For the third year in a row, NY1 visited our College March - this time at Brooklyn School for Collaborative Studies. They interviewed students who will be first-generation college-goers and heard how well BCS prepares them for their academic futures.
- 97% of our 2015 graduates were accepted to college.
- 84% of our high school students graduate within 4 years.
- 75% of our students are eligible for free/reduced lunch.
Our schools primarily serve a high-needs population from neighborhoods where access to high-quality education has historically been lacking. 75% of our students qualify for free/reduced lunch. 21% are classified as having special education needs. Our students are predominantly Hispanic (39%) and African-American (33%).
Our students enter far behind grade level in key subject areas. Only 22% of our incoming 9th graders were proficient in English Language Arts (ELA) and 14% were proficient in Math. In addition, just 27% of our incoming 6th graders were proficient in ELA and just 37% in math. In all cases, our incoming proficiency rates were lower than the citywide averages.
Our high school graduation rates significantly outpace the city average. Our network’s 84% graduation rate (2015) far outpaces the City’s 2014 rate of 68%.
We are helping to close the achievement gap. Our 84% graduation rate for black students in 2015 beat the 81% citywide graduation rate for white students (2014), and our Hispanic students came close to reaching that mark with a graduation rate of 78%.
College acceptances were very high among our graduates and approached our organizational goal of 100%. 97% of our 2015 graduates were accepted to college. More than half of our high schools had 100% college acceptance rates.
Our 2015 graduates will be attending a range of colleges including Dartmouth, Brandeis, Bard, Hampshire, NYU, Skidmore, Sarah Lawrence, Fordham, Trinity, Howard and Middlebury, as well as the full range of SUNY and CUNY schools, among others.
Our students’ college enrollment continues to increase. The 6-month college enrollment rate of our graduates went from 67% to 78%, surpassing our strategic plan goal of 75%.
Our network schools consistently performed well on NYC Department of Education accountability measures:
- 96% of the time, our schools received the highest or second highest rating in their most recent Department of Education Quality Reviews, compared to 63% of schools citywide. And 56% of the time, our schools received the highest score possible compared to just 17% of schools citywide.
Teachers consider our schools “great places to work”. Teacher retention across our network is high with 89% of teachers returning for the 2014-2015 school year. As a result of multiple years of high teacher retention, the average years of teaching experience for our network teachers has also gone up significantly from 4.5 in 2010-11 to 7.2 this past school year.
Our Crew Orientation program had a positive effect on school culture and provided students with opportunities for personal and interpersonal growth. All incoming 6th and 9th grade students participate in our 3-5 day Crew Orientation. Post-course, 96% of students agreed or strongly agreed that “Crew Orientation helped me feel more confident about learning new skills.” Similarly, 96% agreed or strongly agreed that during Crew Orientation they "learned new approaches to taking on challenges.” And 100% of Crew Advisors agreed that "As a result of what I learned on Crew Orientation, I will be able to provide a physically and emotionally safe environment for my Crew back at school."
Our students produce high-quality work and real-world products. Our students are required to examine real-world problems that need real-world solutions. They must think critically and creatively, synthesize complex information, and find solutions to 21st-century problems. These solutions are reflected in the real-world products they create - like water quality analyses presented to local and national elected officials, a published guide for new immigrants to help them transition to American culture, playground design concepts presented to architectural firms with city contracts, and public transportation proposals for MTA and public officials.
Our schools are increasingly recognized for their innovation and as models for others. Metropolitan was selected to be a host school as part of the NYC Department of Education's Learning Partner program which partners middle schools that employ exemplary practices with either new schools or schools in need of improvement. WHEELS was profiled on PBS as a successful school where individualized attention, an ethos of support, and strong sense of community has helped propel its 98% Latino student body toward academic and personal success. Hahn was spotlighted by the UFT as a school offering a model for “how high schools can be places where parents, communities, students, educators and other stakeholders can collaborate to achieve the best outcomes for students”. And Joshua Steckel, BCS’ College Counselor and co-author of Hold Fast to Dreams, and several of his former students were featured on the Leonard Lopate Show and at a New School event titled "Working Towards College Success: Obstacles and Strategies."
Our schools are breaking ground in the area of performance-based assessment. Four of our schools—Baldwin, BCS, Leaders and Hahn—are part of the New York State Performance Consortium and receive waivers from the State allowing them to evaluate students using in-depth college preparatory projects in place of the Math, Science, and Social Studies Regents.
Our schools are leading the way in implementing school-based restorative justice practices. WNYC's education reporter Beth Fertig profiled Leaders as a school where restorative justice practices are taking root. Baldwin principal Brady Smith, penned an opinion piece for the Gotham Gazette encouraging the new City administration to support the growth of restorative practices in schools. And on the prevention side, Leaders was spotlighted on ABC for their highly successful peer mediation program aimed at ensuring that low-level conflicts are addressed early on so that all students feel safe and supported at school.
"This Educational Leadership Award... really goes to NYC Outward Bound, which does truly extraordinary work in the field of education."
-Governor Andrew M. Cuomo
“NYC Outward Bound is…defying the lie, defying the myth, defying the stereotypes about what children can and cannot do.”
—Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education
"What NYC Outward Bound does is create a sense of self-possession and a sense of ownership over what one does and over one's path - which is the key to so much of what works in education and, I dare say, to what works in life."
-NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio
“NYC Outward Bound, we think the world of you. We think you are outstanding: all the energy, all the work and the vision that you have -- but more importantly, your partnership with the Department of Education will allow our students to grow and prosper and be successful adults."
-former NYC Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott
“This kind of innovative school…is an example of how all our schools should be.”
—President Obama after visiting an Expeditionary Learning school in Washington D.C.
“There should be an Expeditionary Learning School in every neighborhood in this country, as it is the only design, that I am aware of, where experience is at the center and the things which we experience are those we best remember.”
—Tom Vander Ark, former Executive Director, Education, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
“Outward Bound’s involvement with the creation of new schools has had a direct impact of the success of our students. I appreciate your support as we build on our vision for public education: that all students will be given the tools they need to succeed in and out of the classroom.”
—Joel Klein, former Chancellor, NYC Department of Education
"In the years that I’ve been teaching, [Expeditionary Learning is] the single best model of learning for kids and the most satisfying model for teachers, because the kids are working on real projects, their work holds great value, and you are stretching them academically."
—Jennifer Wood, teacher
“When you walk through the NYC Outward Bound schools, you really do get the sense that these kids are working with very high expectations, that they really are being pushed and prepared for college in all the ways possible.”
—Adam Tucker, Senior Program Officer, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
The American Youth Policy Forum gave Expeditionary Learning a 5-star rating for linking community service to academics and building "an ethos …of service to others."
NY1 Visits BCS's College March December 12, 2014
In Film & In Print: Brooklyn Daily Eagle Celebrates College March December 12, 2014
Brooklyn Daily Eagle returned to our College March, this time at our Brooklyn School for Collaborative Studies. Both their print and video stories cover the March in great detail.
CBS Reports From Hahn & Baldwin Marches December 12, 2014
CBS New York visited our James Baldwin School and our Kurt Hahn School for the College March. One Hahn student called the March "a step into adulthood."