Focus on Literacy
Literacy is the core academic skill on which all future learning is based. For this reason, Leadership Prep Canarsie's academic program has a laser-like focus on literacy during the elementary years. Specifically, we do this by:
- Investing nearly 200 minutes per day in literacy instruction
- Using research-proven curricula (including SRA Direct Instruction and the iReady early literacy computer program)
- Having small reading groups that never exceed 10 students with one teacher
- Having extensive professional development for our teachers on techniques that have proven to be effective in promoting literacy skills among low-income students
- Using early and frequent assessment to identify students in need of extra help, craft effective interventions, and measure the efficacy of our program and interventions
- Using daily homework packets and requiring 20 minutes of reading at home as tools for rigorous practice
Leadership Prep Canarsie’s excellence in building literacy has attracted educators from across the country to visit our school and learn from our teachers. We also have partnered with local district and charter schools to share our practices, so students of all backgrounds and opportunities can benefit.
Set a High Bar Academically and Behaviorally
At Leadership Prep Canarsie, we set high academic standards that are commensurate with a future of college prep high school and college for all our students. We challenge them to be their best. At Leadership Prep Canarsie, our teachers are caring and warm, yet hold students to high behavioral standards which are consistent throughout the school. We subscribe to the "broken windows" theory of school discipline, which holds that if schools sweat the "small" infractions from the outset, the larger more serious behaviors will never occur. The result is a respectful and orderly environment in which students can focus on learning and teachers can focus on teaching.
Personalized Attention for Every Student
With a student to teacher ratio of 15 to 1, and reading groups which never exceed 10 students, our teachers know every student. They provide highly effective, highly differentiated instruction to each student every day.
Foster Great Teaching
Children learn best when instruction is clear, well-paced, content-rich, engaging, and informed by frequent assessment. Leadership Prep Canarsie recruits, develops, and retains the very best teachers who can ensure that our students achieve academically. We seek out committed, talented educators, who are relentless about seeing their students succeed and we provide these teachers with high-quality professional development based on the practices of the highest performing urban, public schools in the nation. Teachers are selected for their willingness to have frequent and honest dialogue about student progress and their plans for ensuring that students meet the school's high standards.
More Learning Time
To ensure that our students achieve academically, Leadership Prep Canarsie relies on an extended school day (7:30 AM to 4:00 PM) and an extended school year (189 days). We provide extensive instruction in the core academic subjects as well as in performing arts and character education. This arrangement allows for 28% more instructional time than that provided by NYC district schools each year. A student who attends Leadership Prep Canarsie from Kindergarten to eighth grade will receive 2.5 years more learning time than students receive in the typical New York City district school. Our program also includes significant amounts of homework every night. Parents are required to sign off that their children have completed the assigned homework every night.
Help Students Until They Are Masters
Leadership Prep Canarsie provides small-group and one-on-one tutoring after school for students who need extra attention in order to reach mastery. Under this program, Leadership Prep Canarsie’s students most in need of extra help benefit from 54% more instructional time each year than they would receive in a typical district school. Between Kindergarten and eighth grade this amounts to an additional 4.9 years of schooling.
Data to Drive Instruction
Great teachers need to know when they are being effective and when they are not. At Leadership Prep Canarsie, we use regular assessments to determine which standards have been mastered and which we still need to be taught. We have frequent and frank conversations about which students are learning, which are not, and what can be done to ensure that students master the necessary skills and content across subject areas.
The path to and through college can be a long and arduous climb. To get our students through the long climb to college, Leadership Prep Canarsie instills in our students the personal qualities they will need to succeed. Our school teaches curiosity, creativity, and critical thinking in each lesson. We value and teach compassion, humility, and open-mindedness. Weekly all-school celebrations reinforce these values and celebrate student achievement.
We believe that successful schools are built on trust, connectedness, and involved families. Active family engagement in school and learning is essential to meeting Leadership Prep Canarsie's mission of preparing students to succeed in high school, college, and beyond. Our staff fosters family engagement in our students' learning and success through abundant and on-going communication between the parents and school. We create a dynamic in which we are partners with families in promoting their children's academic success. Specifically, we:
- Meet one-on-one with each new student's family before their child begins at the school
- Send home daily behavioral updates, celebrating successes and opportunities for growth
- Create regular events in which families are invited into the school to celebrate student achievement and school culture
- Meet with families for at least three formal conferences each year to discuss their child's progress
- Provide periodic evening or weekend workshops designed to help families hone the skills they need to be effective teachers for their children
- Meet quarterly with the Parent Committee, consisting of at least one parent from each classroom
- Send home a monthly newsletter of classroom and school-wide news and information
- Invite parents to routinely volunteer at school (ex. chaperoning field trips, stuffing homework binders, assisting with our After School program)
- Provide translation services as needed or requested
- Invite parents to advocate for their scholars’ needs on a district, city, and state level
For more information on our program, download the Executive Summary from our Charter Application.
Internet and Computer Use
The Leadership Prep Canarsie computer network is provided for students to build on skills they are developing in the classroom, especially literacy and math. Additionally, they are building important familiarity with computers, keyboards, headphones and mice. In SY2016-17, students will have daily computer use and access to the literacy program iReady on their classroom desktops.
Access to network services is given to students who agree to act in a considerate and responsible manner. Access is a privilege – not a right. Access entails responsibility.
All student internet usage is monitored and managed with our electronic monitoring systems.
Violations will result in loss of computer use as well as other disciplinary or legal action.