The PROSE Newsletter: May 2015 Issue
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Volume 1 | Issue 6 | May 2015

PROSE Announces the Final 64!

Sixty-four newly accepted PROSE schools have successfully completed their ballots to double the size of the PROSE initiative to 126 schools serving 48,500 students at all grade levels. On May 26, 2015, Mayor Bill de Blasio and Chancellor Carmen Fariña announced that 64 more schools will become Progressive Redesign Opportunity Schools for Excellence (PROSE) schools for the 2015-16 school year, allowing them to suspend Department and union rules to innovate new ways to reach students. The PROSE program is currently in its first year and already includes 62 elementary, middle, and high schools. With this latest cohort, the program is ahead of schedule and nearly two-thirds of the way towards its target of spurring innovation at 200 schools.
The PROSE program, made possible through new contracts with the United Federation of Teachers and the Council of School Supervisors and Administrators, created an opportunity to experiment at the school level in ways traditionally blocked by Department or union rules. Schools are using the PROSE program to adopt some of the most innovative education practices emerging from the grassroots, like lengthening their school days, combining subjects to deepen students’ understanding of relationships between science and math, and replacing rigid student-teacher ratios with more flexible ones that allow for advanced lecture-style classes that prepare students for college and small-group breakout sessions to help struggling students. Read the full press release for a listing of schools or view the press conference.

P.S.71 Uses Peer Review to Strengthen Teacher Practice 

PS 71 Forest Elementary School in Ridgewood, Queens is a member of the new cohort of PROSE schools. In the last year and a half that she’s been principal at the school, Indiana Soto and her chapter leader, Nancy Wagner, have collaborated closely with the school community to focus on teacher development so as to impact student learning. Through the school’s weekly grade-level team meetings, teachers have established a practice of looking at student work together and identifying and developing effective teaching strategies, using protocols such as a modified tuning protocol and charrette protocol to guide their discussions.

As a part of their PROSE initiative, the school will strengthen its work around teacher development. Teachers will participate in quarterly peer inter-visitations, 
and provide each other with formative feedback to improve their instructional practices. Each inter-visitation team will include teachers either across grades or within a content area and an instructional coach who is a certified School Reform Faculty facilitator. Depending on the teacher’s preference, the inter-visitation will either be an in-class visit or a videotaped lesson. In addition to the actual inter-visitation, the group will review the formative assessments the teacher used with his/her class, followed by a facilitated session to examine the teacher’s work and resulting student work. As a final step in the process, the group will use Danielson’s Framework for Teaching to provide feedback to the teacher. Through this process, teachers will receive meaningful, relevant, and specific formative feedback that will help to advance their students’ learning and their own practice.
 June 9 - PROSE End-of-Year Celebration: The UFT invites all current and new PROSE schools to an evening of reveling and celebration. Come, meet, mix, mingle, eat and dance the evening away in celebration of successful PROSE votes and PROSE innovations. The celebration will take place at the UFT, 52 Broadway, 2nd Floor Ballroom from 5 PM - 8 PM.  You may register on the UFT site. We hope to see you there.
RESOURCE CENTER: DOE Session Time System: All schools, including PROSE schools, must submit their session times into the DOE Session Times system by Friday, May 29. The PROSE team has developed this guide for submitting your session times to ensure they are reviewed and approved quickly. If in this process your community determines that it is necessary to hold an additional PROSE vote before finalizing your session times, please reach out to the PROSE Panel. Draft ballots must be received ASAP so that they can be reviewed and approved prior to the deadline.

 Policy Update

Answers to many of the Frequently Asked Questions from PROSE schools have been posted on the PROSE Knowledge Base.

Holding Additional PROSE Votes:
As a reminder, PROSE schools may petition the PROSE Panel in order to conduct votes to implement additional flexibilities. If your community is interested at any time in working with the PROSE Panel to conduct additional PROSE votes, please send a joint email from the principal and chapter leader to the PROSE Panel describing your request and the Panel will discuss and reply to you with next steps. Cohort 1 schools who are interested in but have not yet held a vote to implement additional flexibility for the 2015-2016 school year should use this guide to draft the ballot and submit to the PROSE Panel as soon as possible.
The PROSE program recently welcomed a new cohort of 64 schools to join its current 62 schools.  While over two-thirds of the initial cohort of schools were high schools, the new set of schools is much more diverse with over half having school types other than traditional high schools.
Meet the PROSE Team: Christina Collins

Dr. Christina (Tina) Collins is a member of the PROSE Panel and has worked in research and policy for the United Federation of Teachers since 2010. She has an undergraduate degree in History from The College of New Jersey and a joint Ph.D. in History and Education from the University of Pennsylvania, where she helped organize a union of teaching and research assistants. She published a book on the history of New York City teachers in 2011 and has taught graduate and undergraduate courses in education at the University of Pennsylvania, Rutgers University, and the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
"The PROSE program empowers educators to make the changes their school communities need into a reality. In our one year as a PROSE school, I have been amazed not only by the innovative program design our educators developed, but also by the results that we’re seeing in the classroom. Our students are being empowered with hands-on learning experiences."
~Panorea Panagiosoulis, Principal of KAPPA International High School
Copyright © 2015 Office of School Design & Charter Partnerships, PROSE, All rights reserved.

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