Friday, December 30, 2011

History comes alive - "Red Tails" - the Movie

I always enjoy opportunities where history comes alive for a new generation of students. On January 20th, 2012, hopefully many students will check out the movie "Red Tails." Initially, I hope many students will be enticed by the "action, adventure, rousing adventure angle that is currently highlighted in the trailers. Eventually, I hope that deeper conversations will evolve, and curiosity is stoked. There is also a resource laden website. Click here to see additional information about the Tuskegee Airmen.

Hopefully there will be multiple conversations, and opportunities for discussion and debate based upon the fictional representation of true events. Personally I hope there are documentaries that explore the true stories of the distinctive contributors of the Tuskegee Airmen during World War II.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Great Sites for Learning

I am a strong proponent of students having many different ways to enrich, and advance their learning. Here are a number of sites that are EXTREMELY helpful, and fascinating.

Click here to go to a neat site called the CIA: The World Factbook. I know - how neat is the title of that site. One can point and click to discover the history, geography, etc for over 250+ countries.

Click here to go to a neat site called Project Gutenberg. This site offers FREE (what a glorious word), FREE e-books. All the books listed on the site are in the public domain.

Click here to go to the site Academic Earth. It is a free online site that has lectures tailored to students in either high school, college or graduate school.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Scholarships 4 Students

All students need to click here to see the wealth of resources on Scholarships 4 Students.

I must tell you I announced over the loudspeaker to all the seniors that if I see them, they have to indicate they went to the school site:, and scrolled to see the Scholarships link.

As a principal in a CTE school, I hawk and stalk the students to apply. It is all about getting the child to believe in themselves, apply themselves, and work through the application process.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

20 Incredible TED Talks You Should Show Your High School Students

I always appreciate websites that "push" one's thinking. I really appreciate websites that parents can use to help promote conversations with their children about important issues.

One of the most delightful websites is Click here and you will see 20 really neat talks that will help high school students not only negotiate their secondary school experience, but also provide a pathway to college and insight into the concept of "lifelong learning."

Monday, November 28, 2011

MSIT Boys Varsity football Team Wins PSAL Cup 2011

To win the PSAL Cup Division Championship once is a very hard feat. MSIT is a team made up of two schools. Half the team members have to travel to the other school to practice. MSIT won the PSAL Cup Division in 2010.

Stunningly, MSIT has won the PSAL Cup Division football title - again - in 2011. I was there on Sunday, November 27, 2011 and witnessed a team perform magic. Click here to see the details from the Staten Island Advance. Click here to see the details in the New York Daily News.

It was joyous to see the young men and the coaching staff exuberant in their victory and also gracious in their displays of sportsmanship to South Shore. South Shore's football team played hard, smart, and swift.

Post game - I feel like I am walking on a cloud. My voice now sounds like a fog horn. I will be drinking lots of tea with agave and lemon to soothe my throat. What a weekend! I'll probably wake up tomorrow just to look at the newspapers to see if what I witnessed on a gloriously warm November day actually occurred.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Need to Understand Physics? Check out Khan Academy

Need to get a handle on Physics. Click here to check out Khan Academy. Mr. Salmon Khan gives clear visual descriptions of the topics within Physics that will help any student prepare for their classwork and for the Physics Regents.
Khan Academy is free. Let me write that again. Khan Academy is free, online learning that is extremely user-friendly. Click here and then scroll down to Physics. The site also provides an opportunity for one to practice, gain points and see one's progress.

Need Help with SAT Math - Check out Khan Academy

Salmon Khan is a brilliant man with a knack for explaining key ideas on the SAT Math. In fact he goes through the entire range of math on the SAT. Don't believe me. Check it out by clicking here you will see what I mean. Scroll down and you will see a range of subjects that Mr. Khan talks about. If you don't understand, play the videos again. Mr. Khan provides clear, simple visuals.
You can even gain points if you log in using a GMAIL account. It appeals to those who like to gain points to show that you understand what Mr. Khan is showing you on the video. By the way, it is FREE. It is fun, user-friendly, online learning.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Need help in Math - Try Khan Academy

For clear, concise explanations about math, click here to check out Khan Academy.
Salmon Khan is a former banking executive who has created short clips that clearly explains math.
In fact it's visual outline and dictionary with examples of any subject. You can jump ahead to any topic that you want. The clips are short and sweet. Click here and check out the video that will broaden your horizons.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

McKee High School Partners with Scholars At Work

For the first time, Scholars at Work will partner with McKee High School. It is great to see that the mayor's focus on career and technical education has significantly enhanced the willingness of organizations and companies to establish links with career and technical educational schools.

It is a win-win situation. The students get to experience a job shadowing, or possibly an internship situation afterschool that reflects their career interests or it might provoke an interest in an aspect of a career they had formerly not considered. The first meeting will be on Monday, November 7th. Stay tuned for updates.

McKee High School Hosts Cluster 4 Parent Engagement Conference

On November 10th, 5:30-7:30 PM, McKee High School will host Cluster 4's Parent Engagement Conference. Yours truly will be the keynote speaker. The evening will focus of the evening will be
1. Dealing with the DOE from elementary to high school
2. What's this about common core curriculum standards?
3. My child's in high school. How does he or her get to college?

Then there will be a panel discussion. This is the cool part because this is where we get students to talk about what it took for them to negotiate the school system. In the final analysis. After everything is said and done, after the nurturing, the talking, the prodding, and the pushing, it comes down to the student reaching his or her potential and reaching for the next rung on the educational ladder.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

CBS Highlights the Role of Students Getting a CTE education

Click on the title, or the picture or here to see a small clip that was on Thursday, 10/13/11 on CBS news regarding CTE. The CBS Evening News story on CTE featured Air Products and John McGlade, the New York State SkillsUSA CEO Champion of the Year.

The three-minute segment does a great job of highlighting the role of CTE in preparing a skilled workforce. Among the points made: CTE leads to well-paid careers; it's needed by employers; it involves academic rigor and results in postsecondary credentials. And, there are references to cutbacks in federal funding.

Thanks go to John McGlade, and Air Products as well as to the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education consortium and the Association of Career and Technical Education for helping CTE demonstrate its value to America.

Click here to see the news clip.

This is something to celebrate.
Check it out.

Friday, October 14, 2011

McKee Alumni Hall of Fame Ceremony - Oct. 12, 2011

Each year the McKee Alumni Association pays tribute to McKee graduates who have led a distinguished life. This year the two recipients were Anthony R. Gaeta and Jerry DeLuca. A subcommittee of the McKee Alumni Association reviews the nominations, and after a thoughtful, detailed process, celebrates the honorees at the Spring luncheon at the Old Bermuda Inn. The second part of the ceremony involves an installation ceremony that occurs at McKee High School on the 3rd floor in the fall in which both pictures and plaques are placed on the commemorative wall. The speeches, and sharing of stories, and hearing good music occurred in the Black Box Theater on October 12, 2011, .

The family of the first recipient is pictured below, Olga Gaeta, daughter, Susan Demkin, and the president of the Alumni Association, Ken McIntyre.

Anthony Gaeta graduated from McKee High School in 1945. Before 2000, the school was called McKee Vocational and Technical High School. Mr. Gaeta accomplished many distinguished milestones. He worked on creating the Staten Island Greenbelt Environmental Program. He served as Borough President of Staten Island from 1977 to 1984. Mr. Gaeta passed away on Dec. 26, 1988.

The gentleman in the middle is the son of Jerry DeLuca. Jerry DeLuca graduated from McKee in 1949. Mr. DeLuca also accomplished several milestones. He was President of Jerry DeLuca Complete Auto Diagnostic and Repair Center, which he founded in 1957. His business provided and continues to provide quality workmanship performed with honesty and integrity. Mr. Deluca was known for his community service. He was a recipient of the Paul Harris Fellow Award, the Rotary Clubs most prestigious award and also the rotary Giant award for exemplary service to the club and to the Staten Island community.

Musical interludes were provided by the syncopated sounds of the McKee ensemble, conducted by Mr. Guarnieri (left).
I just also think it is so neat that the students got to hear the stories of the honorees. It's also neat that the students in the ensemble performed, after taking the PSAT.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Skills USA is at McKee High School

These talented students have been selected by their peers to represent the Skills USA chapter.
From left to right:
President - Damiano Mastrandrea
Vice President - Krystian Sidorski
Treasurer - Greta Schaller
Secretary - Alkaya Massaly

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

College Fair at McKee HS

McKee High School successfully staged its first College Fair on Tuesday, October 4, 2011. The efforts of Ms. Londa Marsigliano and Ms. Eberlein were instrumental in organizing tghe event. Over 20 colleges and career technical institutions set up tables, offered sound advice about scholarships, the application process, and tours.

The key to success, as a small school, it was important that our students had access to seeing a range of schools from liberal arts, technical schools, to career and technical institutes. We also invited parents to the college fair. 47 parents visited the school to see the range of post-secondary options.

Kaplan K12 Learning Services Hosting 3 Free Workshops

Kaplan will be hosting three FREE workshops:
Paying for College
How to Impress College Admissions Officers

In addition to the free Kaplan workshops, there will be:
Over 75 colleges and universities
Live entertainment
Special celebrity appearances

Knicks Poetry Slam Contest and College Fair:
Monday, October 10th, 2011
Metropolitan Pavilion
125 West 18th Street (between 5th Ave & 6th Ave)
New York, NY 10011

For more information, go to or email

Skills USA is at McKee High School

McKee High School is now part of the international organization called Skills USA. This is a wonderful organization that promotes excellence in career and technical areas.

For those in the know Skills USA used to be called WICA.

Right now we have two advisors: Mr. J. Reynoso and Mr. D. Sarno.
We have student officers elected by their peers in the CTE programs.
Skills USA Officers 2011-2012:
President- Damiano Mastrandrea
VP - Krystian Sidorski
Treasurer - Greta Schaller
Secretary - Alkaya Massaly

Now we need help to support our students. Click here to "chip in" to help McKee send our students to regional conference in November 2011 and to nationals in April 2012.
"Every "chip in" helps.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Scholarships Are Rolling In

Scholarships are rolling in fast and furious.
Click here to go to McKee's blog for scholarship information.
Click here to go to McKee's website for scholarship information.

To quote Teddy Roosevelt: "The credit belongs to the man that is actually in the arena."

I'll add to it: "To get a scholarship, the credit belongs to the man or woman that is actually in the arena, filling out and turning in the application."


Monday, September 19, 2011

Step 2 - Common Core Curriculum Standards in the Classroom

Step 2 of implementing Common Core Curriculum Learning Standards into the school culture is to have subject area meetings. In the subject area meetings, teachers had a chance to look and develop a mechanism that could be rolled out to all of the students. The first step was using the time designations that are currently used in high schools: marking periods. There are state assessments which occur in January and June of each year. There are 6 marking periods. There are 6 weeks in each marking period. There are finals given at the end of each marking period. The essential question: How do you get the students in your class to perform for the final for the marking period.

At first the cabinet and the teachers looked at the unit bundles. That provided very intensive discussions about how positively overwhelming the unit bundles were. It almost seemed like a torrential downpour of words. In the subject meetings the departments deconstructed the central elements of the sections within a unit. Using the Vygosky model, the assistant principals modeled how they would create a unit.

Click here to see a unit developed by Ms. Noreen Mullen, Assistant Principal ELA / ELL / FL / Science for Junior English AVID class.

Click here to see a daily lesson plan by Ms. Noreen Mullen, Assistant Principal from the unit for the Junior English AVID class.

Click here to see a unit developed by Mr. James Barbieri, Assistant Principal Social Studies / Career and Technical Education for History 1.

Once the teachers saw, heard, discussed and chewed on the elements of putting a unit together, they worked in teams of three to generate units.

As the teacher goes through a unit, they select the CCLS that align with the unit. They make sure the students get a copy of the updated unit contract. The students are required to sign off on it. The purpose is to reinforce the standards to be covered for the unit, the instructional objectives, the course requirements, and the school policies.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

George Tarr, McKee 2010 Graduate, Highlighted in The Daily News

George Tarr (pictured on the left) graduated from McKee in 2010. Click here to check out what George has been up to in the year since he graduated from Ralph R. McKee Career and Technical High School. The take away message for me is the perseverance, endurance and courage displayed by both families that are covered in the article.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Common Core Curriculum Standards: Step 1 is Professional Development

The McKee Community completed two intensive days of professional development. The key to successful professional development involves several steps. Here are just a few of those steps:

1. Brainstorming the end goal

2. Prioritizing the big ideas

3. Listening to strategies about how to impart those big ideas. For example: we listened to a consultant about what mechanism could be used by every teacher to ensure that Common Core Curriculum Learning Standards (CCCLS) was a common practice frequently referred to in every unit. The consultant was Alan Siegel. He shared a course requirement contract in which 5 standards were selected for the course. After presenting the course requirement contract to the McKee cabinet, they liked the central concept of making a course requirement contract a flexible, and living document.

4. Collaboration,

5. Discussion (sometimes heated, always respectful)

6. Creating templates; Revising the templates

7. Creating agendas. Revising Agendas

Day One, September 6, 2011, dealt with an overview of the Citywide Instructional Expectations. A powerpoint was shown along with activities based upon summer workshops presented by Jodi Siegel and Libby Gershansky from CFN 405. The teachers had a chance to chew on the central ideas, understand the basic principles of "backward planning", and comprehending the 4 standards that should be initially included in unit planning. To see resources used on September 6th PD, check out the school website: Click on THE TOOLS. Then click on September 6th PD.

For teachers to understand CCLS it required several steps. One was preparing packets in which a hard copy of the standards was prepared so that teachers could "stickie" and highlight key standards. Two was putting all resources in a folder on the school website: on "THE TOOLS" tab in the folder marked September 6th PD and September 7th PD.

Day Two, September 7, 2011, dealt with having subject area meetings and grade team meetings. Protocols were established. Teachers drafted unit contracts using CCLS. Information was relayed about the growth points for the grade teams based upon comments from the Spring 2011 Peer Review.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

"Twenty Tips for New Teachers'

Click here to see 20 useful tips for new teachers.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

McKee 5 at TFI Presentation in the Situation Room

I can not begin to tell you how proud I was to see the young men of McKee participate in the presentation on the 2nd floor in the Situation Room of the JP Morgan Building on 47th Street and Park Avenue. They are (from left to right) Tracey Cooper Jr., Reggie Fredericks, Kin Chung Choo, Kenneth Alphonso, and Samuel Conteh

Thirty young men participated in the summer program. The McKee 5 all participated and gained invaluable life lessons about team work, perseverance, resilience, focus, and problem solving skills. I was there with my iPad and gave each student a huge hug. I also managed to snap a picture and (hold your hats) actually take a few clips using iMovie which I downloaded literally an hour before attending the event. I will be "editing" my first iMovie over the next few days.

As the students introduced themselves and launched into their speeches, their very demeanor, pitch and modulation of tone reflected such growth, resoluteness and maturity that my eyes welled with tears. Talk about making a principal's week. Hat's off to Ms. Kim Davis (Head of the TFI Program), Ms. Twinkle Morgan (coordinator of the TFI 2017 cohort), and the JP Morgan Foundation.

By the way - The mayor is getting huge corporations like JP Morgan to contribute to the Young Men's Initiative. JP Morgan contributed to the mayor's initiative. TFI is strictly a JP Morgan program.

As one executive mentioned, "imagine if 30 companies adopted 30 young men and instituted this type of initiative. That's 900 young men, leaders." I added, "It's a culture change."

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Organizing Your Classroom

1. Find out if you share the classroom or if you are in the same classroom the entire day.
Designate specific sections of the room for materials, dictionaries, textbooks, etc.

By the way, 99 cent stores are great for small storage containers where you can store magic markers that you can then distribute when there is group work.
Always work out the areas of the room and the drawers one can use with the teacher with whom you share the room.

The SMART board is your friend and a powerful tool.

Never cover the SMART board with chart paper. Start simple with using it for PowerPoints. Connect with a colleague who is comfortable with showing basic steps about using a smartboard. Download Smartnotebook 10.8 to your PC or MAC. One can get the code from Ms. Henry.

2. Folders that are labeled are your friends. For example: Put the handout on the outside of the folder and place the handouts inside the folder. Place the folders inside a file cabinet, if one is in your room, or in a portable cabinet. It makes it easier to find. Get a storage system that you can label.

3. Make sure that you have a box that you walk around to collect the homework. Put it in a storage area for that particular class period.

4. Set up a system for collecting the homework. For example: period 1 turns in homework; Tuesday - period 2 turns in homework, etc. Again, make sure it goes into a storage case.

5. Return the homework within 24 to 48 hours. GRADED. Use a rubric. The comments on the homework come from the rubric.
The easiest, no fuss site for every type of rubric possible is from

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Two great SMART board training workshops - Differentiation + IPad

I just returned from two amazing summer courses provided by Teq Equipment for $35 each at their Lexington Avenue Address. The first workshop dealt with strategies to use with the SMART board to differentiate lessons. It truly emphasized a literacy approach.

First step is to download SMART Notebook onto my MAC. I encouraged my teachers to download onto their laptops and forgot to do it on mine.

The big key, in light of Common Core Learning Standards Initiative (CCLS) is to do the following:
--select the standards for the unit (we were given three from the DOE)
--be mindful of the assessment
--look at a lesson and make sure that the resources one exposes the students to appeal to several elements: visual, audio, and kinesthetic that directly relates to the content.
--have students come up to the SMART board to either explain an answer.
--have students generate presentations based on content covered in a series of lessons

Second step, go through my notes and practice looking at the different sites that were suggested by the very patient and coherent trainers.

In the afternoon I attended Learning with the Ipad. Very cool APPS were recommended that help to aggregate other types of files such as Evernote

and Fiipboard which collects and one is able to organize news feeds.

A great site that helps to promote literacy is DIIGO. One registers onto the DIIGO website. Browse to one's favorite website that has content one wishes the students to view and understand. Upon following the step by step directions from the DIIGO site, one is able to have students annotate text and respond to questions. Here's another great point about DIIGO, it's FREE.

I came away from the second workshop realizing I had no idea the wonderful array of activities one can access and have the students do using the iPad. The key word is practice, practice, practice so that I am able to impart some of this information to the faculty.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Small Business of the Year Award to a McKee HS Partner

Kudos and congrats to Ms. Carol DiMarco for being one of 14 recipients of the Small Business of the Year Award for Staten Island. The event was co-facilitated by Roberrt W. Walsh, Commisioner of the nYC Small Business Services, and Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Ms. DiMarco invited yours truly along with the Graphics Arts instructor, Mr. Gordon, to the 2011 Neighborhood Achievement Awards Ceremony held under a big white tent on the lawn of Gracie Mansion. The jazz was soothing, and there was just enough breeze that the crowd wsa able to enthusiastically support their neighborhood heros.

It was so neat to witness a Staten Island Career Coach, receive recognition and hear mention of McKee High School as Commissioner Walsh introduced Ms. DiMarco. All of the SI Career Coaches are unique in that they walk the walk of coming into a high school and interacting with students, providing them with the ABCs of how to be employable and then evaluate and revisit ways to further engage the students.

It was also really cool to sip lemonade, and knosh on hors d'oeuvres on the lawn of Gracie Mansion. Hey, when am I ever going to say those words again. It was too - too.

Friday, July 8, 2011

A Duty and Affirmation

One of the saddest duties a principal has to perform is attending the wake and funeral of a student. Upon hearing about the details connected to the tragic accident to Eric Colligan's passing, I was numb. Who was Eric Colligan? An sophomore honor's student, baseball player, a Yankee's fan, enjoyed cajoling his classmates to eat celery sticks, a "mensch", an all around good guy. Upon hearing devastating news, I went on automatic function mode: it's all about getting the details and informing the members of the McKee Community. That's the easy part, getting and relaying information.

The hard part, going to the wake and the funeral. A principal is supposed to have the ability to articulate thoughts in a clear and coherent manner in most situations. Most people in the McKee Community know I am never at a loss for words. That did not happen for me on this occasion. I was rendered mute. Today I went to the wake of Eric Colligan. Looking at the coaches, the lines of students, looking into the faces of the parents, grandparents, friends of the family, was heartbreaking, but also an affirmation of a community coming together to offer soothing words, solace, warm memories and balm in the midst of an emotional storm.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Summer Activities and Sites

Need a way to have children involved in neat summer activities that allow them to see the city. Below will be an ongoing list of sites and sounds to positively channel the energy of adolescent minds.

Visit the Highline: is an amazing website that hosts talks on a wide range of topics. Click on the word Highline or here to get an overview of the Highline as well as a view of the city that might peak interest in checking out other sites.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Vote for Robert Ruggeri

See the handsome young man in the picture on the right. He is Robert Ruggeri, a 2011 graduate from McKee High School. Help us make him Staten Island newsmaker of the week by clicking here or here or here again.

Thank you.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Robert Ruggeri - Remarkable Achievement Award Winner 2011

Chancellor Dennis M. Walcott hosted a reception for this year’s Remarkable Achievement Award winners at Tweed Courthouse. This year, 200 high school graduates from the Class of 2011 won this distinction.

“Our Remarkable Achievement Award winners have demonstrated tremendous strength of character and determination to persevere in the face of adversity,” said Chancellor Walcott. “These students have overcome obstacles such as violence, abandonment, homelessness, language barriers, and illness to graduate. They are an inspiration to their peers and all New Yorkers.”

Robert Ruggeri Never Let his Trauma and Grief Stand in His Way

When Robert Ruggeri was five years old, he and his family were in a terrible car accident that killed his parents, grandfather and younger brother. Only Robert and his older brother survived the accident. Robert suffered a traumatic brain injury, a punctured lung, one broken leg and his other leg was completely shattered. Over the course of a year, he recovered from his injuries with physical, occupational and speech therapy, while mourning his family.

“The car accident almost took away my life, said Robert. “I have responsibility to live fully and succeed.”

At Ralph McKee High School in Staten Island, Robert is an active member of the school community. He maintained an A+ average, and is a member of the National Honors Society and Student Council. He also has a black belt in Tae Kwan Do.

“During high school, I always gave 110%,” Robert said. “I am really looking forward to the experience of college, learning new things and meeting new people.”

Robert lives in Staten Island. He will attend Hofstra University next fall, with a $40,000 academic scholarship.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Summer Reading List for Incoming Freshment Fall 2011

Click here for the summer reading list for McKee High School incoming Freshmen of Fall 2011. The due date is September 8, 2011.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

McKee 2011 Graduation

It was an easy, breezy, cheery graduation ceremony on Friday, June 24, 2011.
Looking at a sea of hunter green and gold was heartwarming. I must tell you that as a principal, seeing a class that saw me grow in role as a leader over the past four years was a celebratory experience. This class held students who were responsible for division championships in girl's basketball, borough wide championship in boy's basketball, and a city wide championship in the PSAL Cup for football. It also held a formidable swimmer, and pioneering students who helped the school forge relationships with new business partners because of their talent, discipline and courtesy in the workplace. On the academic front there were more full scholarships awarded to students. This reflection is probably the information I should have added to my speech at the Friday morning graduation ceremony, but my head was so full of glad tidings and emotion, that I just did not want to dissolve into a mushy ball of tears. I strongly feel such an occasion is never about my emotions but about what are the next steps that students can help learn and grow. The primary focus is to have their parents, caregivers and guardians beam at them with pride as they walk down the aisle in green and gold.

There is so much more that can, should, and will be done to help students prepare for college and career post secondary experiences. I always have a goal for what I will personally learn how to do over the summer. This year it will be to learn Naviance so that all of the students can state and track their college and professional goals. I will push for every grade to get on board. That's a non-negotiable.

Next is Snapgrades. It is easy and user-friendly. Our students, parents and caregivers must be partners in monitoring and being accountable for academic progress. That's a non-negotiable.

Internships are powerful. Right from the jump there will be an even more concerted push to look for opportunities in which students are guided to expand and deepen their proficiency in their vocational selection.

Alright. Time to rest, resuscitate, and revive. Time to further my education, and gather my strength so that I can come roaring back to life on August 29th, 2011.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Year 2 AVID Students at Freshmen Orientation

AVID students, + Ms. Z (L) and Ms. M. (R) were corralled by me where I took their picture in the general office before the session about their growth in year 2 of AVID. At the session, in front of 30-35 families, powerful testimony was provided by the students about their experiences in AVID and how they have changed their perspective about school and the future.
AVID provides a method of organization, college readiness, support structure through pre-service teachers as tutors, the advisory process, and a team of teachers focusing on a cohort of students for four years. It takes work. It takes constant monitoring.

There are several ingredients that must go right in order for AVID to work. First is having teachers willing to pay the initial cost and then get a reimbursement. Once at the week long seminar, there has to be the acceptance and overview of the principles behind the program. Then it's about actually bringing it back and actually putting the pieces into place. Having a motivated supervisor, and staff that work together in their team meetings to zero in on instructional strategies, goals, expectations, outreach and intervention is a blessing - and must be maintained.

This year we became AVID certified which is a neat accomplishment. The fact that we are a CTE, AVID certified school makes it notable.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Freshman Orientation - June 8, 2011

It was hot both outside and inside as the incoming freshman class with their parents entered the McKee Auditorium to receive banners, magnets, pads, along with a folder full of information about McKee High School.
Check out the school website: for the latest information about back to school procedures for Fall 2011.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Alicea Ulmer - 2011 Staten Island Federation of PTAs Recipient

Kudos and Congratulations to Alicea Ulmer, senior, for being the recipient from McKee of a 2011 Staten Island Federation of PTA scholarship. Pictured below from left to right: Mr. Funso Ojo, Mark Beyer, Mr. Ulmer, Alicea Ulmer.

Below are key supporters of McKee. From left to right: Jeanne Johnson (former SI Federation of PTAs), Pat Manley (PTA President), Mary McVey (Parent Coordinator), and Manny Innamorato (Vice President).

Sunday, June 5, 2011

More photos from McKee Prom 2011

Take a gander at a few photos of how lovely the students looked at the McKee Prom of 2011 at the Vanderbilt:

Apture Multimedia