Co-location in Action

Our Three-School Campus Collaborating to Serve Children

A year ago, there was a lot of attention given to co-locating charter schools in New York City. Based on our early experiences collaborating with the leaders, teachers and students at M.S. 113 and P.S. 372, we would like to share our perspective on how co-locations can enhance learning experiences for children across the city.
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The “Big Kids” are a Hit with the First Grade at Compass

From Anna and Paul, teachers in Pine First Grade...

“This is our sustainability room. This is where we learn about nature things. Most of this room is commons because we all use it,” says a first grader confidently, looking up at four middle school students with smiles on their faces.

For the past month the first grade has been working to get to know our own little part of the 300 Adelphi building. They took walks around our hallway, classrooms, and offices. They created maps of the school first with blocks, then with pencil. They shaded red things that are “private” and green those that are part of the “commons” that we all use and take care of. They spent time quietly observing and taking notes in each space and then created questions to interview people in that space.

We introduced the idea of using our maps to give a tour of our school. To plan their tours, the first graders talked through the most important things to say and how to stand - “We have to move our bodies out of the way so they can actually see the kids working in the rooms.” We began to rethink who they would take on these tours. At first, we thought the culmination would be showing parents around, but somehow that just didn’t seem genuine enough since most parents know the school pretty well at this point. Just at the other end of our hallway, and in the halls below us, is M.S. 113. Our kids are totally in awe of the “big kids”. Perfect!

The middle schoolers from 113’s Achievement Zone after school program, are led by Coach Taylor. They were truly thoughtful and kind to our students as they took tours in small groups. The rest of the middle school group quietly sat with our students working on writing assignments. They happily helped them to remember capital letters, punctuation, and encouraged our students to sound-out words to produce thoughtful “inventive spelling”. Our students love this one-on-one attention which has now become a part of their daily schedule. There are smiles on all faces as the big kids enter the room for the last period of each day.

Sponsor a Family Campaign & P.S. 372 Mentorship

For our most recent collaboration, the three schools have launched a campaign to support families in need from across the building. We have confidentially asked students and their families what they want and need during this holiday season. Our volunteers are shopping on their own or using donated money to pick up the desired items. We are excited that staff, families and others from all three schools are joining together to make this time of year a little bit more special for some of our community members.

We are also grateful for the mentoring that P.S. 372 leader, Rosa Amato has been providing us during bi-weekly breakfast meetings.