Thursday, December 21, 2017

McKee at National Geographic's Ocean Odyssey

McKee HS science students explored "The National Geographic Encounter Ocean Odyssey" in NYC on Thursday, December 21, 2017. All were engaged and actively immersed in the wonders of the Pacific Ocean! 

The students felt energized after the exhibit and look forward to learning more about ocean life when we get back to class.

Check it out:

Saturday, December 16, 2017

3 CTE Teachers Participate In A Collaborative Study Group

3 career and tech (CTE) teachers participate in a collaborative study group session @McKeeCTHS in the 10th grade AVID elective class facilitated by Ms. Howley. Check it out:

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

McKee AVID Students Thank the Sons of American Legion - Granito Smith Post 1296

McKee's AVID Students thank Commander Charles Navarino and the Sons of American Legion Commander, Anthony J. Navarino, pf the Granito-Smith Post 1296, for their generous donation of more than 200 notebooks. Ms. Curcio , AVID teacher and her students, express their gratitude, explaining how these notebooks become "Interactive notebooks" in their AVID and content area classes.
The students also took this opportunity to thank all their guests for their service the country. Check it out:

PK Kersey Visits McKee's Virtual Enterprise Program

PK Kersey of That Suits You visits the senior Virtual Enterprise program to impart advice about soft skills, crafting polished presentations, and professional attire. Check it out:

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Career Day Focus - Auto and Graphics

Career Day at McKee between three (3) schools, McKee, New Dorp, and Tottenville on Tuesday, 12.5.17. Over one hundred students from Auto, and Graphics heard reps from these industries. The day concluded with mock interviews and internship vetting sponsored by Grant Associates.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Designing the experiment in Chemistry

Chemistry students enter phase one of designing an experiment in alignment with Next Generation Learning Standards. Check it out:

Thursday, November 16, 2017

A peek at Collaborative Study Groups At McKee

Last Thursday, I entered the junior AVID class and saw the Junior AVID elective teacher facilitating 5 collaborative study groups: and not a one of the groups were covering English.

AVID is Advancement Via Individual Determination. An elective class is one per grade level and functions like an advisory creating opportunities for college trips, and imparting critical thinking, college readiness skills. 

We implemented this program six years ago and it has been a positive impact on the culture, learning environment, and graduation rate of our school.  One of the ways to encourage students to have college aspirations is to expose them to college students as tutors.  That feature has always been problematic as the schedule college students have is almost impossible to align with the needs of a high school student schedule. Luckily the AVID organization put together intensive professional development sessions in which my dedicated team members in AVID students can learn to be self sufficient in creating tutorials. The idea is to have older students tutor younger students.

What is possible is to have two teachers come up with a unique way to have a group of seniors gifted in math facilitate the process of students going through a tutorial. I saw 5 seniors act as tutors (really guides on the side) under the guidance of their teacher from the pre-cal and calculus class and in collaboration with the junior AVID teacher.  I looked at a class of 25 students broken up into 5 groups: 2 focused on Geometry, 2 groused on trigonometry, and 1 focused on Chemistry. 

It was glorious to see how students in their respective groups did 30 second speeches to express their point of confusion and have their peers help them reflect on different resources in order to find their own answers and address their points of confusion.

As I was looking at the junior AVID class, my assistant principal was in the sophomore AVID elective class to see how their collaborative study group was progressing.  The student centered constructivist environment was electrifying:

Thursday, November 9, 2017

3rd place at the Youth Business Summit at Deloitte and Touche, NYC

Who is Paul Matrecano and why is he holding an award?  

Paul Matrecano, Class of 2018, attended a Youth Business Summit. At the summit he participated in two competitions. In one of the competitions, his team won 3rd place in the Youth Business Challenge.

Here’s further information behind the photo on the right. McKee enrolled in Virtual Enterprise (VE) in September 2017. The instructor is Mr. Serrano. To jump start an understanding about the program, Mr. Serrano contacted  Virtual Enterprises, International to find out about competitions.

Select students were invited to the Fall Executive Conference that was held at Deloitte and Touche, NYC this year. The 35 student executives who attended the event had the opportunity to present in the Elevator Pitch Competition + Youth Business Challenge, network, receive insightful feedback from Deloitte judges, and acquired several management and career advice from Steve Gallucci, Deloitte's New York Managing Partner. They had the rare opportunity of meeting Deloitte's CEO, Cathy Engelbert (standing center)!

The students participated in an Elevator Pitch Competition and Youth Business Challenge (Ethics Case Scenario), which were all huge accomplishments. The executives from Deloitte and Touche, NYC were all impressed by the student's preparation and enthusiasm. 

Here's Paul, 3rd from the right, in the picture below, at the conclusion of the judging of the Youth Business Challenge competition:

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Congratulations to Jhonny Sinchi, Class of 2018, McKee High School, for his early acceptance into John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

 Jhonny was enrolled in The Bottom Line Success Program, provides a widew array of support to guide students in his/her application to college. 

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Robotics Club at McKee

Robotics Club (Team 522) coming together to rebuild the team at McKee.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Pink on Wednesday

It's really cool to see students support Breast Cancer Awareness month by wearing pink on Wednesdays during the month of October.

Since I am the worst photographer in the world with an iPhone, one of the most user-friendly phones on the planet Earth, I had to quickly get a teacher to take a picture of students as they were leaving the classroom.

It's also cool to see young men embracing pink to show support.

26 Supers at McKee - Oh My!

Monday, October 23rd, was quite exciting. For the first time McKee had 26 superintendents from Arkansas visit the school in the afternoon and toured the CTE programs and academic classrooms.

How did our school come to be selected? It was a strange confluence of circumstances. A professor at Hunter College, Ben Shuldiner, is also an executive officer in the Association of Curriculum Development (ASCD). In his duties, he crisscrosses the nation providing opportunities for supervisors to see different practices in different states.  Mr. Shuldiner happens to know Superintendent Lodico (standing) as they both serve on committees in NYCDOE.

The superintendent's organization in Arkansas wanted to see schools throughout New York City. Supt. Lodico suggested two schools in Staten Island, an elementary school, Principal Miriam Ramones at PS 16, and me at McKee.  The superintendents experienced a slice of New York life - commuting to Staten Island. They took the ferry, and walked up the hill, which is like climbing a slow climb up a 20 story building. First stop was PS 16 where they had breakfast and toured the classrooms.

At 11'30, they climbed up a 2 story hill to have lunch at McKee and tour classes for two periods. One of the classrooms they saw was Ms. Burzo Timmins and Ms. Padula in Global History facilitatng a philosophical chairs discussion group.

I had student chaperones ready to take them throughout the school. Did I realize the student chaperones would only use the stairs and not the elevator. No. They got a lot of exercise that day.

When they returned to the library, and have a chance to drink water and catch their breath, I asked them to please do a quick write of their glows and grows. After further debriefing and asking about the organization of NYCDOE, they headed back to the ferry, Manhattan and their hotels.  What a Monday!

Friday, September 29, 2017

3 McKee Students at Ad Futures Competition

Shamar Thompson, Malik Sembene, Wagawatta Perera (from left to right) of McKee High School participated in the Ad Futures competition sponsored by the Ad Club of New York (@adclubny) on Thursday, 9.28.17. The mentors were SS+K (@SSandK).

The purpose of the competition was to create marketing for the Ad Council focusing on underage drinking and driving.  The three students had 3 weeks of preparation, right at the start of the school year, along with mentors, and were able to step onto the stage in front of 240 people in the audience.

The experience was enlightening and gave each young man just a taste of what a career in advertising might be like. The go-getter McKee teacher responsible for jump starting an opportunity for a Virtual Enterprise experience was Mr. Isai Serrano.

Check it out:

Saturday, September 16, 2017

McKee PTA Welcome Back Breakfast - 9.16.17

A delightful time was had by all at the Welcome Back Breakfast that occurred on Saturday, September 16, 2017 from 10 a.m. to 12 noon.

Here's a quick breakdown of the topics discussed:
Ms. Alexandria Lighty, McKee's new PTA president, went over key points about how Title 1 funds are to be used to help parents enhance the educational experience for the students. The parents heard about the educational, social and emotional resources available at the school. The parents also heard from representatives from several community based organizations such as: New York Center for Interpersonal Development (NYCID) and CSI Liberty Partnership

"Roll call of the members of the executive board of the PTA are:
Alexandria Lighty - President
Lisa Solomon - Secretary
Stephanie Watson - Treasurer

To check out more photos click here or copy and paste:

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Welcome Back + School Supply List for Fall 2017

Welcome Back + School Supply List for Fall 2017

Greetings Parents, Guardians, and Caregivers:

We hope you are enjoying the final days of summer. We hope your child is well on his or her way to reading the suggestions from the summer reading list. The summer reading list is at 

To help your child be a better learner, please acquire the following school supplies:
Required Contents:
• Good quality 3-ring 8 ½” x 11” binder; 2.5” or 3” with pocket inserts OR Laptop
• 5-6 colored tab subject dividers to separate classes
• Zipper pouch to store supplies (A 3-hole puncher)
• Notebook paper (Some notebook paper is now available in Cornell note style)
• 2 or more Pens
• 2 or more Pencils
• CASIO fx-9750GII or TI 84 Plus calculator
• Agenda/daily planner/calendar
• Backpack

Suggested Contents:
• Pencil sharpener (hand held with a top to collect shavings)
• Highlighters
• 1-2 zipper pouches (for supplies)
• Notebook dictionary and/or thesaurus
• Ruler
• Flash drive
• Pocket folders

Any student WHO HAS NOT TAKEN HIS/HER PICTURE for an ID card may do so by seeing Ms. LaRosa, (718.420.2655,, Room 107, at Ralph R. McKee CTE High School.

The fall term at Ralph R. McKee CTE High School will begin on Thursday, September 7, 2017. All students will report on Thursday, September 7, 2017 at 8 AM. It will be a full day of school! If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the McKee Community Associate Pierre Ovalles at or text/call 646.875.3793.


Sharon A. Henry


Teacher Efficacy 2017-2018

Every year I indicate what the elements are for a new teacher to succeed.  This year, to promote a learning culture (aka teacher efficacy) an assistant principal staged an intensive series of workshops. To prepare for the workshops. there were seminars on preparing the lead teachers.  Handouts were culled from various resources.

Some of the activity in the workshops for new teachers and teachers NEW to the school were captured on the blog.

The resources that were used were based on research based practices from Paul Bloomberg's Leading Impact Teams, and the incorporation of AVID methodologies.

Click here to view the stepping stones to building teacher capability.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Day 1 and Day 2 of AVID Training for Instructors New To McKee HS

I am overjoyed to see how an assistant principals and team of teachers met the previous week to coordinate PD sessions for lead teachers to train instructors new to McKee. It is a joy for a principal to see the further development of teacher efficacy. 

Day 1 of AVID Training at McKee shared group work strategies such as marking the text, Cornell Notes, & Cornell Way at .  

The sessions were facilitated by lead teachers. Check out:

On Day 2 - dived into what implementing AVID techniques would look like in different subject area classrooms.

Teachers from the Science Department shared how they will organize and implement the interactive notebook and address improving the ability of students understanding what a question is asking by deconstructing the prompt.

The summary for Day 2 involved creating of charting and illustrating their understandings of the strategies received from the day's professional development.

Check it out:

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

McKee HS Students Complete 6 Week NYU Tandon Summer 2017 Institute

Sebastian & Juan completed a 6 week NYU Tandon School of Engineering Summer 2017 Institute. For insight about NYU Tandon's Summer Institute, check out:

Our McKee duo, Sebastian and Juan were immersed in building their capacity in learning coding, entrepreneurship, building bots, developing game boards for their robots to follow, creating and coding a task for their robot to accomplish, working in teams and finally presenting their completed project. Check out the slideshow here:

One can also go onto Instagram and type in msg503 in order to see the video of the final project.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

2 McKee Students at NYU Tandon iTest Program - Summer 2017

NYU Tandon School of Engineering is providing a wonderful summer opportunity for high school students entitled: Promoting Robotic Design and Entrepreneurship ITEST. It is an experiential learning opportunity for both teachers and students and is funded by the Division of Research on Learning of the National Science Foundation.

It is a 4 week summer institute in which teachers and students are immersed in robotic design and entrepreneurship. The summer institute uses project based learning so that both teachers and students are exposed to tools, techniques, and models of authentic robotic design.

Here are two McKee students who were accepted in the NYU Tandon iTest program. Day 1 - they learned robotics using a VEX clawbot.

Day 2 - They learned Arduino.

Day 3 - The students will be working on motors.

Click the following link to see more pictures:

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

McKee graduates 137 on June 27, 2017

Today is a day full of smiles.

137 students graduated from McKee High School from the St. George Theater, June 27, 2017.

Check out the photos on Staten Island Live site:

Friday, June 23, 2017

McKee AVID Site Team in Tampa, Florida

McKee High School's AVID Site Team was in Florida, June 20th through June 23rd, 2017.

Participating in a summer institute is a time to delve into "the work" of understanding, and exploring and expanding metacognition and how to make that process real in the classroom so that students gain ownership.

Note: AVID power in the polo shirts.
Along with participating in highly interactive immersion in AVID methodologies, the McKee Site Team generated a plan for 2017 to 2018 and had discussions that focused on empowering students to be college and career ready.

Today, Friday, the last day, and note the early risers (l-r: L. Curcio-ELA teacher, N. Mullen-AP Humanities, B. Howley-ELA teacher, M. Wright-ISS teacher).
I am excited to see what they will turnkey into the teacher team meetings for 2017-2018.

Along with the serious academic work, the McKee AVID Site Team sent a text to me to kinesthetically display collaboration:

Apture Multimedia