East Harlem Pride School Collaboration
In 2016, the foundation supported three schools in East Harlem that have historically pooled their athletic resources into one, common sports team that competes against other schools under the name “East Harlem Pride.” The schools, Park East, Central Park East, and Heritage, are close to each other and serve predominantly low-income youth. The foundation’s funding supports each school in meeting its own identified needs while also investing in shared professional development and teaching techniques so the strengths of each school can be leveraged by the other two.
Park East has a successful Math program while Heritage has an arts focus and Central Park East has an outstanding college guidance program. Each school is taking the lead on one component of the collaborative:
- Park East is focusing on cross-school teacher and academic programming development, especially in algebra instruction
- Central Park East is partnering with College Access: Research and Action to develop a working group to share best practices from its college access program, and will organize two shared college trips for students across all three high schools
- Heritage is engaging existing partner, Urban Arts Partnership, to aide in establishing unified systems and routines for after school extended learning opportunities (including student selection criteria)
Throughout this three-pronged approach to school improvement and college readiness, the three East Harlem Pride high schools are tracking improvements in academic performance (using pre- and post-test scores and Regents exam performance), grade promotion, attendance and in-school engagement, college applications, FAFSA completion, and college matriculation.