ESI Update – Week of December 16th



ESI Update

Week of December 16


Principals and ESI Team Members,

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year from the ESI team! While the calendar year has come to a close, the academic year is still going strong. Thanks to all principals and school staff members for your incredible work from January to December. From workplans and budgets, to summer bridge programs and this fall’s Liaison Meetings, your passion and dedication are a driving force for the success of our students and the initiative. Many thanks for all you do!

Please note that the ESI Update will not be published while schools are closed for Winter Recess. You will receive the next Update the week of January 6.

In this issue you will find the following features:

  • News and Updates: First ESI Data Snapshot!
  • Reminders: ESI Liaison Meeting!
  • Opportunities: College Board Middle States Regional Forum
  • School Spotlight: New Design High School!
  • Did You Know? How Colleges Fail Black Football Players
  • Shout Outs: Channel View School for Research!

News and Updates

First ESI Data Snapshot

Be on the lookout for your first ESI Report of the 2013-14 school year! The School Snapshot Report, to be released at the ESI Liaison meeting tomorrow, provides a wide array of data points that describe your students’ progress through high school and into college. These data reflect the 2012-13 school year and break out how your Black & Latino young men are doing compared with your overall student population and with other ESI schools. Liaisons will also receive a worksheet to help guide your school’s ESI team through the data.

These items will be discussed at the January 30th Liaison meeting. Please contact Lillian Dunn at with any questions.

RFL Process Launches Friday, December 20

The Request for Listing (RFL) process for vendors will launch Friday, December 20. Vendors interested in joining the list of ESI approved organizations should submit their application for consideration. Application information and deadlines are available here. Please note that only new applications will be considered.



ESI Liaison Meeting December 19

Our next ESI Liaison Meeting is Thursday, December 19th at Open Society Foundations. All ESI Point Persons/School Liaisons are expected to attend.

This month’s session will include presentations from Professor Shaun Harper of the University of Pennsylvania and The Education Trust. In addition, Research Alliance (RA) will share your school’s results from last spring’s student surveys.

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

When: Thursday, December 19th

Time: 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Breakfast and lunch will be provided.



College Board Middle States Regional Forum 2014

The College Board Regional Forum is an opportunity for teachers, counselors, and educational professionals from across the K-12 and higher education spectrum to meet, interact, and explore best practices in college readiness regarding access, instruction, assessment, and completion. Next year’s event will take place on January 22 and 23 in Philadelphia, PA.

For more information about the event, click here. To register, click here.



School Spotlight

*This feature is intended to give you insight into what is happening in other ESI schools. We hope you enjoy your “visit”!

Location: Lower East Side, Manhattan

Principal: Scott Conti

Total student enrollment: 431 

Percent Latino/Latina: 62%

Percent Black: 32%

Contracted Providers 2012-2013: Urban Arts Partnership

Promising Practices: At New Design High School (NDHS), ESI mentor lunch groups were created as a way to build community and get the 9th grade boys connected to one another and to their mentors. Groups are led by the ESI alumni mentors with the guidance/supervision of Nicole Smith, the ESI Coordinator. We want this connection to translate into a relationship that benefits the students in these ways: they have someone to relate to/confide in, and the mentors take responsibility (along with the ESI Coordinator) for staying on top of their mentees’ grades, interests, needs; they are there as a support that students know they can rely on on a consistent basis.

A typical mentor group may include an ice-breaker, review of grades and/or missing assignments, reflection on their experiences at NDHS, talk of their interests outside of school, and discussion of any problems/concerns that they might have. In one recent session, students created their own raps about success in school and then battled each other to see whose rhyme was the best–all during their lunch period.

Groups are very well-attended and everyone present in the group is an active participant. Students really look forward to their groups and make great connections with their mentors. They enjoy having someone close to their age and who has gone through similar high school experiences to talk to.

Mentors find these lunches to be a good way to keep track of their students and develop relationships with them. It helps us and them to ensure that all of our students are accounted for and have a point of contact on the staff. It’s also helpful when teachers have concerns about students to be able to address them to the mentors and the ESI Coordinator.

For our 10th grade ESI boys we do a monthly lunch with all of them together. We also invite selected 10th graders to participate in the 9th grade lunches to get them thinking on the idea of becoming mentors themselves.

To learn more about this promising practice and other ESI strategies that are being implemented in Year 2 at New Design High School, please contact Nicole Smith at



How Colleges Fail Black Football Players

From the article: “at least half of the black football players won’t graduate within six years of enrolling….”

The False Promise of ‘Holistic’ College Admissions:

“Ultimately, what’s at stake in college admissions isn’t who you are as a person, but whether you’ve demonstrated that you have the skills and experiences that qualify someone for a slot at a particular institution.”

What Does It Take to Get Kids to Stop Skipping School?

A New York City pilot program found success by tracking and sharing student attendance data, assigning mentors, and communicating with parents.



Shout Outs

Shout out to Channel View School for Research! The entire school, grades 6-12, participated in Senior Walk, an event in which the school’s 12th graders are cheered on by the rest of the school as they submit their college applications. Afterwards, students participated in an assembly that recognized this important milestone in their journey to college and their chosen career.

Congratulations to the Seniors at Channel View and shout out to all of the staff and students involved in making that event–and their achievement–reality!

Do you have a strategy, teacher, or program at your school that you wish to highlight? If so, send an email to for inclusion in our ESI Weekly Update.




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