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As part of a broad effort to empower principals, New York City's school support structure has evolved into one that is dynamic and responsive to individual school and community needs. As of spring 2010, all schools receive their instructional and operational support from a team called a network. Network teams are made up primarily of experienced educators and professionals who bring expertise in specific areas such as instructional support, special education, school budgets, attendance, and student safety. Network teams support schools both in the field and from their offices around the city.
Principals can partner with one of nearly 60 networks that best meet the needs of their students and school communities. Some networks focus on instructional models that support particular groups of students, such as high school students who are over-aged and under-credited. Others are organized around a particular area of expertise or philosophy, such as project-based learning or leadership development. Networks offer school communities an array of high-quality school support options and let them determine which will best serve their students, staff, and entire community.
Networks are organized into five clusters of about 11 networks each. Cluster teams oversee and support networks and work closely with the Department of Education’s central leadership. Some networks are managed by a small group of Partnership Support Organizations, including New Visions, FHI 360, Fordham University, CUNY, and the CEI-PEA. All clusters and networks are overseen by the Office of School Support. Networks are evaluated annually.
Schools and principals are also supported by their superintendents.
Read more about the structure for supporting schools or find which network supports a school.
Types of Support
Each network team provides broad support to school communities. They offer training and coaching for principals and teachers, share instructional resources to meet each school’s needs, and help schools across the network collaborate with each other. Each network team includes several Achievement Coaches, who go directly to schools to help teachers and instructional leaders deliver rigorous instruction in their classrooms. On the operational side, network team members assist schools with budgets and grants, facilities, human resources, and much more.
Each network team is comprised of about 15 experienced educators and professionals and led by a network leader. Teams are flexibly organized and provide support for schools in the areas of instruction, operations, and student and family services. Each network team provides support to a group of approximately 25-35 schools.
Network teams maintain offices in all five boroughs, working out of 12 locations throughout the City. These offices serve as home base for network teams when they are not supporting schools in the field.