Dr. Dina Erstejn, Principal 51st Avenue Academy
At our school, the 51st Ave. Academy—”The Path to Academic Excellence,” we have been employing the Core Curriculum and implement it with research-based strategies that teachers study during common planning periods. In addition to these successful sessions of collaboration, we offer in-house mentoring program for all our new teachers and non-tenured teachers run by the coaches and tenured teachers. We meet weekly to discuss instruction and programs that might benefit our students in a short time, but with lasting effects. Our school community recognizes the energy of changing instructional practices to keep up with the continuous challenges of the 21st century. Each staff member has adopted a small group of students with whom they work intensely throughout the school year. We have a Skills block built into the school day, which lowers the student-teacher ratio and enables us to provide more individualized instruction. Moreover, the Arts are embedded in our curricula for we offer general music, strings, band, ballroom dancing, visual arts, and martial arts (thank you to one of our parents). We have realized the importance of having parents close to the school and invite them to attend a free “Computer Literacy Class” every week.
We have accomplished all these programs to assure we develop the “whole child;” and we are grateful for the “Fair Student” and “Contract for Excellence” funding initiated and facilitated by Mayor Michael Bloomberg and for the support we receive from Chancellor Joel I. Klein as a Children First School (Empowerment).
We would like to provide more for our students such as a library, but we lack the space -one of our biggest challenges! Another challenge would be not being able to provide one laptop per student—one of our biggest dreams! #