We aim for each of our schools to be models of educational excellence.

We operate a citywide network of public schools that fully embody our educational approach. Our network is mainly comprised of district schools but also includes one public charter school. All of our schools are “unscreened,” which means that there are no tests or other special requirements for admission.

Our schools are achieving outstanding results. Our network’s graduation rate of 88% outpaces the city’s average by 14 percentage points and 98% of our graduates are accepted to college, all while serving a predominately high-needs population.

Our Graduates are:

Persistent
Determined
Resilient
Gritty
Compassionate
Kind
Courageous
Confident
Self-Assured
Curious
Open-Minded
Ambitious

We support our Network Schools by providing

Coaching & Professional Development

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Coaching and professional development for teachers and school leaders in the implementation of EL Education, a whole school model with its roots in Outward Bound.

Character & Leadership Development

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Character and leadership development programming for students.

To & Through College Programming

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To & Through College programming aimed at supporting our students — most of whom will be the first in their families to attend college — in applying to, enrolling in, and completing college.

In Our Schools

Our schools are sources of innovation and laboratories for successful educational practices. They are staffed by educators who are committed to joining demanding and engaging learning with an emphasis on community and character to ensure every student is able to achieve at high levels.

Distinctive features of our schools include:

  • EL Education Model

    All of our schools utilize the nationally-recognized EL Education model, which has its roots in Outward Bound. The model is based upon an expanded definition of student achievement that includes the mastery of rigorous content, development of positive character, and creation of high-quality work.

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  • Learning Expeditions & Case Studies

    Learning Expeditions and case studies are the primary means of organizing curriculum in our schools. This project-based learning method involves in-depth investigations of compelling real-world topics that cross multiple subject areas.

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  • Crew

    Crew, which has deep roots in the Outward Bound tradition dating back to the 1940s, is a distinctive structure in our schools in which students come together regularly (daily, in most schools) with a teacher Crew Advisor to work on college preparation, literacy skills, leadership development, and personal challenges. Students routinely describe their Crews in our schools as a “second family” that provides critical social‐emotional and academic support.

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  • Outward Bound Wilderness Course

    As students enter our schools as 6th or 9th graders, they, along with their fellow Crew members and Crew Advisor, participate in a specially designed multi-day residential Outward Bound course conducted at our basecamp in Fishkill, NY. This course, called Crew Expedition Fieldwork, is part of a two-month Learning Expedition focusing on leadership and goal-setting that all of our incoming students experience.

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  • Student-Led Conferences

    Student-Led Conferences (SLCs) replace traditional parent/teacher conferences, and are a cornerstone of student engaged assessment, a strategy that helps students understand and take ownership of their own growth as learners. During SLCs, students select and present examples of their work, including places of mastery and struggle.

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  • College-Bound Culture

    Building college-going cultures in schools exposes students to college early and helps them see college as an attainable and desirable goal. This is critical in schools such as ours where the vast majority of students will be the first in their families to attend college.

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  • To & Through College

    Our To & Through College program aims to address three critical needs: helping our high school students, many of whom will be the first in their family to attend college, navigate their way “To” the college where they have the best chance of succeeding; providing our graduates with the support they need to enroll in college after being accepted; and continuing to support and stay in touch with our alumni as they make their way “Through” college.

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Network Schools

Our Network Schools primarily serve students from under-resourced communities. They prepare students for success in college, careers, and citizenship while simultaneously redefining what educational excellence can look like in our city’s public schools.

Our network of schools includes elementary, middle, and high schools and enrolls over 6,000 students a year across NYC.

Brooklyn Collaborative Brooklyn
Channel View Queens
Gaynor McCown Staten Island
James Baldwin Manhattan
Kurt Hahn Brooklyn
Launch Brooklyn
Leaders Brooklyn
MAELS Staten Island
MELS Queens
MS 839 Brooklyn
WHEELS Manhattan
West End Secondary Manhattan