In New York City, there are over 20 large secondary schools that have restructured into Small Learning Communities (SLCs). Each SLC in a school typically has between 250-450 students that work closely with a core group of teachers and other adults. Together, they develop a personalized learning environment focused on the adults knowing the needs, interests, and aspirations of each student well, closely monitoring his or her progress, and providing the academic and other support he or she needs to succeed. SLC teachers plan together and the curriculum in each SLC is structured around a theme or unifying principle to add relevance to academic subjects. Students with special needs and English Language Learners are part of the SLCs. There is one Principal for the school, with each SLC led by an Assistant Principal. SLC schools are supported by the Office of School Redesign under the Division of Teaching & Learning.
By reorganizing according to the Framework for SLCs in NYC (see the Framework for SLCs in NYC), secondary schools create clear lines of empowerment and accountability, where the collaborative work of facilitative leaders and defined teacher teams results in a culture of personalization for students, improved cross-curricular teaching, and significant improvements in student achievement and college readiness.
1. Facilitative & distributive leadership2. Dedicated teaching, learning, & support teams
3. A data driven system of accountability
4. Rigorous curriculum & instruction for all students, centered on a unifying focus
“The SLCs provide a very clear structure and this ensures the school runs very well, students are well known by the staff in the SLCs and there is a good climate for learning throughout the school as a whole.” From DeWitt Clinton’s Well-Developed Quality Review Report