FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Cara Halstead Cea, Public Information
914-773-3312, cell 914-906-9680 email@example.com
MILESTONES OF UNIQUE NEW “SMALL” SCHOOL
TO BE CELEBRATED MONDAY, MAY 15 AT 8:30 AM
AS PACE HIGH SCHOOL IS NAMED IN OFFICIAL CEREMONY
Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein, New Visions President Robert Hughes, Pace President David A. Caputo, and Pace School of Education Dean Janet L. McDonald to speak
“Developing a resume, not just a transcript.”
NEW YORK, NY, May 10, 2006 – At the end of two successful school years, Pace High School will be named in an official ceremony this Monday, May 15.
Few if any of the city’s new “small” high schools are as confident about their students’ futures.
On the basis of the last two years, officials project that when the first class of about 100 graduates in 2008, Pace High will have
• more Regents diplomas,
• more skilled graduates prepared for higher education,
• more college admissions
than comparable small high schools in the city.
The school has a 100 percent retention rate (three students transferred to schools outside of the city) and is #1 in attendance among the city’s other small high schools.
Based on their summer college work at Pace University, several students in the Class of 2008 are expected to qualify for highly competitive universities. One took a college level Pace math course last summer as a 9th grader and got the highest grade in the class on the final exam.
Event details: Monday, May 15, 8:30-10:30 AM
100 Hester St., between Eldridge and Forsyth Streets in Chinatown.
Speakers: Pace University President David A. Caputo, New York City Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein, New Visions for Public Schools President Robert Hughes, Dean Janet L. McDonald of the Pace University School of Education.
Started September 7, 2004 with 111 students and now educating 220, Pace High was created in partnership with Pace University, the New York City Department of Education and New Visions for Public Schools. The school shares a building with M.S. 131.
Distinctiveness. Several features make Pace High distinctive among the city’s small schools; together, they make it unique.
1. College involvement. Students at Pace High are offered an unusually high level of involvement with a major national university. Pace’s downtown campus is ten blocks away. Pace identification cards admit Pace High students to the University’s computing system and e-mail, library, student union, gym and cafeteria. An “early college” program gives tuition-free access to Pace classes for up to 40 juniors and seniors who finish state diploma requirements. When the first class of students graduates, Pace will guarantee up to five full Pace scholarships to qualified graduates each year.
Pace High offers an environment where students, many ambivalent about educational possibilities beyond high school, are exposed to the promise of a college education with an advisory program that offers avenues related to their talents and interests. Constant association with the University starts with orientation and continues with regular research at the university library and interactions with college faculty members.
2. Orientation. Each August, incoming ninth graders travel to the Pace campus in Pleasantville for three days of team building and communication of expectations. The students stay in dorms, use the library, get familiar with the Pace e-mail system and use the recreational facilities.
3. Practicality. “Pace High focuses on developing a resume, not just a transcript,” said Art Maloney, Pace University School of Education Co-Chair. “Next year Pace will place these 11th graders in community or corporate internships. Pace High students have to demonstrate meaningful contributions to the community outside their school in order to graduate.”
Pace High grades with more than tests, incorporating “public performance assessments” before faculty panels, assessment exhibitions, and portfolios to assess the performance of both students and faculty.
Internship placement assistance for students capitalizes on Pace’s proximity to the city’s financial and government centers and comes from the Pace University Office of Co-op and Career Services. The office operates the metropolitan area’s largest voluntary co-op and internship program.
4. Parental involvement. This is unusually high, beginning with comprehensive open house meetings. Yvette Sy, the New York City public school system’s Principal for Pace High School, and her staff call and meet with parents routinely. The school offers parents adult education for their own advancement (English as a Second Language, information technology), plus activities for helping their children. A college counseling program trains students and parents on getting into college and finding the necessary resources.
“Pace University is committed to encouraging high expectations for post secondary study,” said Pace President David A. Caputo “We are demonstrating that universities can play a major role in helping young people and their communities prosper through fine public schools.”
Added Sy, “Pace University adds tremendous resources and reach to our school’s offerings to students.”
MORE FACTS THAT MAKE PACE HIGH SCHOOL SPECIAL
• Zero suspensions
• 98% parent participation in school conferences
• 100 percent of 9th graders took the 11th grade US History Regents exam; 82 percent passed.
• Living Environment Regents exam – 97 percent passed (100 percent of 9th graders took this)
• Passing Rate for Mathematics – 80%
• Promotion Rate – 96%
• The overwhelming number of applications for Pace High’s second class ranked the school the 21st most-applied-for non-examination school in the city.
The school is receiving $400,000 in start up funds over four years from New Visions for Public Schools, an organization funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Carnegie foundation (Carnegie Corporation of New York), and George Soros’s Open Society Institute. It received $160,000 in initial funds from the City’s Department of Education and has a normal budget from the City. Pace is donating in-kind services worth more than $1,000,000 over four years, and the scholarships Pace is guaranteeing are worth as much as $400,000 more.
Pace High draws on proven best practices developed by the Coalition of Essential Schools based at Brown University under Theodore Sizer and the small schools that Deborah Meier pioneered in the Central Park East community of Manhattan’s Spanish Harlem. The Education School’s programs preparing New York City Teaching Fellows and urban teachers in the Teach For America program are among the city’s largest. The University has a 20-year-plus relationship with MS 131, regularly providing after-school tutoring by education students.