District Planning

Support and Intervention at Schools

How does New York City support all of its schools?

All schools receive support and assistance from their superintendent and Children First Network team(network), a group of educators who work directly with schools. This team helps schools identify best practices, target strategies for specific students in need of extra help, and prioritize competing demands on resources and time. Each school community chooses the network whose support best meets its needs, and each network works to improve student achievement in all of its schools.

To ensure that all our schools have the support they need, the DOE has added instructional staff to each network team, including a Coordinator of Early Intervention Services, who are working intensively with principals and teachers to strengthen curriculum and teaching to meet the needs of struggling students.

Additionally, networks are helping schools implement a wide range of classroom-level supports during the school day, including individual instruction, small-group work, team teaching,  targeted and well-planned after-school tutoring during extended day time, and training and supporting principals and teachers as they integrate the new Common Core Learning Standards into school curricula and teaching.  These learning standards are focused on critical thinking skills that prepare students for college and career.

How does New York City identify which schools need more intensive support or intervention?

The DOE uses a wide range of data and information to identify schools that are struggling. Schools that receive a grade of D, F, or a third consecutive C or worse on their most recent Progress Report, schools that receive a rating of Underdeveloped on their most recent Quality Review and schools identified as Priority by the New York State Education Department (NYSED) are considered for intensive support or intervention. NYSED defines Priority Schools as among the lowest five percent in the New York State in terms of combined English Language Arts and mathematics performance that are not making progress, as well as those schools that have graduation rates below 60% for the last several years.

Elementary and middle schools that meet these first criteria but then score higher than their district average or the city average in the State English Language Arts and math tests, high schools with graduation rates higher than the citywide average, any schools receiving an A or B on the 2012-2013 Progress Report,  any schools earning a Well Developed score on their most recent Quality Review (from 2010-2011 or later), and/ or any  schools receiving a Progress Report for the first time will not be considered for formal intervention but will continue to get specialized support from their networks.

How does New York City support struggling schools?

Networks develop targeted action plans to support the specific needs of struggling schools.  These plans identify concrete action steps, benchmarks and year-end goals aimed at immediately improving student achievement.  The plans will also outline the specific supports networks will provide to the schools to address the most urgent areas of need, including:

1.       Leadership coaching

2.       Professional development on instructional strategies for struggling students

3.       Identifying grants aimed at specific needs of the school

4.       Introducing new programs

5.       Supporting the development of a smaller learning environment by decreasing the school’s incoming enrollment

6.       Staff and/or leadership changes


How does New York City decide what kind of action plan struggling schools need?

To identify the kind of action that will be best for a struggling school and its students, the DOE reviews school performance data such as:  student performance trends over time, demand /enrollment trends, efforts already underway to improve the school, and  talent data.  We also consult with superintendents and other experienced educators who have worked closely with the school, and gather community feedback on what is working in the school and what isn’t. 

At the end of this multistep process, our analysis and engagement directs us to a set of schools that quantitative and qualitative indicators show do not have the capacity to significantly improve.  These schools are identified for the most serious interventions, including phase out and replacement by a new school.  For the other struggling schools, a targeted action plan is developed in conjunction with schools’ networks.  Deciding what course of action can best support the students and community of a struggling school is not easy, but we are committed to ensuring that every student has access to high-quality schools.

Reports to the Community on Struggling Schools

To learn about the performance and possible actions for our schools and provide feedback, click on the borough links below.

Brooklyn            Bronx          Manhattan           Staten Island         Queens