Instructional Methods, Interventions, and Assessments
Maspeth High School is widely regarded throughout the New York City Department of Education as an exemplar in meeting the diverse learning needs of its students. Designated as an Instructional Co-Teaching Lab Site since 2015-16, we have opened our doors to other schools across the five boroughs in an effort to share best practices both inside and outside of the classroom. We believe it is essential to demonstrate successful models of co-teaching, differentiation, and resource adaptation to ensure that all learners are provided with equitable access to curriculum. Beginning with the normalization of shared educational jargon, our special education teachers have provided our staff, as well as those of our neighboring schools, with an extensive pedagogical skill set for adapting lessons to meet the needs of students.
Our instructional support services department, previously known as the special education department, also maintains a scholarship tracker for all students to determine the progress of students and identify areas in which students may require academic interventions. Through the collaboration of academic departments, the use of adapted instructional materials and accommodations to support students are frequently implemented and shared to ensure that students are equipped with the tools to progress appropriately. Collaboratively, through grade level meetings, school cabinet meetings, and a shared electronic resource bank, the use of differentiated materials including outlines, visual materials, and assessments are used to ensure high levels of student learning and achievement.
Our teachers administer quarterly Interim Assessments which are used to measure student mastery of skills and content across the curriculum. Each marking period, one week is designated for the administration and scoring of these interim assessments which is meant to replicate a college exam week. Before the test is administered, each teacher submits a predictive analysis of the questions on the exam. Teachers align each question to New York State and Common Core curriculum standards and hypothesize as to the level of difficulty. Once the exam administration is complete, teachers analyze the data and complete a comprehensive action plan for the remaining weeks of the semester which include both whole class supports and more targeted interventions for individual students. Through this action plan, teachers are able to examine achievement gaps that exist between students and student subgroups to create actionable steps to implement intervention for students. During the 2016-17 school year, the school's leadership recruited teachers to take part in a think tank to refine the assessment process and create a shared understanding of best practices for data analysis and implementation of academic support services.
Maspeth High School also offers Advance Placement, SAT and New York State Regents academies in which students attend classes after school and on Saturdays that are designed to help close student achievement gaps and ensure that students are prepared for the most rigorous examinations of their high school careers. These academies are designed to not only provide extensive test preparation for specific examinations, but also to provide students with study skills that will help to prepare them for their postsecondary endeavors.
Our school is consistently evaluating its progress and setting new goals to increase student achievement and maintain a high level of excellence. Each summer, our leadership team meets for several weeks to review various data points from the New York State Education Department, New York City Department of Education, The College Board and our own internal data collection - including student surveys, parent surveys, teacher surveys, attendance data, grade books, and anecdotal teacher reports.
Maspeth High School's School Leadership Team (SLT), which is comprised of parent, student and staff representatives also review this data and sets goals for the school year across five categories - collaborative teachers, effective school leadership, rigorous instruction, strong family and community ties, and supportive environment. Collectively, the school leadership team develops the school's Comprehensive Educational Plan (CEP), which helps guide the school throughout the upcoming school year. The SLT meets monthly to evaluate progress toward these goals and revise the CEP accordingly.