Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Design Your Future with the ACE Mentor Program

The ACE Mentor Program, thousands of high school students around the country get an opportunity to design real-life projects under the direction of some of the nation's top engineering and design professionals.

What is it?

It is an after-school program that gives a student hands on introduction to architecture, construction management, and engineering. Through joining ACE, students have a chance, with the help of a mentor's guidance, to discover his or her career.

The ACE Program is looking for students who are motivated and willing to commit to showing up at the bimonthly meetings. Juniors and Seniors are preferred. Applications are due, Friday, October 2, 2009. To fill out the application, please visit the website at Please note - no paper applications are issued or accepted. For questions contact ACE at 212-696-1207 or email:

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Vote for McKee High School

Come on Soaring Seagulls. Vote for McKee by clicking on the link below.America's Favorite School Contest - help your school win $20,000 - vote today!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Our Dynamic PTA Executive Board

Here is the new PTA Executive Board for 2009-2010.
From Left to right: Pat Manley (President), Jeanne Johnson (Co-President of SI Parent Association); Theresa Keane (Secretary/Treasurer); Manny Innamorato (Vice-President).

What Do I Look At In A Satisfactory Lesson?

1. Teacher monitoring student entrance into the classroom. Stating expectations at each major point of a lesson.

2. Aim, & Do Now,
previous day's homework plus an indication of the expectations
3. Motivation of 5 minutes in the form of a visual, audio selection, journal entry, or connection to the lesson
4. Mini Lesson in which the skill is modeled, and the content is discussed
5. Distribution and explanation of the rubric and/or handouts
6. Explanation of the group work, or differentiated instruction with designated group roles. Steps should be pre-posted on chart paper, or transparency, on PowerPoint, or on a handout
7. Monitoring the progress of the students by taking anecdotal notes as to who is exceeding expectations, meeting expectations and who is below expectations

8. Students respond to or use questions from Habits of Mind and Blooms Taxonomy to share out core understandings that build toward answering the aim
9. Final summary provided by the students either verbally and with an EXIT PASS. Pupils can either repeat, or elaborate on the answer to the aim
10. Homework assignment.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Pictures from the Welcome Back Breakfast

We had a blast at the Welcome Back Breakfast on Saturday, September 12, 2009. As the parents sat and gnoshed on fruit, coffee, tea, and bagels, the staff shared information about the school goals.

Next our intrepid man who covers the budget, Mr. Velija, indicated to the parents the impact of the budget on the school and encouraged the parents to fill out contact sheets with both their cell phone and email addresses and to turn in lunch form. It is all part of the process of letting the parents see how the return of paperwork helps the school pay bills.

Next, Ms. Mullen reviewed the safety and security procedures in place at the school. She also went over the fact of how we use progressive discipline and the newly formed conflict resolution program

Ms. Kish-Martinez spoke about how post-secondary institutions have increased their standards. College representatives have made it very clear to high schools that they are "out of the remediation business". We at McKee want to make sure that our students are fully prepared for their post secondary experience. Students are expected to take 4 years of math and 4 years of science, English, and social studies.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Happy Opening Day!

What a great opening day! The students entered and immediately the building is infused with energy. I enjoy the aroma of bulletin board paper, polyurethaned wooden floors, polished staircases, and the hustle and bustle aura of teachers preparing their rooms.

Click here to see the "Welcome Address" to the faculty to rev them up for the 2009-2010 school year.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Let's Start At the Very Beginning - State Expectations

The goal of every classroom is to develop students who are responsible, motivated and highly engaged in meaningful tasks.

How can this be done. Post the guideline, skill, attitude or traits that all students are to learn to exhibit. At every point in the lesson, use the word expectation.

There are three levels, just like the Quality Review. The student is exhibiting a skill, attitude, behavior or trait that is:
1. exceeding the expectation
2. meeting the expectation
3. below the expectation

See the pattern. Students need consistency. Students need to know what you want them to do at each step of the lesson.

Put the word expectation into every major transition of a lesson. Stick with it. It makes the conversation objective and about the facts. It is specific, observable, constructive statements. Its not about letting emotions cloud one's vision.

I learned about C.H.A.M.P.S. from a wonderful educational leader, Arisleyda Urena, principal of the Academy for Language and Technology. C.H.A.M.P.S. is a positive method to instill routines and rituals in the classroom. It is a tool to help both teachers and students remain poised. Remaining poised is essential to maintaining control, especially in a classroom situation.

Click here for the PowerPoint on How to do C. H. A. M. P. S.

Click here to help one use C.H.A.M.P.S. for a classroom activity.

Click here to help one use C.H.A.M.P.S. for a transition in the lesson.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

McKee High School's SMART Goals: 2009-2010

Attached is version 1 of our SMART Goals for 2009-2010. This is our blueprint to help us see how we are helping our students achieve. Throughout the year we will look at the outcomes to see our progress.

If you visit our school you will see our SMART goals in the lobby, by the department offices, on the school website, and wikispace, .

Click on the title or right here to check out McKee High School's SMART goals for 2009-2010.

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