P.S. 23 serves more than 500 students in grades P-2 in a largely Hispanic area of the Bronx. The school has been listed as one of New York City’s best public elementary schools.
Since 2004, more than 20 teachers and administrators at the school have participated in a Schools Attuned to All Kinds of Minds course. Initially attracted to All Kinds of Minds as a way to help them better support their high proportion of special education students, both general education and out-of-classroom specialists at P.S. 23 agree that the training provided them with a framework and tools to look at students differently.
Teacher, Rebecca Odessey notes, “Looking at how children approach learning, how they organize their tasks, and how they strategize to accomplish tasks and problem solve gives us as educators an important lens to look through so we may better support our students. Endless possibilities are inherent in the process, as we unpack children’s strengths and support their potential, to help them move beyond where we currently assess them to be.”
The school’s Inquiry Team employed All Kinds of Minds methods to hone in on a cluster of students held over in first grade, some who had been held back several times. Using the “Attuning a Student” protocol, the team generated learning profiles for each of the students in the group. The profiles provided the team a basis for collaboration around reading-focused management strategies, including a creative intervention that leveraged a student’s affinity for Hannah Montana song lyrics. The team’s approach proved successful, all of the students were promoted to second grade, and many began performing above grade level in their classes.