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MS 223: The Laboratory School of Finance and Technology. Intel Schools of Distinction Finalist. Once Upon a Time…. There was a Middle School in the South Bronx named The Laboratory School of Finance & Technology Why was the school created?

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MS 223: The Laboratory School

of Finance and Technology

Intel Schools of Distinction Finalist


Once Upon a Time…

  • There was a Middle School in the South Bronx named The Laboratory School of Finance & Technology
  • Why was the school created?
  • 90% of schools in the district were failing schools
  • Needed to create a new Middle School to address the violence in old JHS 149
  • Mayor became aware of the persistent violence JHS 149 and created Impact Schools which would be schools that would heavily guarded by police officers
  • After canvassing the neighborhood and doing research created Finance & Technology because kids wanted to learn about money and computers
  • So the first change that was made was to create an environment where the children felt safe.

Chapter 1 : 2003 - 2004

  • First year – focus school culture on rewarding kids for exemplary work
  • Developed & implemented school bucks reward system, which was featured in the Wall Street Journal and became a model program that other schools implemented
  • Began introducing Investigations into math classes
  • Used the math program required by everyone in the city
  • Increased the number of Math periods to 10 weekly, based on the Chancellor’s District model
  • Weekly Math Team Meetings Implemented

Chapter 2 : 2004 – 2005

  • Moved from part-time to full-time Math Coach
  • Worked with union to create a School Based Option which allowed teachers to teach 4 Math/ELA Classes in a row
  • Scheduled Math classes in the morning because research showed that students were more receptive to math instruction in the morning
  • Math scores increased as a school and in each grade
  • Received a waiver to use a Math program based on constructivist learning & investigations and partnered with a different school district to receive professional development

Chapter 3 : 2005- 2006

  • Worked with the union to create another SBO to lengthen our Extended Day program from 37 ½ minutes to 50 minutes
  • Standardized our Math Extended Day program, made program skill-based and targeted lowest performing students

Chapter 4 : 2006 - 2007

  • Started Formal AIS Program
  • Partnered with NYU and Columbia University Teachers College to host Student Teachers – students receive training, our teachers became mentors, were able to develop small groups for instruction, some student teachers are hired by our school
  • Became site for America Reads tutors, who also provided math tutoring
  • Created grade leaders
  • Revised Math Instruction: 60 minutes Investigations & 30 minutes Skills Practice

Chapter 5 : 2007 - 2008

  • Focused Differentiation Practices – study groups, whole group PD, walk-through
  • Smithsonian Magazine does a feature on the school focused on new schools and leadership
  • Started first Regents class (Integrated Algebra) using hybrid model of technology and teacher-directed instruction
  • Expanded Intervention Services to include advanced students
  • First Summer Bridge Program for new 6th grade students to get acclimated to the school and introduced to our math program
  • Integrated Arts and Math through NY Times Grant (SASI Program)

Chapter 6 : 2008-2009

  • The New York Post does an article on the school featuring it as 1 of 3 schools in NYC that had 3 consecutive years of increasing math scores
  • Skills become more refined with use of mastery sheets and tracking students’ progress
  • Bi-weekly Math Department meetings implemented

Chapter 7 : 2009 - 2010

  • Opening Advanced Math classes to all students
  • Career Fair focused on Math, Science & Technology fields
  • Integrated Math with Technology (Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship)
  • Results are more amazing since the school has 40% special ed. and ELLs!

Summary Slide

  • Dedicated, enthusiastic teachers who are passionate about Math
  • Partnerships with local universities and institutions
  • Partnerships with community based organizations
  • Professional Development and Team meetings to address all levels of adult learners
  • Walk-throughs and inter-visitations to look at trends and classroom practice
  • Intervention and advanced learning programs to meet the spectrum of students’ needs
  • System of recognition of school values and student achievement
  • Use of data analysis through formative and summative assessments that pinpoint student weaknesses
  • School bucks program and career day focus on integrating technology, finance and mathematics-creating real world applications.
  • In house Mental health clinic and at least two College overnight trips for all students.

…a holistic environment for all children to succeed!


Just The Beginning…