The Elizabeth Rohatyn Prize

for Schools Where Teaching Matters

Vote for the Semi-finalists

To level the playing field between small and large schools, we will apply a percentage based on a ratio of the number of students in a school to the number of voters for that school. These are summaries of the applications submitted by the 2017 semi-finalists. Voting is open until Sunday June 18th, 2017 - click "recommend" for the schools you feel should become finalists. Don't have facebook?

PS 253Q
Principal Phoebe Robinson (NYC)

PS 253's initiative aims to promote collaborative analysis of data and related teacher practice guided by teacher leaders. Teacher leaders guide colleagues through an inquiry process using their "Looking at Teacher Practice" protocol in Lesson Study Cycles that incorporate peer intervisitation facilitated by teachers. Peer intervisitation serves as a formative tool for teacher growth. Funding will pay for coverages that will make it possible for teachers to visit one another's classrooms.

PS 87
Principal Donna Anaman (NYC)

PS 87 has moved from a top-down leadership structure to a distributed leadership model joining administrators and teacher leaders across k- 5. Inquiry cycles led by teacher leaders have resulted in teachers sharing in decision-making and learning from each other, coherence across the school and improved student performance. Based on the NYS test, students proficient in ELA went from 16% to 28% last year. Currently, teachers are released to participate in teams and students are in a "mass prep." The Rohatyn Prize would support the hiring of substitute teachers so that students could remain in their regular classrooms with pedagogical support during these times.

MS 343/Academy of Applied Technology and Mathematics
Principal Vincent Gassetto (NYC)

MS 343's initiative benefits both students and teachers through reflection on student work. While the school has a firmly established (over five years) collaborative inquiry approach to "looking at student work," this initiative will take their efforts to the next level through the creation of a data bank to house multiple sources of student math data which is accessible both to teaching staff and students. The information will deepen inquiry by teachers and, more importantly, inform students on instructional strengths and gaps to work on. Funding will support the development of the data bank. The ultimate goal is to expand this work beyond the math department to the other academic disciplines.

Renaissance High School for Musical Theater and Technology
Principal Maria Herrera (NYC)

The RHS Tiered Support Structure is a differentiated teacher support model developed through a partnership between the school's adminstration and content team leaders to provide teachers with the appropriate level of guidance to develop their instructional "toolkits." Elizabeth Rohatyn Prize funding will pay for time required beyond the school day for teachers and collaborators to plan and debrief.

International Community High School
Principal Berena Cabarcas (NYC)

International Community High School, serves a high needs population of recent immigrants in the South Bronx. Through their teacher leadership initiative, formally developed in 2015-16, the school has addressed many challenges. All teachers are members of a committee per the distributed leadership governance model which uses a consensus protocol to hear all voices. Through the initiative, the school has established peer observations, student-led conferences and restorative justice practices. Student performance and graduation rates have increased. The school currently outperforms NYS by 40%. Funding will primarily be used for per session to provide teachers with additional time to collaborate and develop leadership capacity.

Oceanside High School
Principal Geraldine DeCarlo (NYC)

To promote reflective practice and collaboration among its experienced teachers, Oceanside HS is adopting more formalized systems. The new systems emphasize examination of teachers' own pedagogy as well as practices of colleagues. With this in mind, the school initiated "teach teams, " teacher-chosen peer-to-peer groups who examine their work together on video. A pilot group of teachers found the experience highly beneficial. The school wishes to bring this opprotunity to scale with funding from the Elizabeth Rohatyn Prize.

Brooklyn Science and Engineering Academy
Principal Angela DeFilippis (NYC)

Brooklyn Science and Engineering Academy teachers decided to adopt Socratic Seminar based on their research-based strong pedagogical priorities: accountable talk, checks for understanding and metacognition. The results of this effort are already evident in student performance - an average of 23% increase in student's ability to develop text-based arguments and a 22% increase in ELA proficiency. Funding will be used to compensate teachers to model this work for their peers and conduct research related to this pedagogical practice.

Bronx School for Law, Government & Justice
Principal Johanie Hernandez (NYC)

This Bronx school serves a high needs population of students in Grades 6 - 12. The initiative aims to expand the work of their Professional Learning Team (PLT) which is comprised of teacher leaders whose practice is among the best in the school. With a goal of improving teacher practice and student performance, this team plans Danielson Wednesdays, lesson study sessions and model teacher classroom visits. Success is demonstrated by teacher responses to the School Environmental Survey, with a 20% increase in teacher responses for Teacher Influence as well as high marks for Teacher-Principal Trust. Graduation rates are up to 84% and regents scores have improved. Funding will enable the school to deepen its practices through planning activities beyond the school day, conference attendance and bringing in external experts to work with the team.

Village Academy
Principal Doris Lee (NYC)

Village Academy, a small middle school with a diverse population, launched this teacher development initiative grounded in Cultural Proficiency, with an aim of increasing student engagement and academic performance.Teachers' reflections on their interactions and beliefs about students uncovered biases which led to new understandings and new classroom practices. Evidence of success to date can be seen in teacher evaluation data, increased student attendance and decreased suspensions and behavior issues. Funding would support additional professional development for teachers and allow the school to purchase resources for teacher study groups focused on cultural proficiency.

The Richard H. Hungerford School/P721R
Principal Mary McInerney (NYC)

The Hungerford School, a special education school incorporting 8 sites throughout Staten Island, developed the New Teacher Institute (NTI) to address the needs of first year teachers. NTI provides a stress free environment for these teachers to share their thoughts and challenges and engage in collaborative brainstorming with guidance from a mentor. Second and third year teachers continue to meet several times throughout the year to continue their collaborative learning. Funding will help address budget concerns regarding staff coverages for NTI members, mentors and in-house trainers and specialists.