ESI Update – Week of November 18th



ESI Update

Week of November 18


Principals and ESI Team Members,

Academic Progress Reports for schools were released last week. For many of our ESI schools, the reports reflect the high standards our schools have with regard to ensuring educational opportunity for their Black and Latino young male students that is on par with their counterparts in the New York City Public School System. As you continue to reflect on this data, we urge all of our schools to consider the College and Career Readiness Indicator section and to use this measure as you continue to plan for the success of your Black and Latino young male students.

In this issue you will find the following features:

  • News and Updates: Distribution of “Succeeding in the City Report” to Schools!
  • Opportunities: Effective Postsecondary Planning Training, Question Bridge
  • School Spotlight: High School for Law Enforcement and Public Safety
  • Did You Know?: The Importance of Ninth Grade
  • Shout Outs: Transit Tech!

News and Updates

Distribution of “Succeeding in the City: A Report from the New York City Black and Latino Male High School Achievement Study”

This week, Dr. Shaun Harper and his team from the Center for the Study of Race and Equity in Education will ship copies of the “Succeeding in the City” report. Please distribute copies to all staff in your school community. We recommend that members of the ESI team and other staff read and discuss the findings and recommendations in the report. As an additional resource, we encourage you to use the discussion guide that has been created as a companion to the report. If you do not receive the reports, or if you need additional copies, please contact the ESI Team at



Chris Johnson “Question Bridge: Creative Expression and Social Transformation 

On December 4th, Chris Johnson, Professor of Photography at California College of the Arts in Oakland, California, will introduce the Question Bridge concept and video installation project, first created in 1996 for the San Diego Museum of Photographic Arts. Professor Johnson will speak about both its origins and how it evolved into the current version that opened at the Sundance Film Festival last year and is touring major museums across the country.

Question Bridge: Black Males is a project that critically explores challenging issues within the Black male community by instigating a transmedia conversation among black men across the geographic, economic, generational, educational and social strata of American society. Question Bridge provides a safe setting for necessary, honest expression and healing dialogue on themes that divide, unite and puzzle black males in the United States. Question Bridge: Black Males provides multiple entry-points for black men to contribute to the conversation and develop a group generated identity map that represents and redefines Black male identity in America.

Join Professor Johnson at NYU School of Law (Greenberg Lounge, Vanderbilt Hall, 40 Washington Square South) December 4th, 5:00 p.m. – 6:15 p.m.

Please RSVP here.

Effective Postsecondary Planning Training (from Principal’s Weekly)

This training, “Effective Postsecondary Planning Training: Affording Access and Success for All Students,” will afford attendees from ESI schools an opportunity to learn about and discuss effective ways of supporting our students through the college planning, application, and admissions process from creating a college-going school culture to advising on financial aid resources. This series of six workshops are open to DOE employees who are college counselors or who serve that function. Network youth development specialists are strongly encouraged to attend with staff. Schools were invited in last week’s Principals’ Weekly to register at least one staff member for training by November 25. Schools should aim to send one staff member per 35 seniors to the training by the 2015-16 school year. New cohorts start on December 4. To register, click here. For more information, please contact Sugeni Perez-Sadler.


The Latino College Fair  takes place this weekend at Fordham University at their Rose Hill Campus in the Bronx.

When: Saturday, November 23rd, 11:30 – 3:45

Event: 6th Annual Latino College Fair at Fordham University

Location:  Fordham University Rose Hill Campus (441 East Fordham Road, Bronx, NY)

Registration: Click here to register.

Note: If you organize a school trip to visit this college fair with your young men, please take pictures and tell us about your experience. (Narrative and pictures should be emailed to Richard Haynes at



School Spotlight

Location: Jamaica, Queens

Principal: Laura Van Deren

Total student enrollment: 555 

Percent Latino/Latina: 15%

Percent Black: 74%

Contracted Providers 2012-2013: Morningside Center for Social Responsibility, Teaching Matters

Promising Practices: On Saturday, November 2nd, the High School for Law Enforcement and Public Safety held their 2nd annual Expanded Success Initiative (ESI) Kickoff. After a welcome and introductions by Principal Laura Van Deren, the school’s ESI Liaison, Diahann Malcolm gave an overview of ESI and explained why New York City introduced ESI in 2012.

She was followed by ESI Lead Teacher Vance Gillenwater, who talked about the strategies and activities that were implemented in Year 1 and then went on to discuss the new activities in Year 2. After those remarks, four sophomore young men took the stage and enthusiastically shared their perspectives and experiences from Year 1.

Students, parents and staff are looking forward to an exciting and productive year with ESI!

For more information about ESI related activities at the High School for Law Enforcement and Public Safety, please contact their ESI point person, Diahann Malcolm, at



The Importance of Ninth Grade

This article delves into the emerging consensus that a student’s freshman year can be the ultimate determiner of a student’s success in high school and beyond. As a quote from the article highlights, “More and more of us are realizing that it’s the make or break year for many 14- and 15-year-olds.”

There’s One Key Difference Between Kids Who Excel at Math and Those Who Don’t

Four years of rigorous mathematics is the number one predictor for college persistence and success. In this article, you will learn how an emphasis on hard work and a growth mindset can improve intelligence and test scores. “If we can convince you that anyone can learn math, it should be a short step to convincing you that you can learn just about anything, if you work hard enough.”

Essential Elements of Effective Leadership

“Effective leadership is essential for any organization and school to be successful. Great leaders are always critically analyzing ways in which he/she can improve in order to achieve an array of goals. It is through leadership that we become catalysts for positive change. Once sustainable change takes hold, we will see the fruits of our labor in the form of transformed teaching and learning practices amongst learners and in ourselves. This cannot happen without effective leadership.”



Shout Outs

Shout out to the staff at Transit Tech Career and Technical Education High School for the thought-provoking discussions they are engaged in via their Culturally Responsive Education (CRE) Trainings with Professor Michelle Knight!

Staff are engaging in a dialogue around what it is to build a culturally responsive, college-going culture at their school.

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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