Behind the Scenes
NID launches Charter School Consortium

Need in Deed’s second Charter School Consortium workshop took place early October at FACTS in Chinatown. Fortified with spring rolls and dumplings, teachers discussed activities they’d conducted with their students since the September session. Next, they modeled the process their students will experience in upcoming months -- reading a real life story, exploring an issue’s causes and effects, and brainstorming potential service ideas.

When one teacher shared that a former student was killed recently, she opened a floodgate of feeling, demonstrating a passionate desire to help students stay the course.
“They don’t know how to handle their emotions,” said Bruce Wilson. “If young men didn’t worry about being punked or played, maybe they could talk with each other. And it isn’t just the guys. I see an escalation with the girls. There aren’t adequate systems in place for the resolution of problems.”

Sixth grade teacher Dan Hect agreed. “It’s why I feel it’s so important to start before they get to high school. Working with the younger ones makes me feel I can do something now that might help them make better choices.”

This past spring NID offered charter schools around the city an opportunity to work with us during the 2008/09 academic year. The Charter School Consortium is a pilot initiative conceived in response to a goal identified during a recently completed strategic planning process. The intent is to reach additional local schools whose missions and values resonate with those of NID.

Three schools -- Folk Arts Cultural Treasures Charter School (FACTS), Independence Charter School (ICS) and Mariana Bracetti Academy Charter School (MBA) were selected from among several that applied for a seat at our service-learning table. Fifteen teachers working in grades 6th-8th are participating.