Equity and Excellence
In fall 2015, Mayor Bill de Blasio and Chancellor Carmen Fariña announced an ambitious set of goals for New York City schools: By 2026, 80% of our students will graduate high school on time, and two-thirds of our students will be college ready. To reach these goals, we must:
What is Single Shepherd?
- Start early: to ensure a strong foundation for our students through Pre-K for All and universal literacy in 2nd grade
- Support strong teachers and a rigorous curriculum in every school: to build the capacity of our teachers and increase student access to the courses they need to succeed
- Meet communities where they are: engage with students and families and ensure programming and support is tailored to the needs of each community.
The goal of the Single Shepherd initiative is to pair every middle and high school student grades 6 – 12 in Districts 7 and 23
with a dedicated school counselor or social worker
who will support them through graduation and college enrollment.
A Single Shepherd is a mentor with the skills to listen to, advocate for, and connect students with resources for success in school, and in their future endeavors in college and career. A Shepherd is experienced and skilled to be able to support students in making academic and personal choices.
A qualified Shepherd is an adult who is knowledgeable in:
• the NYC DOE high school application process
• college exploration, preparation, and the application process
• the impact of societal and environmental challenges
• interpersonal dynamics, group processes, problem solving
• social-justice and building community partnerships
Single Shepherds in Districts 7 and 23 will have an in-depth understanding of social-emotional and person-in-environment challenges, as well as high level training in post-secondary readiness.
About the Initiative Why does it matter?
This initiative is based on a theory of action that pairing students with dedicated counselors who will see them through high school graduation and into college will dramatically improve outcomes, especially for at-risk students. Students and their families will be connected to a consistent source of academic, and social-emotional supports for success. What is the need?
This initiative is targeted to raise the high school graduation rates and college attainment rates for District 7 and District 23. In both of these districts, academic disparities emerge in the early grades as well. Math and ELA proficiency rates in elementary and middle school in both districts currently fall below the citywide average. What will implementation look like?
Shepherds will support students at a roughly 1:100 ratio, and will meet with students both one-on-one and in groups to identify needs, provide individualized support, and assist them in the development of the social-emotional and academic skills necessary to thrive in their education. What will we see in September 2016?
In spring 2016, the NYC DOE will identify and hire the Shepherds. The Shepherds will receive rigorous training in the summer 2016. Starting in fall 2016, all middle and high school students in Districts 7 and 23 — 16,000 total students across 52 schools — will receive support from a shepherd. How will Shepherds be selected?
Shepherds will be selected from existing staff (a pool of social workers and school counselors) and new applicants. Shepherds will be interviewed by the NYC DOE Office of Counseling Support Programs in conjunction with principals’ input. News ArticlesEquity and Excellence: Mayor de Blasio Announces Reforms to Raise Achievement Across all Schools
More Information NYC DOE Equity and Excellence page Office of Counseling Support Programs
New York City Department of Education
52 Chambers Street, Room 218
New York, NY 10007