Olivia Gell, IDEAL's High School Transition, College, and Postsecondary Counselor holds weekly classes with college-bound seniors and juniors. IDEAL's rigorous academic program prepares students for their next steps, and Ms. Gell works together with administrators to utilize the best resources to help students make their postsecondary plans. In the photo above, Ms. Gell advises a senior with his personal statement for college applications. Upcoming activities win the program include, college trips, SAT/ACT prep, and parent events.
Social Justice and Diversity Committee Presentation
Over the summer, IDEAL faculty members worked together in several committees dedicated to furthering the school's mission in specific ways. The Social Justice and Diversity Committee met and collaborated over the course of several days to create a comprehensive Social Justice and Diversity Curriculum for Grades K-5. The committee created a structured scope and sequence that includes the Words of the Month, social identifiers, and a focus on the IDEAL acronym (Inclusion, Diversity, Excellence, Acceptance, and Leadership). The committee also discussed professional development to help inform faculty practices. Committee members shared their work with the entire school staff at Opening Meetings, and led the staff in diversity and identity exercises. The rest of the community has the opportunity to learn about this work at upcoming parent education nights, the first of which is scheduled for October 17.
Getting to Know Ourselves, Getting to Know Each Other
All IDEAL faculty and staff joined together for Opening Meetings, beginning on Monday, August 27 and running through Wednesday, September 5. To open the meetings, faculty mentors introduced the school's newest community members. Faculty and staff members who participated on summer committees including the Ability, Grammar Scope and Sequence, and Social Justice and Diversity Committees led presentations and activities to prepare for work with students in the year ahead. These committees will continue to meet throughout the year, and their work is already being incorporated into the curriculum. Additionally, full faculty and staff were certified in CPR, drilled in the use of the defibrillator machines located in each building, and briefed on fire and safety drill protocols.
500 Pens Article
On Thursday, May 18, 2017, 500 Pens, a website that features innovative social justice, activism, and advocacy efforts and was founded by the Southern Poverty Law Center, published this article about IDEAL and our inclusion model. The author- Gina Apostol, a novelist and English teacher at Fieldston-was working in conjunction with Teaching Tolerance Magazine to explore a variety of NYC schools that actively teach an anti-bias perspective. After visiting IDEAL's Lower and Upper Schools several times this spring, she decided to focus her article entirely on IDEAL. We hope you will recognize your children and their teachers- directly or indirectly-in the anecdotes Ms. Apostol has chosen to celebrate our unique and effective approach to inclusion.