In 2011, New York City launched the Young Men’s Initiative (YMI) to improve the education, employment, justice, and health outcomes of black and Latino young men. The Expanded Success Initiative (ESI) represents the education component of YMI and focuses on increasing students’ college and career preparedness. With support from Open Society Foundations, ESI is organized around two primary strategies. The first involves testing and disseminating the best practices of 40 high schools working to improve their academic, youth development and school culture practices to better align with college readiness indicators. The second entails the creation of a breakthrough high school model to holistically prepare all students for college, career and life success.
This model has been put into practice in a set of new high schools—a collective of public schools—known as EPIC Schools: The Nelson Mandela School for Social Justice, EPIC High School North and EPIC High School South. EPIC has identified programs and practices that dramatically increase college and career readiness, and integrated them into a comprehensive school model that closes the opportunity gap and redefines college and career readiness. The model has two primary distinguishing features, a competencybased framework and culturally responsive education.
The EPIC high school model emphasizes three key areas of work: practice, people and place.
I. PRACTICE: Culturally relevant and purposeful learning experiences leading to the mastery of skills
● Competencybased framework integrating academic, socialemotional, college and careerreadiness learning goals.
● Personalized learning pathways that challenge students while providing them with targeted support.
● Ongoing and varied assessments that afford students multiple and diverse opportunities to achieve and demonstrate mastery.
● Integrated technology and data use to personalize learning and facilitate access to resources.
● Early college and workplace learning opportunities for students that form a “readiness bridge”
into postsecondary opportunities.
● Youth development practices and strategies that support students through mentoring, rites of passage and restorative justice.
II. PEOPLE: Culturally relevant staffing and development based on students’ realtime needs
● Flexible adult roles and schedules that accommodate students’ varying needs.
● Personalized professional learning plans that support the continuous growth of our staff.
● Adult competencies based on EPIC learning priorities and students’ needs which serve as bases for staff selection and professional development.
● Holistic and purposeful evaluation that emphasizes effective teamwork and individual growth and development.
III. PLACE: Culturally relevant environments that nurture growth, community and positive identity
● Communitybased partnerships connecting services, supports and realworld learning opportunities.
● Advocacy and activism that surface and address constraints that hinder student growth.
● Family engagement that ensures real partnership and shared leadership by the community.
● Support services and operations systems that remove barriers to learning for students.
● Built environments that are intentionally designed to support transformational learning.
● Organize opportunities for observation across teams
● Lead the design, curation and modification of content specific assessments and curricula
● Lead the design of Targeted Support (small group skill development)
● Lead development of classroom environment, learning and resources across multiple platforms
● Collaborate and support team member development
● Facilitate Content Courses (STEM or Humanities with a specialization in a core domain Science, Math, ELA, LOTE, ELL or Social Studies)
● Cofacilitate CORE (advisory program)
● Implement Targeted Support (small group skill development)
● Implement Restorative Justice structures using protocols
Professional Learning and Planning
● Modify/develop curriculum and instruction for content classes
● Participate in professional learning community with colleagues
● Facilitate professional learning sessions
● Observe and provide feedback to colleagues
● Participate on school committees
● Assist with coordination of schoolwide initiatives
Assessment and Documentation
● Assess academic learning competencies
● Monitor student goal attainment
Preferred Skills & Experiences
● Creates and implement projectbased learning experiences
● Possesses an adaptive mindset
● Uses various forms of assessments
● Personalize instruction
● Uses various forms of technology
● Applies restorative justice practices/protocols
● Develops relationships with youth and families
● Ability/willingness to establish a school culture and community that is culturally relevant and responsive where issues such as race and gender are discussed.
● NYS Certified
● Experience teaching in an urban school setting