please contact us. You can also find all of our events and registration links on our Google calendar.
Now it's easier than ever to share resources from Showcase visits. Simply visit, type a school's DBN or Learning Focus (listed above) into the search bar to find electronic versions of their resources. You can also search "Showcase Schools" to view all of our collections.
WeTeachNYC is a powerful online professional learning space where teachers and school leaders can access high-quality resources and new learning opportunities. For more information, or if you are experiencing trouble logging in, reach out to
conference recap: Coalition for Essential Schools
On December 3, members of the Showcase Schools team ventured to Providence, Rhode Island to present at the Coalition of Essential Schools' Fall Forum. Christina Cordell, Gala Lok, and Rebekah Romingquet spoke on the Showcase Schools model of professional development and how to harness the power of storytelling for school improvement. Gala opened with a personal story, much like our Showcase Principals do, and Christina spent some time explaining the research and science behind what makes storytelling so effective. We talked about what a Showcase visit looks like and shared Principal Alexa Sorden's story about why making thinking visible is important at P.S. 359 Concourse Village Elementary School. Lastly, as no Showcase event would be complete without synthesis and hands-on learning, Rebekah led the group through several exercises that helped us flex our storytelling muscles. We had a great time, and we hope we inspired other educators to use storytelling to power their work.
Left to right: Rebekah Romingquet, Doug Knecht (Bank Street), Christina Cordell, and Gala Lok
showcase on the road
In the spirit of sharing promising practices, the Showcase Schools team will be presenting at conferences this year to highlight the success and impact of the program. You can next find us at...
 Carnegie Foundation Summit on Improvement in Education 2017 
Dates: March 27 - 29, 2017 
Location: San Francisco, CA
Website Link: Here

Poster Session Details:
Bye Bye Elephants! Strengthening Team Culture Through Improvement Science: Starting with the desire to individually and collectively become more adaptive, the Showcase team used improvement science principles and tools to tackle the elephants in the room and foster independent judgement. They launched the year with a renewed understanding of how to support each other and the stakeholders they serve.
For additional details, click here.
showcase schools video
Creating Shared Experiences
Have you seen our latest video Creating Shared Experiences featuring Yorkville Community School in the Upper East Side? 
Check out NYCDOE Showcase Schools Program's Vimeo page for access to more videos, including The Work of Play, Student VoiceA Culture of ReadingDeveloping LiteracyThinking and WritingMaking Thinking Visible, and our Showcase Schools Promo. Enjoy, and thanks for watching!
video case studies on WeTeachNYC
Showcase video case studies reflect the practices of Showcase Schools in action. Now you can go to WeTeachNYC to find associated collections of professional learning activities to accompany each of the videos. Teachers, coaches, and school leaders can use these materials to more deeply process the videos and their related practice artifacts. These collections are available on WeTeachNYC at the links below: For more information on how to use these resources, reach out to us at
showcase in the news
New York Times Columnist David Kirp profiles Community Schools in New York City, with a special focus on Morris Academy for Collaborative Studies. Kirp provides an overview of the Community School model and successes that the model has had elsewhere. He also showcases how becoming a Community School allowed Principal Mazzaroppi to further develop and implement programs and services that focus on supporting students socio-emotionally, as well as academically.
I’d Be the First in My Family to Graduate College
CNN Money recently did a feature on five of our graduating seniors from the Class of 2016 and their process for applying to college. The story highlighted challenges and successes for each student, and profiled the different supports that Morris Academy for Collaborative Studies offers to all students during the college application process.
we're imPRESSed!
We are overjoyed to share that several of our Showcase Schools have been published in the Fourth Edition of New York City's Best Public Pre-K and Elementary Schools, A Parents' Guide. Check it out on Inside Schools, and congratulations to our schools for the noteworthy mention!
follow us
"Sharing promising practices" is our motto, and we're constantly looking for ways to share further. We share all things Showcase on social media including our videos, news articles, and photos from our events. Like our Facebook page to keep up-to-date on our visits, or look us up on Twitter with #ShowcaseSchoolsNYC!
Follow us on Facebook and share your Showcase visit experience on Twitter with #ShowcaseSchoolsNYC
social share
 [READ] the latest edition of the MSQI Newsletter! The Middle School Quality Initiative (MSQI) is our cousin program within the Office of Interschool Collaborative Learning that focuses on improving literacy and reading comprehension rates in New York City middle schools. They provide school-based literacy coaching, workshops for teachers and leaders, interschool site visits, and other resources. Showcase Schools involved in MSQI include Thurgood Marshall Academy for Learning and Social Change and I.S. 75 Frank D. Paulo. For more information, visit the MSQI website.

 [REGISTER] for the Expanded Success Initiative (ESI)! ESI is having a four-part collaborative, cohort-based series where they will explore systematic bias and racism in our schols and what building leaders can do to disrupt and dismantle the broken system.The sessions (9:00 am – 3:00 pm) will take place the following Fridays: January 13, March 10, and May 19 at Touro College (27-33 West 23rd Street between 5th and 6th Avenues). They are looking for a cohort of 25 – 30 school leaders. If interested in attending and participating, contact Paul Forbes at

 [APPLY] for school funds today! helped P.S. 188 in their story of change by providing funds for books and supplemental materials that support their work in building a stronger school culture. Teachers can post their project ideas on the website and tap into the Donors Choose network of educators, donors, foundations, and corporate partners for support. Over 75% of teachers reach their funding goal. Check out their website for more on how it works and apply today!

 [CONTACT US] about your stories of change! The Showcase team wants to hear about your experience in implementing any practices or strategies you saw at a Showcase visit. To continue building a citywide culture of collaboration, we hope to share and celebrate your stories of challenge, success, and hard work with others who are trying to make changes in their own communities. Please reach out directly to Zach Millington.
past editions
 Noteworthy Vol. 2, Issue 1 (Fall 2016)
 Noteworthy Vol. 1, Issue 4 (Summer 2016)
 Noteworthy Vol. 1, Issue 3 (Spring 2016)
 Noteworthy Vol. 1, Issue 2 (Winter 2015)
 Noteworthy Vol. 1, Issue 1 (Fall 2015)
Thank you for reading our sixth edition of Noteworthy: The Showcase Schools Newsletter! This is an open subscription newsletter circulated among the Department of Education and past Showcase Schools visitors.
If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please send them to We also welcome article ideas and contributions. Please be sure to mention “Noteworthy” in the subject line!
Are you part of a Showcase School and want to publicize school events or other PD opportunities to our newsletter audience? For more information on how to submit, contact Gala Lok.

Copyright © 2016 Showcase Schools- Office of Leadership, All rights reserved.

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