ESI Update – Week of February 10th



ESI Update

Week of February 10


Hello Principals and ESI Team members,

During the last couple weeks, the ESI Team has met with ESI Liaisons, Principals, and Assistant Principals and we’ve heard some great stories about strategies and practices that are being implemented to increase the number of Black and Latino young men who will graduate ready to succeed in college and their career path. We’re excited and looking forward to see what the second half of the school year will bring! We also want to inform readers that we will not publish an Update for the week of February 17, but will resume publication of the Update when schools reopen the week of February 24. Have a happy and safe mid-winter recess!

In this issue you will find the following features:

  • News and Updates: February 14 Data Entry Deadline for schools!
  • Opportunities: FREE Options Center Open House, Digital Ready Application Deadline, Princeton Summer Journalism Program!
  • School Spotlight: East Bronx Academy! 
  • Did You Know? Piecing Together an Ideal School from the Ground Up!
  • Resources: Rich Resources for Celebrating Black History Month!

News and Updates

*This feature is intended to keep you up-to-date on what’s happening in ESI. 

School Data Entry Deadline February 14

In order to give each school an accurate Semester 1 data snapshot at the next Liaison Meeting on Thursday, March 13th, please ensure that all course and credit data from semester 1 is loaded in STARS by Feb. 14th.

ESI Liaison Meeting Resources

Presentations, documents, and other important resources from this year’s ESI Liaison Meetings are now available on the ESI Wiki. Click here to access.



For Students

Free Options Center Open House for NYC High School Juniors

This is a free event for NYC public and parochial high school students. Students will meet counselors and staff from the Options Center at the Goddard Riverside Community Center, research colleges, begin writing strong college essays, and learn about financial aid opportunities. Students may also sign up for the free, five-week Junior Workshop Series as well as college trips.

Where: Options Center, 352 West 110th Street, New York, NY

When: 1:30 p.m. – 4 p.m. Thursday, February 20, 2014

For more information, click here. To register, click here, or call the Options Center at 212-678-4667. The Deadline to RSVP is Tuesday, February 18.

Princeton University Summer Journalism Program

The Summer Journalism Program at Princeton University is an all-expenses-paid program for 11th grade high school student journalists from low-income backgrounds that will take place for 10 days next summer on the campus of Princeton University. The program is entering its 13th year; since 2002, approximately 250 students from high schools across the country have participated. The program’s goal is to diversify college and professional newsrooms by encouraging outstanding students from low-income backgrounds to pursue careers in journalism.

Classes at the program are taught by reporters and editors from The New York Times, The Washington Post, The New Yorker, The Daily Beast, Time, Foreign Policy, The New Republic, Sports Illustrated, CNN and NPR, among other media outlets. Students meet with numerous Princeton professors, as well as Princeton’s president and dean of admissions. They report an investigative story, cover a professional sports event, produce a TV segment, and publish their own newspaper. And they receive guidance on the college admissions process not only during the 10 days of the program, but also during the fall of their senior year of high school.

Students selected for the program will have all their costs, including the cost of travel to and from Princeton, paid for by the program.

Students from ESI schools are encouraged to apply. Although exact dates of the program have not yet been determined, the program normally runs during the first two weeks of August.

The application process will take place in two rounds. The first round of the application should be filled out online here.

Applications must be received by 11:59 p.m. EST on Friday, February 21, 2014.  Those students selected to advance to the second round of the application process will be notified in March.

To be eligible for the program, students must meet the following qualifications:

– They must currently be juniors in high school.

– They must live in the continental United States.

– They must have at least an unweighted 3.5 grade point average (out of 4.0).

– They must have an interest in journalism.

– The combined income of their custodial parent(s)/guardian(s) plus  child support payments, if any, must not exceed $45,000.

Note: This program is for students from low-income backgrounds. If the combined income of the custodial parent(s)/guardian(s) plus child support payments, if any, exceeds $45,000 and a student still wishes to apply, he or she may attach a letter explaining why his or her family qualifies as financially under-resourced.

For Staff Members

Getting Ready for College, Careers, and the Common Core with Dr. David Conley

In a lecture at the CUNY Graduate Center, Dr. Conley will explore his “Four Keys to College and Career Readiness,” the big picture behind the Common Core State Standards, and how educators can cultivate deeper learning in their students. Conley’s comprehensive framework for college and career readiness can be used to gauge readiness for both students and schools; his Four Keys model (Key Cognitive Strategies, Key Content Knowledge, Key Learning Skills and Techniques, and Key Transition Knowledge and Skills), based on numerous research studies and work with effective secondary schools, specifies the teachable knowledge, skills, and abilities that students must have to be effective learners.

Conley serves on numerous technical and advisory panels, consults with educational agencies nationally and internationally, and is a frequent speaker at national and regional meetings of education professionals and policy makers. In addition to his positions at the University of Oregon, he is also the founder of the Educational Policy Improvement Center (EPIC) and is the author of several books and numerous articles on the topic of college and career readiness, including the recent Educational Leadership commentary, Rethinking the Notion of ‘Noncognitive.’

Where: CUNY Graduate Center, 365 5th Ave at 34th Street, Lower level, Room C203 (Note: Please present a photo id at the security desk to enter the building.)

When: 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m., February 20, 2014

Register: RSVP to

Reception will follow.

Digital Ready: Student-Centered Technology and Professional Development Program

The deadline to apply is February 14, 2014.  ESI schools should consider the opportunity to apply for Digital Ready, a program launched out of the Office of Postsecondary Readiness. Digital Literacy was one of the strategies highlighted on the ESI application; it is an important strategy that ESI has identified that can impact the college and career readiness of Black and Latino young men. The Digital Ready program can support your school to create a learning environment that matches your students’ needs and interests through the use of technology. Schools that are selected to participate will receive support for planning and implementing the program, professional development for teachers, software to support blended learning and assessment, and guidance on partnering with digital media learning organizations.

To be eligible, your school must meet the following criteria:

• Demonstrate evidence of investment in digital learning, including infrastructure and professional development

• Have scored an A, B, or C on the Progress Report

• If your school received a Quality Review, have scored a Proficient or Well-Developed (if your school received a Quality Review and scored a Developing, it will only be considered if your school scored an A or B on the Progress Report).

Applications are due by 5:00 p.m. on February 14. To apply, review the program overview. Then complete the application according to the instructions. Submit the completed application with any supporting materials to the Digital Ready team at

Instructional Coaching with edconnective

EdConnective is using new ideas and creative solutions to tackle the educational achievement gap and increase the graduation rate and career readiness of Black and Latino male students. Through the innovative use of video, conferencing, and real-time feedback, EdConnective provides individualized remote instructional coaching and feedback for Math and ELA teachers from high caliber educators that know how to provide effective Culturally Responsive Education (CRE) from their experience teaching and coaching in urban and low-income schools. Feedback can cover but is not limited to classroom management strategies, increasing student engagement, effective routines and procedures, and unit and lesson planning.

ESI has been afforded an opportunity to pilot with four schools to work with this exciting program. For more information about EdConnective, clickhere. For further questions, contact Paul Forbes at



School Spotlight

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

East Bronx Academy for the Future

Location: Tremont, Bronx

Principal: Sarah Scrogin

Total student enrollment: 628 

Percent Latino/Latina: 68%

Percent Black: 29%

Contracted Providers 2012-2013: Children’s Aid Society

Promising Practices:  This week, East Bronx Academy for the Future (EBA) celebrated what is now an annual event and a rite of passage at their school, the ESI Ring Ceremony. Last year, the young men in the Class of 2016 freshmen cohort received their graduation rings during a commitment ceremony that was witnessed by staff, peers, parents and guardians. These young men received their ring and read a pledge that focused on things that they needed to do in order to graduate in 2016.

This year, the tradition continued with the Class of 2017 receiving their graduation ring. Having received their rings last year, the current 10th grade young men received an “ESI Gentleman Sweater” with a 16 on the back symbolizing an ongoing commitment to graduate in 2016.

In a sign of brotherhood, the Class of 2016 gave the sweater to the Class of 2017 and in reciprocation, the Class of 2017 gave the ring to the Class of 2016. Parents, guardians, staff and peers again came out for this evening ceremony (in spite of the pending snow storm) to support and encourage the young men.

Sarah Scrogin, Principal of EBA, told the young men to remember the feeling of pride and excitement that they were having during the ceremony because in 2 years, the class of 2016 will experience it again at graduation and in 3 years the freshmen cohort will do the same.

Congrats to Principal Scrogin, the EBA staff, and the young men and students at the school.

For more information about the Ring and Sweater Ceremony or any other ESI related programs and strategies, please contact Naiomie Gonzalez, the ESI Liaison for EBA, at



Wish List: Piecing Together an Ideal School From the Ground Up

Three educators went on a year-long journey to discover what makes a great school. These are the imperatives they’ve applied to creating their own school.



Rich Resources for Celebrating Black History Month

In recognition of Black History Month, PBS LearningMedia offers a rich collection of multi-media resources, lesson plans, and student guides that can complement educators’ teaching tools. They include:

The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross

Freedom Riders

Finding Your Roots

The March on Washington

The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow

Civil Rights

The Supreme Court: Civil Rights & Civil Liberties



“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”

– Harriet Tubman




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