Innovate Manhattan Charter School Opens Its Doors
Innovation, personalized education, learning in a different way: these are the concepts that represent the heart of a new school, the Innovate Manhattan Charter School which opened its doors for the 2012-2013 school year to 225 middle-school students in its new location on Manhattan’s Lower East Side.
“It is a beautiful new building. It also happens that many people thought this was a crazy idea,” said Peg Hoey, president and education director of Kunskapsskolan in the USA (KUSA), the company that operates the school. She spoke during the ribbon-cutting ceremony that took place recently, underlining that “in March we said to ourselves yes, we can do it, and build the school in four months. And I want to say that the word crazy can also be a synonym of doable. It is not crazy to show New York City that this model of school can work.”
The school, located on the 3rd floor of 38 Delancey Street, is the first one in the United States that operates according to the Kunskappskolan Education program. The key element that makes Innovative Manhattan different from other schools is that students can personalize their schedule; they become a manager of their educational road. They also have more workshops, seminars, labs and lectures. Students feel like the school is their own and they feel comfortable. It provides a way or opportunity for students to be more motivated and empowered in what they are doing in school. In addition to that, every student meets their coaches for a 15-minute structured coaching session every week.
“I have been told by someone that birth is painful, and there is no question that we went through a lot of pain last year, when the school was born. We are here for a rebirth, for the next step,” said Chris Owens, one of the parents. And, according to Matthew Gilli, the art teacher, this is an important step in everybody’s lives because “you can feel that you are part of something since the beginning, and to me it seems that the school is also mine.”
“In this school they always help you. In some schools they have like a kind of subject and if you didn’t understand it they will just go to the next one; but what happens if you need help? Here you can take your time, unlike others schools that rush you,” said Charlike, an 8th-grade student. #