FHI 360 U.S. education experts have operated a partnership support organization (PSO) with a network of New York City public schools since summer 2007. Our schools are in some of the lowest-income neighborhoods in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and upper Manhattan. Their students are disproportionately among the poorest in the city. According to the New York City Department of Education, 76.8 percent — almost eight out of 10 — of students were eligible for free or reduced lunches in 2011. In addition, a significant portion of students served by Bronx and upper Manhattan schools are English language learners.
For the 2012–2013 academic year, the PSO expanded to 22 schools, including elementary, middle and high schools. FHI 360’s PSO empowers schools by customizing programs and support to their unique needs and interests. With our support, schools addressed the following five practice areas:
- Making smart use of data and evidence regarding student learning
- Understanding child and adolescent development and its implications for teaching and learning
- Creating small learning communities and teacher teams
- Building collaborative approaches to leadership, parent engagement and support for students
- Embedding professional development into ongoing improvement
Work in these five areas has resulted in increases in student achievement and principal satisfaction. FHI 360’s PSO also provides a range of assistance with accountability and instructional support, coordination of special needs services, youth development support services, and organizational and staff development. FHI 360 helps schools make effective use of Department of Education Teacher Reports and prepare for school quality reviews. FHI 360 also helps schools connect with families and improve students’ transition to high school.