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

We operate a citywide network of public schools that fully embody our educational approach which joins together demanding and engaging learning with an emphasis on community and character. 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 honor our students’ roots and dreams while preparing them for success in college, careers, and citizenship, and simultaneously working to redefine what educational excellence looks like in New York City’s public schools.

Our network is achieving outstanding results, with a graduation rate of 90% which outpaces the city’s average by 9 percentage points, and 97% of our graduates are accepted to college, all while serving a predominately high-needs population.

Our Guiding Principles:

Growth Mindset
Success and Failure
Crew, Not Passengers
Challenge and Support
Student-Centered Learning
Student Agency
Equity in Education
Social-Emotional Wellness
Real-World Learning

We support our Network Schools by providing

Teacher and Leader Coaching

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

Student Programming

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Programming for students focuses on building essential social-emotional and academic skills through relationship building, collaboration, conflict resolution and self-reflection.

Postsecondary Support

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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.

Common Structures 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.

The structures that make our schools distinctive 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 is the signature advisory program in each NYC Outward Bound School. It is both a structure that provides critical academic and social-emotional growth, and part of a school-wide mindset that helps create more equitable spaces where each students' unique ideas and needs are heard and addressed.

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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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  • Postsecondary Support

    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 of schools includes elementary, middle, and high schools, and enrolls over 7,000 students a year across NYC, primarily from educationally under-resourced communities.

A School Without Walls Manhattan
Brooklyn Collaborative Brooklyn
Channel View Queens
Community School for Social Justice Bronx
Gaynor McCown Staten Island
IHPCH Queens
James Baldwin Manhattan
Kurt Hahn Brooklyn
Launch Brooklyn
Leaders Brooklyn
MAELS Staten Island
MELS Queens
MS 839 Brooklyn
WHEELS Manhattan
West End Secondary Manhattan