Learning Technology Grant Program Overview: NYC CSD 8
Award Years: 2021-2024
The Change Agents Action Project
The Change Agents Action Project (CA2P) is an innovative digital literacy initiative that will expand, curate and publicize the existing social justice, Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM)- based curriculum currently underway at two New York City Community School District 8 (CSD 8) middle schools. St. Helena’s school, located within the community of CSD 8, has also agreed to participate.
NYC DOE Community School District 8 is located in the Bronx in neighborhoods that have some of the highest poverty rates in New York City and the country. On average approximately 90% of our students live in poverty, 65% of our students are Latino and 26% of our children are Black. Twelve percent (12%) of students in District 8 are English Language Learners and are from families of recent immigrants. Many of our students struggle academically; however, we believe with the right tools and systems in place, in partnership with their families and our communities, they can reach their fullest potential. Over a three -year period, CA2P will impact 36 mathematics, literacy and science teachers as well as 2 teacher specialists (technology and library media) and at least 900 students, in grades 6 through 8. CA2P will focus on three phases of planning, implementation, and dissemination through the building of a digital media archive, effectively adding the A for arts to the STEM-based social justice work in two CSD 8 schools.
The Bronx Academy for Multimedia (M.S 424) and The School for Inquiry and Social Justice (M.S 337) will integrate literacy with the arts to document and enhance the existing STEM project work in the form of digital murals, video, augmented reality experiences (AR) and a bi-weekly news cast of project updates that will be made public through a project YouTube channel. School administrators, classroom teachers, teacher specialists and students from M.S 337 will continue their existing partnership as mentors to the Bronx Academy Multimedia teachers furthering a model for inquiry and social justice advocacy within the school communities they serve.
CA2P will develop a pathway for students in grades 6 through 8 within the district through the effective use of a blended learning model to improve literacy, particularly for targeted English Language Learners. CA2P will develop a scaffolded approach to project-based literacy and arts integration fostering the 4C’s of 21st Century Learning: critical thinking, creativity, collaboration and communication as a pathway to college and career readiness. CA2P will include ongoing sustained professional development and mentoring of teachers, aimed at increasing capacity for educators to rethink when, where, and how students document different components of a learning experience. CA2P students will work in a team-building approach participating as designers, engineers, documenters, and strategists creating social justice STE[A]M-based projects, aligned with NYS Math, Science, and ELA curriculum standards.
The program will build a cadre of 20 teacher ‘experts’ during phase 1 and 2 to support 18 additional teachers in their schools, during phase 3. Professional development will be provided both face-to-face and virtually and will be followed by in-classroom support and modeling for all participants.
The goals of CA2P are:
- To develop and disseminate instructional materials as regional and state-wide public resources supporting the documentation and public sharing of a STEM based model that integrates literacy and arts-based learning.
- To provide ongoing, sustained professional learning opportunities to targeted administrators, teachers, and specialists that build capacity to offer a process for curating and documenting standards-based hands- on STEM projects that integrate arts and literacy .
- To promote student voice and 21st century learning skills using digital media to build on academic needs through developing evidence of project-based work that integrates arts and literacy learning in science, engineering and mathematics.