Noteworthy: The Showcase Schools Newsletter 
Volume 1, Issue 3 - Spring 2016

Dear Friends of Showcase,
With the close of our application period and the winding down of Showcase visits, we on the Showcase Schools team would like to take a moment to thank you. We thank you for bringing your energy and questions to visits, for actively participating at our meetings and events, and for the insight and thoughtfulness you bring to each discussion.
In the fall and winter seasons, we have had 1,136 participants attend a Showcase visit. 99% of all participants have found the visits valuable or very valuable.
We are currently in the process of reviewing applications and visiting schools, and the 2016-2017 Showcase Schools cohort will be announced in June. Thank you all for your great recommendations.
With the anticipated expansion of our cohort, we are excited to support the growing culture of collaboration throughout the City. In our interview below with Phil Weinberg, Deputy Chancellor for Teaching and Learning, he reminds us that “the smartest thinkers about our schools work in our schools, and when we don’t access those people, we miss the most valuable resource we have about what 'better' could look like.”

We are thankful for your willingness to share your expertise with others, and for your enthusiasm in seeking out others’ knowledge. Collaboration is truly key to school improvement, and the work that we do is impossible without you.

Yours in collaboration,
Chau Ngo-Rayman
in this issue 
 sign up for spring showcases

 extensions kick-off

 collaboration is key: an interview with Deputy Chancellor Phil Weinberg

spotlight on: Showcase Fellows at P.S. 178 Professor Juan Bosch Public School
 showcase on the road 

 featured video: Developing Literacy

 showcase in the news

 follow us

 social share
sign up for upcoming spring showcases

**Link is accessible to NYCDOE employees only. If you are not a NYCDOE employee but would like to learn more about Showcase Schools, please contact
back by popular demand
Concourse Village Elementary School in the Bronx and New Dorp High School in Staten Island will each host an additional Showcase visit in May.
  • Making Thinking Visible at Concourse Village Elementary School
    Friday, May 6 - Register Now
  • Hochman Writing Program at New Dorp High School
    Wednesday, May 18 - Register Now
extensions kick-off
Showcase Extension activities have begun!

This spring, each Showcase School will host an Extension activity to follow up on specific practices and strategies that were showcased at their visit. At these sessions, teacher leaders from each school will provide attendees with support in bringing practices back to their own school communities.

If you attended a Showcase Schools visit in the past, you will receive an invitation to register for that school's Extension activity. More information will be available via email.
an interview with Deputy Chancellor Phil Weinberg 
Collaboration is Key

Phil Weinberg (left), Deputy Chancellor for Teaching and Learning, with Chau Ngo-Rayman, Executive Director of the Showcase Schools program
Why is Showcase Schools an innovative form of professional development?
We are bringing practitioners together to engage in a dialogue, and as we do, we often recognize that we don’t have it right every single time. When we come together we can improve and accelerate our learning. 

How does the school community benefit from this program?
School culture can change when adults band together to try to make something different. If there isn’t a culture of collaboration at your school, the opportunity is there for you to organize; one person first, and then four people after that, and then eight people after that. The long term effect can be huge for schools, but it takes patience, persistence, and it also takes an open heart. It’s hard to say this but sometimes you have to lose. Even though you think you know what the right next step is for your school, you might not get it the first or second time. It’s the long game.
What encouragement do you have for schools who are just starting to adapt new practices?
We often talk about differentiating learning and pace for students, but we need to remember that we’re all students as well. Some communities might have more people ready to make change and to investigate that change more quickly than others. 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. You do not need to be completely successful, however you set out to define success, as you start. You need to learn, because you will be successful if you keep learning.
Why do you think collaboration is a key lever for school improvement?
The smartest thinkers about our schools work in our schools, and when we don’t access those people, we miss out on the most valuable resource we have about what “better” could look like. That's why we absolutely need to collaborate with each other.

As we learn from each other, as we collaborate, and as we build things together, we knock down the idea that teaching happens in discreet rooms throughout the city in thousands and thousands of closed-door classrooms where each one of our 65,000 teachers is this own system unto themselves, and students’ learning is dependent on that one person. Really, 65,000 of us have to be working together and sharing what we’re doing so that each one of those classrooms is part of a system that builds on success, acknowledges non-success, and grows by grappling with questions around what success looks like and what non-success looks like.

"The long term effect can be huge for schools, but it takes patience, persistence, and it also takes an open heart."

What do you appreciate the most about the experience of visiting a Showcase School?
What’s been really interesting every time is how open the Showcase School has been to showing the complete story of their school. This is not a showoff visit, it’s a “here we are, let’s learn” visit, and that’s the courage I was talking about previously. You have to be willing to allow people to see things that might not be perfect or even great, but that allows the visitors and the host school to be in an authentic conversation around what getting better looks like.
spotlight on: Showcase Fellows at P.S. 178 Professor Juan Bosch Public School 
P.S. 178 Professor Juan Bosch Public School is a K-5 school located in the Fort George section of Manhattan. Its unique, nurturing environment ensures all members of the school community feel safe and welcomed. P.S. 178 offers NEST classrooms, a specialized ICT program which serves high functioning students with autism alongside general education students, allowing opportunities of success for all learners.

As part of the Showcase Fellows program, Maryosie and Jessica lead the planning for their school's Showcase visits and Extension activities. They work together to create and refine artifacts that are shared with visitors, and they participate in a series of professional development sessions that support them in this work. Below, Maryosie and Jessica discuss how they approach collaboration as Showcase Fellows in their school.
From left to right: Jessica Franco teaches 4th grade and Maryosie Mota teaches 3rd grade at P.S. 178. They collaborate with a team of service providers to analyze students' academic and social development and design individualized goals.
What is collaboration to you, and how does it manifest in your work as Fellows? 
"Collaboration is at the heart of our work at P.S. 178. Teachers, service providers, and families join together to share their expertise in order to meet students’ needs. As Fellows, we work together to showcase our team approach in educating children. In planning for our Showcase visits, we make sure to highlight components that are integral to our collaborative practices such as weekly case conferences and consistent therapeutic classroom environments."

How has being a Fellow this year helped you grow as a collaborator and teacher leader?  
"Being Fellows this year has ignited reflective conversations among our team to ensure that promising practices are being implemented with consistency and fidelity. The program has given us the opportunity to articulate our school’s vision with other educators in an engaging and purposeful manner."

What is your favorite part of being in the Showcase Schools program?
"Our favorite part of being in the Showcase Schools program is the opportunity to broaden our collaborative circle by opening our school doors to educators who have a similar pedagogical vision."
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...
 American Educational Research Association (AERA) 
 2016 AERA Annual Meeting (April 8 - 12)
Theme: "Public Scholarship to Educate Diverse Democracies" 
Location: Washington, D.C.
Website Link: Here

Showcase Session Details:
Monday, April 11, 4:05 PM to 5:35 PM
Convention Center, Level Two, Room 209 B

Interschool Collaborative Learning: A Vehicle for School Improvement: The Office of Interschool Collaborative Learning is conducting a symposium to present a series of papers about the work of our office. The Showcase Schools paper focuses on the design and structure of the Showcase program, particularly emphasizing how we support a new form of intervisitation PD that creates professional learning experiences for both visitor and host. There will be a Q&A session following the presentation.
For additional details, click here.
showcase schools video 
Developing Literacy
Have you seen our latest video "Developing Literacy" featuring P.S. 170 Esteban Vicente in the Bronx? 
Check out NYCDOE Showcase Schools Program's Vimeo page for access to more videos, including "The Work of Play," "Student Voice," "A Culture of Reading," and our "Showcase Schools Program."  Enjoy, and thanks for watching!
showcase in the news 


follow us
Follow us on Facebook and share your Showcase visit experience on Twitter with #ShowcaseSchoolsNYC
social share
 [RSVP] Join us for the upcoming Office of Interschool Collaborative Learning (OICL) Speaker Series: Lenses on Equity! The Office of Interschool Collaborative Learning’s 2015-16 Speaker Series: Lenses on Equity aims to build the capacity of school communities to work towards equity in education by showcasing cutting-edge ideas of leading scholars and practitioners, and facilitating dialogue about school-based applications of these ideas. All sessions will address the essential question: What can we do in our roles as educators to promote equity and create conditions for all of our students to have impactful and transformative academic experiences in safe learning environments?  [READ] Check out 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 the Highbridge Green School and I.S. 340 North Star Academy. For more information, visit the MSQI website.

 [APPLY] We need feedback! The Showcase team is looking for feedback about your experiences attending one of our Showcase Schools. We are continuously looking for ways to better support visitors’ experiences in engaging with and deepening their understanding of the practices seen at our schools. We invite you to participate in a small group interview, during which you will have the opportunity to share your experiences and thoughts. The interview will take approximately one hour, and we will be able offer you per session for your time. Please click here to indicate your interest and availability. For questions, email Rebecca Jones.
Thank you for reading our third 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.

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