P.S. 201 Instructional Focus for 2019-20

Our instructional focus for the 2019-2020 school year is to cultivate critical thinking and life-long learning skills through effective questioning and student discourse embedded in rigorous curriculum and tasks. Ongoing professional learning and collaborative planning sessions will support the strategic use of data to drive instruction, as well as effective questioning techniques, which will improve student discourse. Additionally, students will participate in project-based learning experiences that promote student-to-student collaboration, investigation, guided exploration and active problem-solving.


Theory of Action

To accomplish our instructional goal, we need to take the following actions:

  • Partner with Queens North to target professional development cycles to train all teaching staff and the administration around effective questioning, improved and meaningful student discourse and effective use of data to drive instruction

  • Implementation of the enVision Mathematics program. This program focuses on deeper mathematical analysis and approaches mathematics in a variety of ways

  • Continue grade level unit planning sessions to foster communication and collaboration and to ensure that all stakeholders are working together to achieve our intended outcomes

  • Implement an inter-visitation program to support all teaching staff in implementing our school’s new initiatives

  • Plan monthly New Teacher Professional Development support sessions to acclimate new teachers to our school community

  • Continue training all teaching staff and administrators on accessing and analyzing data to plan lessons with multiple entry points

  • Continue using the two online programs: Lexia Learning and Learning A-Z to support students’ literacy development at school and at home


We will continue to focus on the following initiatives from the previous year:

  • Fundations

  • Guided Reading

  • Modification to the writing curriculum 

  • Tier II Vocabulary

  • Lexia and Raz Kids Online Programs

  • Intervisitation System

  • In-house Assessments



Administration will:

  • Integrate project-based learning experiences into our reading, writing and mathematics units of study

  • Modify our mathematics curriculum and its scope and sequence to include critical, standards-based, pre- and post-May standards

  • Modify our mathematics-based instruction to address students at various tiers and learning levels

  • Support ongoing professional growth by partnering with Queens North around collaborative sustained professional learning sessions that focus on our school goals, scheduling collaborative unit-planning sessions and participating actively in all in-house professional development sessions

  • Effectively implement a system for inter-visitations, and provide ongoing feedback and specific support to all teaching staff based on individual needs

  • Monitor all systems and structures to support data-driven instruction via focused walk-throughs

  • Regularly participate in teacher team meetings and provide timely and meaningful feedback regarding data-driven instruction

  • Effectively use standards-based formative and summative assessments to inform instructional decision making

  • Integrate SEL strategies into instructional practices


Teaching staff will:

  • attend in-house professional learning, classroom inter-visitations, collaborative unit planning sessions, and new teacher professional development sessions. Our teaching staff will improve their pedagogy by applying what they have learned from our professional development workshops and planning sessions

  • administer and analyze targeted literacy and mathematics assessments. Our teaching staff will be able to identify strengths/deficits and plan for and deliver meaningful, standards-based instructional lessons

  • collectively norm our grading policy, create and use standards-based rubrics with the intention of identifying instructional areas of focus and sharing best practices

  • design and implement lessons with multiple entry points based on students’ learning modalities and instructional needs

  • cultivate students’ critical thinking skills through the use of effective questioning and discussion techniques

  • implement the enVision curriculum with fidelity, to deepen mathematical analysis and approach mathematics in a variety of ways 

  • collaborate in the design and implementation of PBL units of study on each grade level.

  • regularly inform families of their child’s progress, and provide them with support to continue learning at home


Students will:

  • Communicate effectively to a variety of audiences

  • Analyze, interpret, evaluate and think logically to solve problems using a variety of resources and strategies. Students will develop skills and knowledge to reach personal and career goals

  • Demonstrate self-respect, understanding and appreciation for the diversity and interdependence of all people

  • Actively engage with a wide variety of resources, both print and digital, while developing  both content knowledge and conceptual understanding

  • Demonstrate POWER (Perseverance, Optimism, Willingness, Empathy, & Respect) in the completion of academic tasks and through interactions with all members of the school community


Families will:

Increase their partnership with the school and learn how to support their child at home by:

  • ensuring their child/children attend school daily and report to school on time

  • attending workshops offered by the school around our new initiatives

  • monitoring the progress of their child

  • ensuring their child completes daily homework activities

  • encouraging their child/children to read at home

  • reading to their child and asking their child to read to them

  • attending Parent-Teacher Conferences and participating in our Tuesday’s Parent-Engagement meetings, professional development and events

  • visiting our school’s library and local Pomonok library to promote active reading at home, and participate in literacy-based activities

  • supporting planned family activities (e.g. Bring Your Dad to School Day, STEAM Family NIghts)

  • responding to parent surveys

  • volunteering to attend monthly read alouds in their child’s classroom

  • participating in school events (e.g. classroom celebrations, field trips, etc.)


CBOs will:

  • Collaborate with the school to create a system that will allow students more time to read independently, afford them more books and exposure to more activities related to the CCLS

  • Hold monthly meetings with the school to discuss attendance, social, emotional and instructional progress of attending students

  • Provide families with tools to help support their child’s literacy needs at home