May 16 - Passages Academy



May 16 - Passages Academy
Passages Academy
May 16, 2014
Principal’s Message
quote of the Week
Hello Passages Academy, Over the past two weeks you have noticed that your site AP has been out of the building four times as we have been meeting with our partners at ACS, along with trainers from the Missouri Youth Services Institute, to strengthen our partnership to better serve the needs of our students. Troy Sill has also joined us for each collaborative session to contribute. The discussions and working sessions have resulted in greater clarity in how we will need to move forward to provide the effective service that our students need from us. These discussions are a strong start to developing a cohesive plan across all of our sites and partner agencies where we will be using a common language and approach to create the stability and predictability our students need to succeed within their highly transitory experience. We are planning further collaborative experiences that will include all of the adults from DOE, ACS, and the contracted partner agencies with the hope of beginning them during Regents week with available persons. We will continue the planning throughout the summer and we will plan collaborative PD sessions for the end of the summer and the beginning of next year. We are all committed to serving our students and strengthening the coordination of our efforts will result in greater success for our students. We are all in this together! Let us look for beauty and
grace, for love and
friendship, for that which is
creative and birth-giving
and soul-stretching. Let us
dare to laugh at ourselves,
healthy, affirmative
laughter. Only when we
take ourselves lightly can we
take ourselves seriously, so
that we are given the
courage to say, “Yes! I dare
disturb the universe.”
--Madeleine L’Engle
Make it a great week! Stephen W ilder “The best way to predict the future
is to invent it.” – Alan Kay
Facts, Thoughts, and/or Questions for the Week
Library Material Circulation From September through April, the Passages Academy Libraries (PAL) has circulated 10,285 materials this year compared to 4,736 materials last year! Our library programming continues to improve as our library team supplies our young readers, and many adults, with high interest reading materials including digital content on our iPads. “Whatever the cost of our libraries,
the price is cheap compared to that of
an ignorant nation.”
~ Walter Cronkite
Passages Academy
May 16, 2014
The Pursuit of Excellence
Congratulations to Vallerie Cleveland from Horizon for receiving the 2013-­‐2014 Guidance Counselor Recognition Award! Ms. Cleveland is driven to provide students with transformational experiences each day. Her constant presence in the classrooms and dependability in providing individual and group counseling sessions has resulted in Ms. Cleveland earning respect from her colleagues and all of the students. Her presence is of tremendous warmth and caring as she always has a smile to share and cheer to spread. She is also confident and courageous enough to demand, and receive, the attention of students when non-­‐compliant or disruptive behavior is occurring. Ms. Cleveland has also been steadfast in supporting our students in navigating and completing their ILP’s, the high school application process, preparing students for public speaking, and supporting the growth of our professional practices. We are proud of Ms. Cleveland and grateful for her many contributions. At Bronx Hope, School Safety Agent II Louis Rohena received the 3rd Annual SSA Award and received 2
recognition on Friday night at the UFT Bronx Borough Office. SSA Rohena has been diligent in his responsibilities and can be counted on to help develop more effective solutions to serve our students at Bronx Hope. He has demonstrated a student-­‐oriented mentality ensuring that we are not criminalizing adolescent behaviors and also responding to serious incidents with professionalism. See the pictures below. Also at Bronx Hope, Diana Doville continues to really support additional tasks as she recently helped put data and evidence together for a recent audit. Diana took the time to ensure that the “It’s surprising how much
information was organized, you can accomplish if you
coherent, and complete allowing for don’t care who gets the
greater clarity during the review. credit.”
Her extra efforts help contribute to the team’s success in meeting the Abraham Lincoln
many internal and external requests we receive in a timely and professional manner. Passages Academy
May 16, 2014
Meet Our Team: Staff Spotlight
As the school year progresses, we will be spotlighting Passages Academy staff members to put a face and story
behind the names of our fellow team members.
Mackenzie Magee
Zulma Ortiz-Schumeyer
Assistant Principal @ Horizon
ELA Teacher @ Belmont
Work Ethics | Team Player | Self-Motivated
Intuitive | Creative | Wise
Favor ite boo k
The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough
Favor ite boo k
The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor
Talen ts
I graciously give from the heart and care about everyone. Every
person is important and every person at one time or another needs a
helping hand “they all have mine.”
Talen ts
Distance running, writing, and video games
Favor ite mem or y of Passag es
My favorite memory at Passages was when I had a student come to
visit me to tell me that he had made it. He said “because of you I
received my GED and I was able to find a great job.”
Favor ite mem or y of Passage s
One of my favorite students made me a
Christmas card where he drew a picture of
me in University of Oregon clothing (where I
went to school) and wrote “Team Miley” next
to my picture.
Be st ad vic e to stude nts
Best advice I would give a student is “never give up, break down every
obstacle that people put in your path.”
Be st ad vic e to stude nts
Learn how to play the game.
Melissa McCann
Math Teacher @ Boys Town
Devoted | Optimistic | Honest
Favor ite boo k
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Talen ts
Playing and making art projects with my kids (although my four-year old says I am terrible at coloring inside the lines);
legal writing, research, advocacy; cooking and baking.
Favor ite mem or y of Passag es
In the fall, I walked to Atlantic Terminal after school to get the train. A high school age boy approached me and said,
“Hey, miss. Do you remember me from two years ago Boys Town?” While he looked familiar, I was not certain about
who he was. It immediately became clear, though, that he remembered all of his teachers very well. He started tearing
up and asked if he could give me a hug. He then asked me to tell all of the teachers, “Thank you so much.” He wanted
me to know what a difference we all made during his time with us and that he was staying out of trouble. It was
powerful to see that despite the fact that he had only been with us for a week (I looked later). We really made an
impact on this young man.
Be st ad vic e to stude nts
Take advantage of your time at Passages. Because the classes are small, the teachers can give you much more oneon-one attention. Learn the material, get credits, and move yourself towards graduation more quickly.
Passages Academy
May 16, 2014
Meet Our Team: Staff Spotlight
As the school year progresses, we will be spotlighting Passages Academy staff members to put a face and story
behind the names of our fellow team members.
John McNamara
SPED Teacher @ Bronx Hope
Ruby Lin
Math Teacher @ Crossroads
Positive | Team Player | Energetic
Sharing | Outgoing | Goal-Oriented
Favor ite boo k
The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch and Jeffrey Zaslow
Favor ite boo k
Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua
Talen ts
Baseball instructor (private lessons); volunteer fireman;
Talen ts
I play piano, and I speak Taiwanese and Mandarin
Favor ite me mo ry of Passa ge s
One year at Horizon I received one of the “positive
influence” awards from the students.
Favor ite mem or y of Passag es
During class, I overheard several of my students begin a
conversation about which colleges they were going to
attend. They were asking each other if they were going to
college and then discussed options.
Be st ad vic e to stude nts
LISTEN to the adults working with you; they are here to
help you.
Be st ad vic e to stude nts
You can become what you believe is possible.
Passages Academy
May 16, 2014
Brooklyn Pride Highlights
Provided by Julia Weber
Brooklyn Pride had a brilliant showing during our second spirit week. The students voted on themes for
each day, and we ended up with Music Appreciation, Sports/Fan Gear, Pajama Day, Twin Day, and
Mismatch Day. We had an unprecedented number of participants, including teachers and YDCs. It was so
fun be surprised by all the different outfits. We might try to squeeze one more in before the end of the year!
Good Shepherds and Passages Academy are strengthening their relationship even further. Mr. Carter, our
Assisstant Principal, met with the director and a supervisor from the boys’ residence and established an
ongoing committee that will meet monthly. We will have a regular time to discuss community issues,
individual student needs, and inter-agency staffing.
Moving forward with this commitment to
communication and cooperation, Brooklyn Pride is ready to keep growing!
Brooklyn Pride is gearing up for Regents testing. Students are eagerly advocating for themselves, and
teachers are encouraging and supportive. Even the Good Shepherds YDCs can be seen leaning over review
packets, helping the students prepare. Many students will be sitting for more than one exam, and some
show a bit of anxiety about it. To address those concerns, Mr. Morgan takes students into his office and
discusses specific solutions. Much of the time, the students just need an ear to listen while they safely
express themselves. Often, we can overhear the students turn-keying the advice to their peers. It is
wonderful to see our community really coming together, especially during a potentially stressful time of the
school year.
Interagency Collaboration – Provided by Ronald Carter
On April 11th, the Passages Academy Brooklyn Pride staff had the opportunity to meet with Mr. Minas
from Chisholm. During this time, we had the opportunity to talk about improving communications,
student and staff recognitions, dealing with non-compliant behaviors, up and coming programs, and
improving student services. I want to thank Mr. Minas for taking time out to meet with us, and for the daily
work and presence he has on the school floor. I also wanted to thank all the staff members at Brooklyn
Pride for their continuing support, and thank my staff for creating an agenda we used to guide this
meeting. We look forward to meeting again.
Passages Academy
May 16, 2014
Belmont Highlights
Provided by Patrick Dorfer
The annual District 79 Art Showcase took place on May 8th at the
Queens Museum of Art. Student art from Bronx Hope, Crossroads,
Belmont and Horizon was appreciated by museum visitors and by the
students from Pathways to Graduation, a District 79 school. The event
included a gallery walk, a musical performance, welcome remarks by
Mr. Lisante, D79 Superintendent, viewing of a documentary "Building
Skills and Resiliency Through The Arts" and student recognitions.
Seven Passages students received certificates for their outstanding
artwork. Great thanks are extended to the organizers: Ms. DahillFuchell, Executive Director of Academic Support, Ms. Polinsky,
Principal (Pathways), and Ms. Lopez, QMA Art Access. Passages art
teachers would like to thank Mr. Daly, AP of Crossroads, from
collecting art from Passages sites and delivering them to a pick up
location on a very short notice. Planning for the next District 79 art show is in the works. It is expected to be
on a larger scale with more opportunities for students to demonstrate their achievement in visual and
performing arts.
• "I am happy this was put in because I took almost a week to do it" (Martin De Porres NSP)
• "I love that when creating artwork you can put your own touches on it and not everything is the
same (Lutheran NSD)
• "Art is relaxing, it takes away what is on my mind during the day" (Boys Town NSD)
Six students received honorable mention awards for their work. We are very proud of our art achievers!!
Upcoming Belmont Events:
May 21: We will be having our first career day at Belmont. Students will have the opportunity to have a
meet and greet with various professionals from a variety of fields. Each participant will exchange
information on how they succeeded in their career path and the training needed to obtain each career.
June 16: We will be having our second annual field day. In coordination with ACS, we will be having a day
of athletic competition and good barbecue across the street from the Boys Town Dean Street residence at a
public park. We will be supervising and participating in a variety of activities that will focus on building
culture and community with our staff and students.
June 20th: Prom is back! Our middle school students will enjoy a night of entertainment, good food, and lots
of laughs inside our Belmont event space. We are looking forward to spending time with our students and
supporting those who will be promoted to 9th grade.
Passages Academy
May 16, 2014
Boys Town Highlights
Provided by Rachel Matthews
Thank You to Karen Andrade – Provided by Ronald Carter
We recently had time to thank Karen Andrade for her support
to our staff and students at Passages Academy Boys Town.
Karen was always advocating for improving student services.
When I first met her, she told me to contact her with any
concerns I had or wanted to discuss. She always acted in a
professional manner and always followed up by meeting with
Damian and I either early in the morning or late at night. It
was a pleasure working with her. I was recently told that
Damian and I would be responsible for any grey hairs she
would get. I was also told that this was okay because she had
similar wants and needs for our students. I want to thank you
once again Karen for being a real team player by advocating
for change. Good luck in your new endeavors.
Lincoln Center’s Institute for the Arts in Education is doing a 7 week workshop with all the students at
Boys Town during which all the students will see David Gonzalez and Daniel Kelly perform various stories
and write and perform their own stories. Initially on April 8th, two teaching artists Alexandra Phillips and
Jeffrey Boerwinkle conducted a planning session with Ms. Amitrano, Ms. McCann and Ms. Matthews. And
then on May 2nd, Alexandra and Jeffrey started the workshops. They warmed up with two games that
engaged the students, Zip Zap Zop and Fortunately/Unfortunately and then they read and discussed
cautionary tales with the classes. In the second session, on May 9th, the students came up with ideas for
their own cautionary tales and guided Alexandra and Jeffrey in creating tableaux to represent their ideas.
Then they wrote and illustrated their stories.
Passages Academy
May 16, 2014
Horizon Highlights
Provided by Pauline Wilson
On Friday, May 2nd, the Passages Academy team threw a surprise joint birthday celebration for Haydee
Rodriguez and Angie Rosario with cake, presents, and cards. Ms. Rodriguez was surprised with a
collection of cruise wear and accessories for an upcoming summer vacation. Ms. Rosario was surprised
with a "lucky" shirt and accessories for a weekend trip to Atlantic City. Happy Birthday Ms. Rodriguez and
Ms. Rosario! Thank you for all you do! We hope the following year brings you much happiness.
Beginning in March, Haydee Rodriguez asked Horizon staff to secretly post a baby picture of themselves on
a bulletin board in the main office. Presently twenty-eight pictures adorn the board. In the past months,
Passages and Horizon staff, as well as students who have peeked through the window, have tried to match
the familiar faces on the bulletin board to their colleagues (or teachers, in the case of the students). Can you
guess who these baby faces belong to?
Passages Academy
May 16, 2014
Bronx Hope Highlights
Provided by Allison Trevaskis
Career Day
The annual Bronx Hope Career Day was held at the end of March through the coordination of Business
Teacher Frank Rockford and Special Events Planner, Allison Trevaskis. The event brings professionals to
our school in order to provide students access to ask questions, and learn more about various career fields
and pathways to these jobs. While some students attend the career fair with an idea of their future
occupational aspirations, others are exploring options at the event. Prior to the event Mr. Rockford
reviewed key questions and ideas to speak to guest about with the purpose of understanding their job, from
the educational requirement through daily responsibilities.
This year’s participants represented careers in the following areas; Housing (Site Manager), U.S. Navy,
EMT, Social Services Coordinator, Electrician, NYPL, Photography/Graphic Design, Author, Outdoor
Guide, FDNY, U.S. Army, and Sneaker Designing.
Overall the student response was incredibly positive, as the guests were engaging and direct. As one
student commented on their survey, “What I learned today is helpful because the things they told me I did
not know, so when I go back to school I can take some of this stuff.“ An area of great interest for our
students were the military and civil service tables, where a student responded, “I learned today how being
a soldier in the U.S. Army is a great responsibility to have.”
Passages Academy
May 16, 2014
Bronx Hope Highlights (continued)
Provided by Allison Trevaskis
For such a large scale event to occur smoothly, committees were formed to mange such details as
Decorating, Clean-Up, Outreach, and Welcoming Guests. The committees were staffed by teachers and
school personnel including; Mr. Donocoff, Mr. Price, Ms. Morales, Ms. Arandes, Mr. Petty, Mr. Gellard, Ms.
Salerno, Ms. Abby (intern), Ms. Woods, Ms. Kennedy, Mr. Manning, Ms. Robles, Ms. Cordero, Ms. Figari,
Ms. Doville, and Ms. Pineiro. As well, the event would never have been possible without the coordinating
efforts of School Liaisons, Mr. Harrison and Ms. Hall. Thank you to our methodical NSD Liaison, Monica
Hall who coordinated all of the movement for the event. This consisted of not only the traveling of school
groups to the Gymnasium and Cafeteria but also a switch of the groups between spaces half way through
the period. Monica’s coordination allowed for every student to attend Career Day and meet all of the
Mr. Rockford and Mrs. Trevaskis extend a Thanks to all who were involved in the efforts to bring a strong
event to the Bronx Hope students, especially:
Mr. Petty for creating a stellar, 4 sided, color brochure for our guests and students. Connie Chiu for
posting announcements on the Passages Academy website highlighting the event which brought
more interest from prospective participants.
All of the Youth Specialists who helped administer the student surveys following the program,
especially Sharp and Mandela, whose entire group gave us feedback!
Mr. Blake for his continual support and leadership in making this an annual event.
Spring Break: CPR Certification Course
Over spring break several students at Horizon took part in a certification course for CPR and AED use. The
course administered by Bronx Hope Physical Education teacher, Allison Trevaskis was held over two days,
Passages Academy
May 16, 2014
Bronx Hope Highlights (continued)
Provided by Allison Trevaskis
April 21st and 22nd. To obtain certification students had to meet a rigorous standard of flawlessly
demonstrating multiple skill techniques in varying scenarios and scoring at least an 80 on the multiple
choice portion of the course. Students spent the majority of the course practicing their skills in hands on
format, but also watched snippets of video supporting the purpose of techniques and instructor
demonstrations for content. Students were provided a workbook to follow along at each point and study in
their free time, outside of the course. Through this course students are now qualified to provide adults,
children, and infants with any or all necessary emergency responsive skills including: CPR, AED, or
assistance in a choking emergency.
Three students earned certification. One student who brought a great attention to detail and assisted other
participants in their practice earned a 100% on all sections of the course. This same student is only the
second Passages student to meet this arduous standard.
Students eagerly expressed various reasons for why this course would be useful in their future, to secure a
job, to help save a life of a family member or stranger, to learn something new. One student believed the
skills would be useful as he has several younger siblings, while another student’s experience in the course
got him thinking about a possible career as an EMT.
Marolla Explores Educational Options of Co-Op Tech
On Thursday, April 10th Marolla students visited the campus of Co-Op Tech in Manhattan under the
guidance of School Social Worker, Abe Bonder. Youth Specialists Agee and Joseph attended the tour
providing support and supervision.
As I interviewed the students, the impact of the trip was evident. They could hardly wait before the last
person stopped speaking to provide their opinions and feedback. Their faces beamed with excitement over
the opportunities they saw within the Co-Op Tech program of providing the education fit to propel them
into a promising career.
The group collaboratively described the trip’s purpose to be: “Touring to see if they are interested in any
trades: electrical auto, solar electronics, barbers, culinary arts vision/optical, green carpentry and more.”
One student learned that if you are 16-21 you can attend classes, which are 6 months long (1 semester), and
a trade program requires a minimum of a yearlong enrolment. After the first six months he explained how
a person is eligible to take the test for certification. He was enthusiastic about the test as he explained it to
be hands on test with components all learned in class, where the teacher pressures the students to see how
well they can work.
Another student added that the teachers want everyone to do their best and really know the trade, not just
go through the motions of being in class. He added that classes can start out with 30 and drop significantly
by the end because people cannot make it under the rigorous expectations.
The third student who is interested in the fields of, automotive, electricity, or welding saw the opportunity
to earn a high staring salary because the course can end in earning a certification that not everyone can
obtain, but needs to do the job. He was inspired by the electrical instructor, Mr. Fernandez, who had
students selected by the MTA to work on a special project. He was eager to join the program because he
believes he can achieve high scores and be a strong worker who will be picked for such projects.
Passages Academy
May 16, 2014
Bronx Hope Highlights (continued)
Provided by Allison Trevaskis
The students all returned with hope of being accepted to the program, as “the teachers all speak to you, like
they are going to help you, meet you half way” in the words of one student. Another student was
impressed as each instructor had students take turns introducing the class/program, what they do,
potential salary, showing him “the program was helpful and meaningful.” The only disappointment from
the group was that they could not stay longer.
Unit 4 Academic Honors at Bronx Hope
With the conclusion of Unit 4, spanning March 3rd - April 29th, another group of students at Bronx Hope are
recognized for achieving Honor Roll status. The students earning Honor Roll status are invited to a
luncheon where they are recognized and certificates presented. School Social Worker, Mimi Woods, was a
stand in, making opening remarks and bestowing the certificates in place of our AP, Mr. Blake, who was
not present due to a PD.
Once again the list was dominated by an NSP student. Mandela was the lone NSD recipient with an 84.93
average. With the discharge of many past recipients, Marolla House saw their representation drop down to
two honorees, both of which have earned distinguished academic honors for multiple units now. These
young men have been working hard but came up shy of bumping the ladies of 162nd off the top 2 spots. One
of the NSP student once again demonstrated command of her academics, earning the highest average of
Bronx Hope for Unit 4 with a 96.79 with another NSP student once again on her heels with a 95.5. These
ladies are joined on the list of honorees by 162nd housemates and first time Honor Roll members. White
Plains had the greatest representation on the Honor Roll for Unit 4 with five students recognized, including.
In total 12 students from Bronx Hope were acknowledged for outstanding academic achievement in Unit 4,
a new high for our site. Since the Honor Roll luncheon teachers have heard students buzzing about what it
takes to make the Honor Roll and a boost in the interest level of “making the grade” around our building.
Teachers and Youth Specialists are eagerly nurturing these new found motivations and we hope to report a
new all-time high number of Honor Roll students for Unit 5 this June.
Passages Academy
May 16, 2014
SCO Shepherd Highlights
Provided by Sasha Agawarl
At SCO-Shepherd we made such great progress with reading and
writing poetry. We held a poetry performance in the family room
on Friday May 9th, in celebration of our completion of the Poetry
Unit. Each student designed a book including various types of
their own original poems. The books included poems which were
revealing, profound, creative, well-structured, advanced in use of
language, and above all, genuine. Students’ families, Mr. Carter,
Ms. Singhal, Ms. Salmeron, Mr. Bent, Ms. Kramer and SCO staff
all cheered in the audience. Teachers and SCO staff performed as
well! Students read their very personal work aloud with emotion
and courage. In fact, one student was able to mend a broken
relationship with her father through the sharing of her poem. We
were all deeply moved, inspired and proud.
Crossroads Highlights
Provided by Crystal Waiters
Passages Academy at Crossroads hosted its annual Poetry Slam on Friday April 25th. Students, teachers and
DYFJ staff recited original poetry as well as works from other famous poets like Maya Angelou, Langston
Hughes, Gwendolyn Brooks, and Walt Whitman. Thanks to the DFYFJ staff who participated in this fun
Students in English classes wrote “Found Poetry” using randomly found words in magazines to create
poems in artistic and unexpected ways.
On Friday May 2nd The NYC ABADA CAPOEIRA Company came and performed for our students!
Students performed with the group with instruments, dances, and chants representing the Brazilian culture.
Capoeira seeks to promote cultural and human values based on respect, socialization, and freedom. It hopes
to accomplish these goals by spreading the art of capoeira in and through universities, schools, clubs,
associations, and diverse communities. It also hopes to emphasize the lessons inherent in its Brazilian
cultural and historic roots and by doing so, promoting social integration between people of different
backgrounds and classes, while keeping sight of its social goals. Capoeira also seeks to instill good
character, dignity and strong personal values in its students.
Passages Academy
May 16, 2014
Crossroads Highlights (continued)
Provided by Crystal Waiters
Happy Teachers Appreciation Week!
Teachers at Crossroads celebrated Teachers Appreciation
Week May 5th- May 9th with a lot of fun filled activities.
Monday and Tuesday: Teachers Appreciation Wall:
students and staff wrote special notes shouting out all
of the teachers for their hard work and dedication.
Some teachers brought each other lunch and gave
cute little tokens of gratitude.
Wednesday: a breakfast buffet was held for teachers
and support staff showing their appreciation for each
other, exchanging ideas, reflecting on the school year
and of course the hottest topic these days, our new
teacher contract.
Thursday: Passages Academy Day! All teachers wore their Passages Academy shirts
A special message was delivered to all Passages Academy Teachers from NYC radio station 107.5 WBLS, DJ
Marley Marl and radio personality Shayla: “Best of Luck and wishes to all of the teachers at Passages
Academy, representing Brooklyn and the Bronx. We salute and praise you for all of your hard work and
courage teaching incarcerated students. You have the toughest job in the city! Thanks for educating and
making a difference in their lives!” – DJ Marley Marl and Shayla
Passages Academy
May 16, 2014
Crossroads Highlights (continued)
Provided by Crystal Waiters
Famous Comic writer Alex Simmons visits Passages Academy Crossroads Library!
Our annual visit from Mr. Simmons was very exciting and always informative. Ms. Sheehan, Ms. Waiters
and Ms. Whitaker had the pleasure of taking their high school and middle school classes to meet the
talented writer. Students were eager to ask questions about his life, education and his craft. They shared
their own drawings and writing as Mr. Simmons provided feedback and worked on a project with the
students, who really enjoyed working with him and asking for his return very soon.
Congratulations to Ms. Elaine Cotton, Ruby Lin, Taylor Snow, and Trina
Whitaker for passing all of their NYS Teacher Certification Exams! And
Mr. Patton for passing his nurse exam! Congratulations!
Guest Who! In celebration of Women’s History, Crossroads students
played a game in which staff and students had to guess which teacher
(current) matched with their baby pictures. See photo to the right.
Mr. Johnson and Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art had a special program with our students, who
designed Mask and learned basic skills blending colors with paper mache, shapes and designs. MOMA will
be running a special three-week program with our students that will lead to our art exhibition in June.
Passages Academy
May 16, 2014
Crossroads Highlights (continued)
Provided by Crystal Waiters
Passages Academy hosted our Unit 4 Ceremony awarding student academic achievements during the unit.
As usual students were excited to receive awards and were excited for their peers as well. Passages at
Crossroads acknowledged 5 students who made Mr. D’s List (honor roll) with the highest GPA of 89.7.
NSD Interdisciplinary Expectations
Provided by Norma DeLara
Rationale: Our students in Non-Secure Detention (NSD) are the most transient population at Passages
Academy. The average length of stay of a student in NSD is 17 days, resulting in a unique challenge. When
students come to Passages Academy they have different academic and social/emotional learning needs. For
instance, students come from over 500 different schools from across NYC. Trying to align specific
instruction in each content area to more than 500 schools is not feasible and will seem fragmented to the
student. This leads to disengagement, low confidence, and/or “shutting down”. This makes for less than
rewarding learning experiences for them and limits their productive outcomes.
Since the average length of stay is only 17 days for many students in NSD, this means the average student
will not have the seat time required to earn credit through a traditional pathway.
The rationale behind the interdisciplinary projects remedies this challenge. The projects are grounded in
real life situations and are taught through a combination of content skills, Common Core Learning
Standards, and 21st Century College and Career Readiness standards. Projects are 5-7 days in duration; the
sequence is not linear, allowing students to gain entry and mastery at their academic pace.
These projects will help the average 17-day stay of our student in NSD at Passages Academy to learn how to
think logically, build content-driven skills that will help them with their futures, demonstrate mastery, and
earn one-half (1/2) elective credit within 6 days or one whole (1) elective credit within 12 days.
Instructional Expectations of Bronx Hope NSD Interdisciplinary Project Pilot May 2014
Duration of the project is 5-7 school days
ELA and Math teachers will have approximately 10-14 instructional periods to complete the task
Social Studies and Science will have a total of 5-7 instructional periods to complete the task
Students are to work at their pace to complete the project in the allotted 5-7 school days.
Grading for the project will be done using rubrics
Teachers are encouraged to use the planning templates
Grades for NSD should appear in Engradepro at the end of the project ONLY for students who
complete the project. (TBD)
Passages Academy
May 16, 2014
NSD Interdisciplinary Expectations (continued)
Provided by Norma DeLara
How Students Can Earn Credit from Project Based Learning
What the DOE States: 54 hours of instruction are required to earn a full credit in a high school level course
and 27 hours of instruction for a ½ credit.
What Our Interdisciplinary Units Are: Each project will be between 5-7 days.
What We Do: Students will be working on their interdisciplinary products for six 47 minute periods per
day, which equates to approximately 4.7 hours per day of instruction. Using this model, they will meet the
required 54 hours after 12 days of instruction. Thus, students will meet the seat time requirement of 27
hours for a half credit in 6 days.
How will they be graded? Each student who completes a project will receive a grade between 1-4, based on a
rubric. Each project will be worth a total of 16 points.
What does this mean for our students earning credits? After successfully meeting the seat time
requirement and earning at least 21 out of 32 points on two projects, a student will be granted 1 elective
credit, that counts towards graduation.
What does this mean for our Middle School Students: Middle School students do not earn credits, so their
marks are solely based on teacher’s grades. Teachers will assign grades based on the same rubric as the
high school students.
Passages Academy
May 16, 2014
Passages Academy Library News
Provided by Regan Schwartz, Anja Kennedy, and Jessica Fenster-Sparber
Programming News
On Wednesday, May 8, 2014, Belmont hosted a visit from Poet/Producer/Performer Bob Holman. Mr.
Holman facilitated a poetry workshop with two groups of boys in the school library. Students received
writer's notebooks to keep and some were inspired to draft original works on the spot. The program was
an intensive collaborative effort with ELA Teacher Mackenzie Magee and Special Education Teacher Erica
On Friday May 9th, the Belmont's library is collaborating with Ms. Piccinonno and Ms. Stewart to take two
houses on a class trip to the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Participants will watch 90 minutes of spoken
word poetry performance, followed by a 30 minute conversation between audience and performers.
Last week was Free Comic Book Week at the Crossroads and Bronx Hope libraries. Free comics were
available for every class, generously donated by Diamond Comics.
In keeping with the comics theme, on Wednesday May 8th, author Alex Simmons visited two groups of girls
in the Crossroads library. He discussed his career and the comics industry and fielded many thoughtful
and interesting questions. Students were treated to a copy of one of his recent books for Archie Comics,
courtesy of Literacy for Incarcerated Teens.
On Friday, May 9th, seven Belmont students visited the Brooklyn Academy of Music to attend Poetry
Performance 2014: Birth of a Hip Hop Nation: As planned, the students arrived early and were rewarded with front row seats to what is
quite possibly Brooklyn’s best poetry event for teens in May. The crowd was entertained by a graffiti
slideshow and music until the event’s MC, Toni Blackman, took the stage and started the show. Telling
students she wanted them to “get hype” and have fun, Ms. Blackman introduced each poet with a small but
significant piece of the history of hip-hop. The show was energetically closed by Full Circle Souljahs
dancers and bilingual hip-hop group Rebel Diaz. After the show was over, all performers came back to the
stage for a 30-minute question and answer session with the audience.
Featured Blog Review by Jessica Fenster-Sparber
Pretty Girl 13 by Liz Coley
Angie disappeared on a camping trip several years ago and walks into her parents’ house now, three years
older, with thick scars around her ankles and no explanation...
To read more:
Student quote of the week:
"These books is awesome!"--Breeyana, Belmont library
Passages Academy
May 16, 2014
Upcoming Events
May 21: Career Day @ Belmont
May 21-30: Grade 8 Science Exam
May 29: Career Fair @ Horizon
June 5: Chancellor’s Conference
Day Professional Development Day
June 6: D79 Student Recognition
June 16: Field Day @ Belmont
June 17-26: Regents Exams
“I am what I am today
because of the choices I
made yesterday.”
June 20: Prom @ Belmont
June 24: Promotion Ceremonies for
Bronx Hope students
Stephen Covey
Important Links
Passages Academy Public Website:
Passages Academy Staff Website:
Passages Academy Handbook:
Passages Academy Library Website:
Passages Academy Library Blog:
Chancellors Regulations:
ELA & Math Middle School Testing:
Online Textbook Codes:
ACS Online Policy Library:
Our mission is to provide each student with the academic, social
and emotional skills they need to be successful in life.
Passages Academy