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300 Willoughby Ave, 3rd Floor JHS 117 Brooklyn, NY 11205, (p) 718.230.5748 (f) 718.230.3050



2007-08 academic, creative

and professional preparation

for the 21st century! 1

BCAM Brooklyn Community Arts & Media High School Table of Contents Introduction/ Overview........................................................... 3 Background............................................................................. 4 Community Contract................................................................ 5 Community Beliefs.................................................................. 6 Academic Overview................................................................. 7

Student Support...................................................................... 10 School Policies........................................................................ 11 Behavior Management System................................................ 13 Events, Activities, Privileges................................................... 16 Family Involvement................................................................ 17 Daily Schedule 2007-08........................................................... 18 Graduation Requirements........................................................ 19 Advisory Fam........................................................................... 20 Counseling/Social Work Support............................................. 21 Enrichment Opportunities........................................................ 22 Partners................................................................................... 24 Staff Bios................................................................................. 25 Staff........................................................................................ 38


BCAM Brooklyn Community Arts & Media High School

Introduction/ Overview Greetings BCAM community—students, families, partners and friends! This handbook describes our school and the many components that help to make it work. It allows us as a community to be on the same page so we can all concentrate on the important task of educating our students and preparing them for a successful future. Specifically, the BCAM Community Handbook describes the many components of the school, including: • • •

Community academic and social systems Community actions & behaviors Community roles & responsibilities

We think of our school as a living, breathing organism. It is expected to evolve and change for the sake of improvement. As such, this community handbook is an open-ended document, and we invite all of our community members to read it closely and to make their voices heard with constructive criticism and suggestions. We will publish an updated version each fall for the new school year. So, dive in and get to know it. It helps strengthen our community. Thank you for being part of the BCAM family!


“ We think of our school as a living, breathing organism. It is expected to evolve and change for the sake of improvement.”

BCAM Brooklyn Community Arts & Media High School “At BCAM, we are

well aware that being a teenager of the 21st century is not easy.”

Background BCAM is a 2nd year small public high school which began in 2006-07. BCAM currently features a 9th and 10th grade. Adding a new grade each year, we will reach full capacity of approximately 450 students in the 2009-10 school year. Our school’s commitment is to our students and our families. Our framework and structure is strongly based on the core principles of our partner, the Institute for Student Achievement, and to the New York State Performance Based Standards. This enables us to build a school that has high expectations, possesses shared accountability, and uses performance-based instruction and assessment as the primary method of teaching, learning, and evaluation. At BCAM, we are well aware that it is not easy being a 21st century teenager. Today’s teens have everything at their fingertips, but grow up in an increasingly competitive society in which nothing can be taken for granted. To respond to the challenges and excitement of teenage life, BCAM attempts to provide its students with a small, personalized high school experience that will prepare them for success in the 21st Century. We rely on a collaborative model that places school, family, and community in constructive partnership. We work with the surrounding local community and beyond to offer students valuable academic, social, creative, and professional experiences. Similarly, we seek to serve as a community hub for our Clinton Hill/Bedford-Stuyvesant Brooklyn community. BCAM is committed to teaching and learning rooted in active inquiry, analysis and response. Our classes connect concepts and topics to the real world and the lives of our students. Students complete a college-preparatory academic experience that is difficult and challenging, but also structured and supportive. This experience provides our students a range of opportunities when they graduate from BCAM. In addition, BCAM possesses a focused development in urban arts and media. Instead of simply being consumer targets, our students engage arts and media fields through inquiry-based artistic efforts, professional experiences, and internships. Following a broad range of course experiences, BCAM students develop specialization that provides them different post-high school opportunities. Ultimately, we believe that BCAM’s three-dimensional idea of high school—partnership with family and community; college preparatory, performance-based academics; and professional training in media and arts—will effectively prepare our students for success in the 21st century.


BCAM Brooklyn Community Arts & Media High School Community Contract I am an individual with unique talents, strengths, and weaknesses, and I recognize that I am part of a community that is committed to the common goals of academic achievement, creative expression, and mutual respect. I am an individual with unique talents, strengths, and weaknesses, and I believe that discipline and hard work are the keys to self-respect and accomplishment. I am an individual with unique talents, strengths, and weaknesses, and I pledge to develop my talents, improve my strengths and address my weaknesses by giving my best each and every day. I am an individual with unique talents, strengths, and weaknesses, and I understand that I must do my part to contribute to a safe, respectful, open-minded community atmosphere. As a respectful, open-minded member of the community I am committed to exploring new ideas, increasing my knowledge of the world and its people, and seeking intelligent answers to difficult questions.

“We must all take responsibility for making BCAM a safe, caring, and successful learning community.�

As a respectful, open-minded member of the community, I take responsibility for my words and actions and promise to conduct and express myself in ways that are truthful and constructive. As a respectful, open-minded member of the community, I promise not to insult, disrespect, or physically confront others I might not agree with or understand. As a respectful, open-minded member of the community, I adhere to the established rules and guidelines of the school and my individual classes. We must all be committed to learning, growing, and being healthy. We must all seek the answers and be open to constructive criticism. We must all strive to be consistent in our words and actions. We must all take responsibility for making BCAM a safe, caring, and successful learning community. Student signature____________________________________________ date___________ Advisor signature____________________________________________ date___________ Parent/guardian signature_____________________________________ date___________ Administrator signature________________________________________date___________


BCAM Brooklyn Community Arts & Media High School BCAM Community Beliefs

B is for Brooklyn, for Bed-Stuy, for where we are and where we’re from. B is for believing in ourselves and each other and for becoming better.

The Brooklyn Community Arts & Media High School (BCAM) is founded on the belief that the Brooklyn community is rich in talent, intelligence and potential. We also recognize the many obstacles that lay before today’s teens that may hinder their chances of achieving educational and economic success. With a challenging inquiry-based academic curriculum that relates to real life issues, together with multiple opportunities for exploration and expression through arts, BCAM seeks to stimulate students’ intellects, excite their imaginations, and provide them with marketable skills. By drawing on the resources of the New York City community, through partnerships with local artists, organizations, and leaders, BCAM students will gain valuable knowledge and skills to shape their futures as leaders of tomorrow.

C is for community, for commitment, for creativity.

C is for accepting life challenges,

preparing for college, and affecting positive change.

The word community (“com” = together, “unity” = one) literally means “together as one,” and in order to support our students in meeting high educational and professional goals, we must be strong and united. We must respect ourselves and each other, and we must work together to become better as individuals and as a community. We must help each other, learn from each other, and love each other as family. No haters! We do not insult, we do not fight, we do not lie. It is therefore essential that every one of our community members—students, staff, parents, partners, and friends—be committed to the common goals of academic excellence, individual responsibility, and mutual respect.

A is for arts, for academics, and for accomplishment. A is for high aspirations and astounding achievement.

Both art and academics share tenets of exploration and expression. Through both we can transform society and ourselves by giving voice to challenging truths and giving shape to our greatest aspirations. At BCAM we believe that the intersection of art and academics provides avenues for understanding english, math, social studies, science, and foreign languages, and for displaying mastery of those subjects. Therefore, students are routinely asked to demonstrate their knowledge and skills through written, oral, and visual presentations in all of their academic and creative courses. Students’ artistic and academic achievements are exhibited throughout the year in our classrooms and hallways and presented to the BCAM community at our quarterly “Night to Shine” and at other public events.

M is for media, for the mind, and for maximizing our true potential. M is for making meaningful messages for the masses.

The media constitutes a powerful force in contemporary American society—for better and for worse. Television, movies, music, the internet, the advertising industry, etc., all have the power to bring the world to our students, to shape their ideas and even their identities. Indeed, for parents and educators alike, the media is in many ways our biggest competitor for the minds and hearts of today’s youth. At BCAM we believe that a critical understanding of how the media works, and in whose interests, is crucially important for 21st century urban teens. We also believe that by becoming creators rather than mere consumers of the media, not only will students gain practical skills for careers in a thriving local and global industry, but that through the media they can have a significant voice in the world.


BCAM Brooklyn Community Arts & Media High School BCAM Academic Overview Classes • • •

Classes are heterogeneous to accommodate student styles & skills. Students work individually and within whole class and small group structures. All classes complete daily class work and nightly homework.

Habits of Learning The Habits of Mind • Viewpoint: • Evidence: • Supposition: • Connections: • Relevance:

What is perspective? What facts support an argument? What other alternatives are considered? How is this idea related to other ideas? Why is the idea important to society and us?

The Habits of Work • Punctuality: • Organization: • Focus: • Cooperation: • Revision:

We arrive on time. We arrive with needed materials & resources. We participate, listen, and ask questions. We help ourselves and others to learn. Our work uses review, sharing, display.

Inquiry-based Teaching & learning

Inquiry/project learning: BCAM learning is rooted in an inquiry approach that links questions, concepts, and topics to sense-making and real world application. Student use research, conceptconnections and critical thinking. Layered skill/concept attainment: We utilize a layered approach that builds on students’ pre-existing understanding, connects factual knowledge, mastered skills, and previous understanding. Cross-disciplinary approaches: Inquiry approaches often connect across academic disciplines as well as skills, concepts, topics, and performance.


“BCAM learning is rooted in an inquiry approach that links questions, concepts, and topics to sense-making and real world application.”

At BCAM, strong academic units possess the following qualities: • differentiated learning styles and levels • use of prior knowledge • are archived and utilized again • produce specific academic products • result in further inquiry and lasting knowledge • show that content, skills, and competencies are of equal importance • display high expectations and strong supports • connect personal knowledge to a world view • work to solve and pose problems • are cross-disciplinary and collaborative • include pre-assessment • possess embedded literacy instruction


BCAM Brooklyn Community Arts & Media High School Multiple Forms of Assessment

Exhibitions: Many academic units culminate in portfolio exhibitions, which are written, visual, and oral displays of mastery and understanding of a topic or unit of study. A few examples of exhibitions are: • speeches • reports • debates • performances • role playing • games • drafting & revision • labs/experiments • team work/problem solving • team exams • students teaching • active quizzes • unit/semester exams Quarterly Grade Reports and Mid-Quarter Progress Reports: BCAM issues grade reports and holds parent conferences each 9-week quarter. In addition, mid-quarter progress reports are issued to inform students and families of ongoing progress.

Emphasis on Literacy

Balanced Literacy/Workshop model: BCAM’s English curriculum is rooted in an adapted balanced literacy/writing workshop model to develop effective literacy. In addition, BCAM BookTime is a structured independent reading program in which students strive to read 15 books per year. Literacy across curriculum: An important BCAM commitment is to infuse reading and writing into every discipline, including math, science, and professional focus courses. Professional development encourages this commitment.

Curriculum Alignment with State Standards

Standards-Driven Curriculum: BCAM’s four-year curriculum mapping process, as well as our course and unit development, utilizes the state/city standards as essential goals that guide our work. These standards inform what we wish students to know, do and accomplish. In-Class Regents Preparation: Students are required to pass the 5 primary Regents exams. Our courses provide regular exposure to Regents content, skills, and competencies.


BCAM Brooklyn Community Arts & Media High School Intensive College Preparatory Focus

Comprehensive partnerships with college and universities: BCAM has partnerships with colleges/universities through school-based programs, site programming, and external student opportunities. College/future exploration and preparation: Our students build skills and explore higher education opportunities by working with college students, visiting campuses, learning about college resources, developing goals, and going through the application process. 3 types of college preparatory courses for BCAM students: College Now Classes are seminar style HS level classes. Bridge Courses are college-level classes for HS students held on a campus. College Credit Courses provide students college credit.

Intensive Arts and Media Professional Focus Dual professional focus through classes: Students develop their arts/ media professional focus through courses that elicit inquiry-based, project-driven work and artistic skill development. Classes inquire into dents to develop a body of their own ar-

topics and ask stutistic work.

External Internships: All qualifying BCAM students complete a minimum half-semester internship at an agency/business/organization, or with a professional. Internships function as apprenticeships with real responsibility, mentorship, and inquiry projects.


BCAM Brooklyn Community Arts & Media High School BCAM Student Support System BCAM is committed to collaborative and close support of our students. While we have high expectations for all, we also realize that students deserve multi-faceted supports. The following describes such mechanisms: Extended Day Academic Instruction Tutoring, project/portfolio mentorship, and small group mini-lessons are provided 2 days a week for all students. Such support is required for students performing below standard and for students in need of focused assistance. Resource Room Support Students in need of special academic supports receive small group instruction during regularly scheduled periods. This small group instruction is two-pronged: 1) to provide extra support on students’ regular class curriculum; 2) to work in a focused manner on skills specific to individual student needs.

“ While we have high expectations for all, we also realize that students deserve multi-faceted support, and a myriad of services tailored directly to their needs.”

Collaborative Team-Teaching and Push-In Support Models We utilize a collaborative team teaching structure in certain classes to best serve our students with special needs. Since our classes are block-scheduled, students are programmed in a manner whereby our special education staff collaborate with academic discipline teachers to best serve our special needs population. CTT is complemented by a “push-in” model of special needs support. Special education and ESL teachers support individual or small groups of students with in-class assistance, mini-lessons, and adaptation of the curriculum.

BCAM “Academic Friend” System BCAM students identified as having special needs are paired with a student peer for additional support. These peer mentors are trained to serve as an “academic friend” and support his/her peer on curricular concepts, assignments, and projects. Common Planning/PD Focused on Special Needs and Differentiated Instruction Common planning time is utilized to review IEP’s and progress of special needs students and to develop strategies to further support. In addition, PD focuses on differentiation inside the heterogeneous, mainstreamed classroom to best serve our students.


BCAM Brooklyn Community Arts & Media High School BCAM School Policies/Guidelines BCAM Dress Code • BCAM uses dress code to provide a safe, serious, and respectful school atmosphere. • The required top is BCAM shirt and required bottoms are slacks, dickies, khakis in tan, blue, black, or grey. • Fridays are personal choice wardrobe days, except Friday field trips which require uniform. • When possible, all clothing should be clean, pressed, and presentable for school. • Clothing is worn with appropriate undergarments— undershirts, turtlenecks, and thermals are allowed. • Bottoms are belted and worn on waist. • No headgear (hats, scarves, doo-rags) of any kind worn at BCAM, except for permissible religious reason. • There is no sagging, see-through, cut up, explicitly revealing, gang affiliated clothing or accessories worn at BCAM. • There is no clothing or accessories that display illegal or inappropriate symbols or messages worn at BCAM. Building Use • Our school is housed on the entire 3rd floor. • Students enter our building via Franklin Avenue entrance to cafeteria and then to Stairway 7-8 to 3rd Floor. • Student Stairway 7-8 for lunch, PE, electives, end of day exit. • BCAM students are not allowed on any other floor/classroom besides designated BCAM locations without staff permission/ pass. Attendance/Lateness • Unexcused absences net consequences and grade lowering. • Required note/documentation/family call for all absences. • Each quarter, 4 latenesses to school and/or classes result in grade lowering and consequences.

“Providing a safe and serious atmosphere will help our students become respectable young adults.”

Locker Usage • All students are issued a BCAM locker and a lock. • Lost/damaged locks $10.00. • Coats, hats, electronics required in locker upon school entry. • Lockers store school and personal items and are kept clean. • Students use lockers before school, lunch, in-between classes. • Locker access during class requires permission from staff. • Lockers are decorated in compliance with BCAM/DOE standards; no stickers. • BCAM/school security have the right to randomly search lockers and search with probable cause.


BCAM Brooklyn Community Arts & Media High School Electronics/Head-Wear • All electronics/headwear required off and in lockers upon school entry, including during lunch. • Non-stored items are confiscated to Administration immediately: -1st confiscation: given end of day -2nd confiscation: parent/guardian must retrieve -3rd confiscation: parent/guardian retrieves at end of semester • Discipline consequences are issued to student for each confiscation. School Phones/Computers • School phones are for emergency and to contact family. • Families may contact community members through the main office phone (718-230-5748). • Classroom and school computers, laptops and printers are for academic use only. Bathroom Usage • BCAM bathrooms are on the 3rd floor only. • Bathrooms are locked during class passing periods. • Bathrooms are open before/after school, lunch beginning, and during class. • Bathrooms are used by signing out and utilizing pass. • Excessive bathroom trips and excessive time in bathrooms result in discipline consequences and loss of bathroom privilege. • Vandalism and/or littering result in discipline consequences Dean/Admin will patrol hallways and bathroom.


BCAM Brooklyn Community Arts & Media High School BCAM Behavior Management System The following charts provide a range of consequences and procedures in response to unacceptable BCAM behavior violations. Key points related to the charts include: • Consequences are the decision of involved staff member(s) and Dean’s office. • Repeat actions/behaviors and failures to follow consequences are met with increased consequences. • Students may appeal consequences in writing with Fam advisor and Dean’s office.

Level 1 Violations — Minor Actions, Usually in Class: Violations • • • • •

• • •

lateness talking out of turn, disregarding teacher instructions eating/drinking in class inappropriate wardrobe inappropriate/ disruptive verbal behavior, including teasing, clowning, cursing inappropriate/ disruptive physical behavior, including play-fighting, throwing objects prohibited materials, electronics head down on desk, sleeping roaming, excessive time in bathroom and unauthorized areas



Request to change/stop behavior

Include reasoning why behavior is unacceptable and reminder of potential consequences.

Student to “Re-focus” area in room

Classrooms posess “Re-focus” for students to gain control and/or complete a written reflection.

Talk with student outside class

Staff talk seriously and privately with student about inappropriate behavior.

After-school detention

• • • • • •


After-school detention Tues/ Thurs 3:30pm-4:30pm. Served on next available detention day. Students given consequences for inappropriate behavior. Lateness/early exit results in additional detention. Students required to work on academic schoolwork. Dean/Parent Coordinator contacts family.

BCAM Brooklyn Community Arts & Media High School Level 2 Violations — More Serious and/or Repeated Level 1 Actions: Violations • •

• •

all continually repeated level 1 actions use of prohibited entrances, exits, stairways, floors, bathrooms class cutting/ ditching inappropriate/ unauthorized use of electronics, cameras, computers, printers, internet

Consequence Re-focus time in Dean’s office

Process • • • • •

Written reflection discussing unacceptable behavior

• •

Student to Dean’s office for re-focus writing/discussion. Student reflects via mediation/written documentation. Student required to make up missed work. Mediation is documented and kept in student’s file. Student returns to class with a pass from the Dean. Written to satisfaction of attending staff, Dean. Presented, discussed and set future plan.

Suspension from class/ office until meeting with staff

Meeting set between student and involved staff before student allowed to return to class/office.

Meeting with advisor

Meeting with advisor to discuss actions and next steps.

Referral to Counseling office for counselor/ student meeting

Counseling receives documentation of incident and formal notification made to schedule meeting.

Removal of BCAM privilege

• •

Parent notification


Removal from designated event, activity. Student submits reflection letter potentially including apology and contract of next steps. Once privilege is forfeited and passed, student return to determined status. Notification of behavior/action to family.

BCAM Brooklyn Community Arts & Media High School Level 3 Violations — Extremely Serious, Illegal or Repeated Level 1 & 2 Actions: Violations • •

• • •

all continually repeated level 1 & 2 actions scholastic dishonesty including plagiarism/ cheating possession, sale, distribution, or use of contraband: weapons/drugs/ alcohol vandalism, unauthorized graffiti, defacing school property stealing gambling sexual and sexually oriented activity, comments, gestures any gang related activity

Consequence Family Conference

Process • • •

Principal’s Suspension

• •

Superintendent Suspension

• •

School Expulsion

• •


Family notified of unacceptable behavior. Family required to attend conference. Meeting documented for student’s file. Suspended for designated days. Student completes work at school from 3:30-6:00pm. Provided BCAM coursework and an incident reflection assignment completed by return date. If suspension assignments not completed, further consequences result. Family conference required for return. Suspended for designated days at suspension site. Length of the suspension determined by administration and Superintendent’s Office. Provided BCAM coursework and an incident reflection assignment. completed by return date. If suspension assignments not completed, further consequences result. Family conference required for return. Severe action(s) results in expulsion from school. Family conference and DOE hearing required.

BCAM Brooklyn Community Arts & Media High School BCAM Events, Activities, Privileges BCAM possesses a wide variety of ongoing rituals and privileges that build school culture and create opportunity. These are normal parts of the BCAM experience and available to all students and community members in good standing. As described in the BCAM Management System students may lose the privilege of participating if they engage in community violations. The following are current BCAM rituals and privileges: • •

• • • • •

• • • • • • •

semester evaluations of academic work. quarterly exhibitions of academic and creative. work in our “Night to Shine.” advisory-fam community circle, teen issues, and family building activities. fresh fridays: monthly field trips, events, and activities. tuesday/thursday electives program. extra-curricular clubs and athletic teams community action projects documentary filming of our school experience regular trips and projects in Advisory-Fam groups and core academic classes creative lunches monthly town-hall meetings family picture/photos days; luncheons quarterly awards and recognition events college trips/visits internship opportunities regular assemblies, guest speakers, shows


“BCAM possesses a wide variety of ongoing rituals and privileges that build school culture and create opportunity.”

BCAM Brooklyn Community Arts & Media High School

BCAM Family Involvement

“The best

BCAM and our families are not just partners in education—we are a community. The best model of educating and preparing our students for successful young adult life is through constant communication and collaboration between home and school. The following are ways BCAM families are involved in our school processes: • •

• •

• •

model of educating and preparing our students for successful young adult life is through constant communication and collaboration between home and school.”

BCAM families required to attend grade conferences 4 times annually. BCAM families receive quarterly grade reports 4 times yearly, and mid-quarter progress reports also 4 times—for a total of 8 grade reports each year. BCAM families are often encouraged to participate in the exhibition displays, project work, and advisory experiences of students. BCAM families encouraged to tutor and support BCAM enrichment programming. BCAM families have multiple opportunities for leadership and to support leadership: -BCAM School Leadership Team with parent representation -BCAM Parent Association reliant on family leadership -family committees on events, student attendance, home support BCAM families are encouraged to seek adult education Bachelor’s degree through partnership with College of New RochelleBrooklyn campus. BCAM families are the most important piece in making sure our students arrive on time each morning ready to have a successful, productive day. BCAM families must provide regular, quiet space for our students to complete homework.

In sum, we hope through these mechanisms to cultivate a strong partnership between home and school. This will go a long way to providing successful and supportive experiences for our BCAM students.


BCAM Brooklyn Community Arts & Media High School

BCAM Schedule: 2007-2008 Period/Time 1) 8:30-9:32 2) 9:35-10:37 3)10:40-11:42






academic classes academic classes academic classes

academic classes academic classes academic classes

academic classes academic classes academic classes LUNCH

academic classes academic classes academic classes

academic classes academic classes academic classes

advisory community circle academic classes academic classes tutoring (Science / History/ Humanites)


advisory discussion/ article academic classes Staff Professional Development student independent work


advisory creative activity academic classes academic classes extracurricular

11:45-12:27 12:30-1:07 4) 1:10-2:12 5) 2:15-3:17 Extended Day 3:30-4:30


• • •

electives 10th electives 9th tutoring (Math / English Spanish/ Art) detention

gym/ athletics

gym/ athletics

electives 10th electives 9th extracurricular detention

gym/ athletics

The BCAM school day begins at 8:30AM and ends at 3:17PM, Mon, Tues, Thurs, and Fri. Wed ends at 2:12PM, where students work independently, and staff meets. Mondays-Fridays, structured student support and enrichment time is from 3:17PM-6:00PM. During this time, students receive tutoring and participate in electives, clubs, and teams.


BCAM Brooklyn Community Arts & Media High School BCAM Graduation Requirements BCAM holds high expectations for its students. Graduate requirements include:

Course Credit Criterion • • •

16 units of BCAM core academic coursework : 4 English, 4 History, 4 Science, 4 Math. 4 units of BCAM enrichment academic coursework: 1.5 Language, 2.5 Health/P.E. 6 units of BCAM arts/media coursework : 2 art, 4 electives.

Regent Exam Criterion • • • • •

English Language Arts (ELA) Regent Exam Global History Regent Exam United States History Regent Exam Mathematics A Regent Exam Life Sciences Regent Exam

Academic Portfolio Criterion areas.

BCAM students are required to present and defend knowledge in six (6) major portfolio • • • • • •

History English Mathematics Science Fine Art Autobiographical

During classes, students complete exhibitions that build towards these graduation portfolios. Exhibitions and portfolios consist of three forms of student mastery: written exhibitions, oral exhibitions, and visual exhibitions. When students complete their portfolios, they have learned to inquire into, analyze, present, and defend ideas. They have also learned to manage long-range tasks, plan, persevere, initiate, reflect, and revise.


BCAM Brooklyn Community Arts & Media High School BCAM Advisory Fam At BCAM, Advisory Fam groups are a primary component of student support. Advisory-Fam ensures that all students develop trusting relationships with key adult staff over a number of years. Advisory Fam is a place: • where students build long-term relationships with a staff Fam leader • where students build strong, lasting peer relationships • where students analyze current events and teen issues • that provides support with academic development • that provides support with personal development The role of the Advisor includes being: • an educator • an advocate • a nurturer • a disciplinarian • a manager • a primary liaison between school and family • in frequent dialogue with his/her students’ teachers The role of Advisee-Fam student includes: • attending Advisory Fam classes • participating in Advisory Fam activities • discussing important teen issues, social topics, and current events • thinking about and planning future opportunities • communicating with the advisor about important issues • completing necessary school related forms and documents • supporting other fellow advisees with their issues and needs • completing autobiography portfolio requirements • contributing to a safe, supportive family atmosphere Schedule of Advisory Fam Advisory Fam sessions are 5 days a week, for 35 minutes sessions. The weekly schedule is: • Mondays: Community Circle • Tuesdays: BookTime; 1 on 1 check-ins • Wednesdays: Community Reading/Discussion • Thursdays: BookTime; 1 on 1 check-ins • Fridays: Group activities; community project work


“ In essence, Advisory Fam groups see to it that no one in our community goes unnoticed or gets lost.”

BCAM Brooklyn Community Arts & Media High School BCAM Counseling/ Social Work Support There are times when students need someone to talk to outside of the classroom, and sometimes they may even need specific support for issues in their complicated lives. BCAM’s counselors are available to students who need that listening ear. In counseling sessions a BCAM counselor and students explore challenging questions and engage in thoughtful discussion. Using an inquiry-based counseling approach, students are guided to draw their own conclusions about their lives—as opposed to being given directive advice to solve problems. Furthermore, BCAM honors the student’s right to confidentiality—meaning that what is said in private stays private, unless the student is being injured, or plans on injuring him/herself or others. WHO DO WE SERVE? Mandated Students = students with IEP’s (Individualized Education Program) which make individual and/or group counseling mandatory Non-mandated Students = referral made by student, school staff, parent, or based upon a collective need (i.e. group for students w/ incarcerated parents)

WHAT DO WE DO? Mandated Students = confidential individual and/or group counseling intended to work on specific social/emotional goals (per IEP) and current personal issues Non-mandated Students = confidential individual or group counseling intended to work through current personal issues or address behavior

WHEN DO WE MEET WITH STUDENTS? The day/time of student sessions is determined by student schedule & counseling staff. Mandated Students = frequency is determined by IEP Non-mandated Students = frequency is determined by counselor, student & school staff to ensure that students do not overuse counseling time to miss class (sessions last no longer than 30-45 mins.) HOW ARE REFERRALS MADE? 1) Student visits counseling office with pass OR school staff completes referral form. 2) If staff referred, staff is invited to participate in first session with student consent to define problem. 3) If staff referred, staff may follow-up with counselor as counseling progresses, with consent of student.

WHERE DO WE MEET? In the Counselor’s office.

WHY SHOULD A STUDENT BE REFERRED? Some reasons to refer a student for counseling: need to talk, relationship issues at home/school, change of mood, *suicidal thought/ talk, *abuse (sexual/physical), pregnancy, sexuality, grief/loss, substance abuse/drug use, crisis (home/school)

* Please note, in emergency situations of suicide ideation or current physical /sexual abuse, no referral is needed. School staff must follow school protocol & seek the counselor or principal immediately!


BCAM Brooklyn Community Arts & Media High School Specialized Elective Program An incredibly important structure to our community’s enrichment is our comprehensive elective program which takes place 2 days a week. Utilizing the talents and passions of both communitybased educators, as well as our own BCAM staff, this time provides students a range of art, health, and academically-oriented enrichment opportunities. These classes include: animation, advanced drawing, graphic design, hip-hop emceeing, music studio production, documentary filmmaking, T-shirt design, graffiti mural artistry, salsa dance, modern dance, fashion design, Capoeira martial arts, weightlifting, yoga, knitting, and theater. New and exciting electives are created each semester.

“ Utilizing the talents and passions of both community-based educators, as well as our own BCAM staff, this time provides students a range of art, health, and academicallyoriented enrichment opportunities.�


BCAM Brooklyn Community Arts & Media High School Foreign Language: Becoming Global Citizens for a 21st century At BCAM students are also required to take three (3) Spanish language courses. Through the broadening knowledge of a second language and the other cultures, students demonstrate: oral, written, and content development in Spanish; the ability to explore and analyze various situations and issues from different perspectives; and cross-cultural understanding through communication skills. Physical Education Classes An important tenet to the BCAM vision is a commitment to develop a strong physical fitness program. Our fitness program fits into our core beliefs around community, inquiry, and creativity. All BCAM students are required to complete a diverse athletic and physical fitness curriculum. Our partnerships provide a diverse range of PE options such as basketball, volleyball, track, weightlifting, swimming, pilates, yoga, African dance, Capoeira martial arts, and Salsa dancing. Competitive Athletics Students are encouraged to try out for our athletic teams if they wish to take their interest to health and fitness to the competitive level. We provide a range of team opportunities, including young men’s/women’s PSAL basketball and baseball, softball, track and soccer clubs. Our teams/clubs follow a structured process of practice and training and full seasons of competitive play, as well as off-season workouts and improvement plans. Our athletic program utilizes a variety of neighborhood and community agencies to enact their mission. Extra-Curricular Clubs/ Advanced Academic Courses Advanced Mathematics Student Council College Now Program Student Publishing Staff Spirit Squad Dance Fashion and Design Club Internship Program The BCAM Internship program is an opportunity for students to build strong on-the-job skills while gaining real work experience in various fields and careers. The program is designed from start-to finish to provide students opportunities to put their work skills to use, including searching for jobs, writing resumes, researching sites, interviewing for positions, and then completing an internship at a particular site. The internship program is a wonderful learning process for students, and can be a great opportunity for a site to bring in new energy, and help mentor youth in the community. We have smart and talented students, who are ready for the opportunity to do serious work. CCC Resource Center The CCC Resource Center is BCAM’s space where students explore creative, career, and college opportunities, while building tools to support their lives both inside and outside of school. Students do a variety of college and career preparatory activities in the CCC, and work on their autobiographical portfolios, which is a set of year by year action and product deliverables. 23

BCAM Brooklyn Community Arts & Media High School BCAM Partners Institute for Student Achievement (ISA)

The Institute for Student Achievement (ISA) is a 501 ( c ) 3 charitable organization, in its 17th year of existence, working to increase educational and social opportunities for underserved youth in New York City and nationally. BCAM is fortunate enough to be one of ISA’s partner schools. All ISA sites implement and accomplish the principles described below. These principles are based on ISA’s achieved effectiveness and current education research. The ISA Model principles are: 1. an inquiry based, college prep instructional program 2 a dedicated staff of teachers and a counselor 3 continuous professional development 4 distributed counseling 5 extended school day and school year 6 parent involvement 7 continuous organizational improvement

Additional Partners

Educational/College John Jay College/College Now Program The New School University Institute for Urban Education (IUE) College of New Rochelle-Bedford Stuyvesant Campus Project Reach Youth HIV Awareness Brooklyn Health Initiative Condom Awareness Arts/Media MTV Music Television and Media D.C.T.V. Documentary Filmmaking Pieces of Brooklyn Clothing Boutique Collecther Clothing Boutique Purelements Dance Project Arts Behind the Book (Author Visits) Urban Word NYC Hip Hop Theater Network H2Ed (Hip Hop as Education Organization) Story Corps Student Press Iniative Business/Organizations Bedford-Stuyvesant Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) Shambhala Yoga and Wellness Center The Brooklyn Intern Program The Boys Clubs of NYC 278 Grand Arts and Activism Café Cradle of Bed-Stuy Social Services Starbury Athletics


BCAM Brooklyn Community Arts & Media High School Staff Bios Terry Borne, Academic Coach Welcome to the wonderful world of BCAM (The “Fam” as it is familiarly known). My name is Terry Born and I have had the great good fortune to be involved with this school for two years. I have traveled a very, very long road to get here and I can say with pride, I am happy to have arrived in this very spot. I was born in Salzburg, Austria right after World War II, the child of a Holocaust survivor and a soldier in the Russian Army. I came to United States when I was just one year old and grew up in the Bronx. I lived all over the Bronx, from Hoe Avenue in Hunts Point to Sedgwick to upscale Riverdale. I now live in a loft in Greenwich Village, which is very fine indeed! I am a product of a New York City public education from kindergarten to college and have two Masters degrees from New York University and Bank Street College of Education. As a teacher, I taught English, Photography and an interdisciplinary theater program that I created with a Science teacher called, Bongo. We would work with students for 3 months studying, writing a play and producing it. It was awesome. In 1993 I created a school in Long Island City, Queens, the Robert F. Wagner Jr. Secondary School for Arts and Technology. It was designed to integrate the arts and technology in the way students learn and express what they have learned. I like to think that it was a precursor to BCAM in that much of my beliefs about how students learn and why education can be exciting are embedded in the philosophy of this school. In 2004 I retired and became a coach to small schools around the country, helping principals organize new schools and helping teachers in the classroom be more effective. Though I miss the students in my classroom and in my school, I love the work I do because I get to travel, share the great work from California and North Carolina with the wonderful schools opening here in New York and meet terrific educators and students every day. My great loves are art, literature, and travel. In 2002 I went to Antarctica and played with penguins and giant albatrosses, in 2003 I drove to Alaska and back in a van, and last year I went to Iceland, walked the Inca Trail and swam off a Greek island. My goals for this year are:  To assist students to publish a book of their own work.  To assist the teachers to have effective and meaningful classrooms where students demonstrate their knowledge and their creativity.  To assist the school to look at student performance analytically in order to improve passing rates for all.

Samantha Charles-Pierre, Assistant Principal I grew up in a house where education was very important. My mother always tried to instill in me that with an education I could make it even further in life, especially being a woman. She used to tell me over and over how many women of her generation could not reach their goals because they did not have the education they needed. For this reason, I made sure to get as much schooling as I could. This, too, is why I became a teacher—to instill the value of education in my students and help them realize that an education can open so many doors.


BCAM Brooklyn Community Arts & Media High School My name is Samantha R. Charles-Pierre. I was a Special Education teacher for 5 years in a District 75 school. Special needs students can be extremely challenging, but helping them overcome their disabilities and move on to a less restrictive environment makes it all worth it. My students and their parents know that I really care and want nothing but the best for them. I show this with the time and effort I put into each student. As a part-time job, as well as in the summer, I work for the Boys’ Club of New York. I’ve been a part of the Boys’ Club staff for almost 10 years. With the Boys’ Club my position has ranged from counselor to administrator. Each position has helped me grow and develop better work habits, as well as learn to deal with boys of all ages. In all, I enjoy working with the boys and watching them grow into young men. As Assistant Principal my role at BCAM will be to make sure the needs of all students are being meet. I will do this by: • working with teachers to improve and support their classroom practices; • being an advocate for all students, specifically those with learning disabilities; • managing a well-balanced Elective Program and maintain partnerships with artisteducators over many years.

Lyntonia Coston, History Department Chair Hi! My name is Lyntonia Coston, but friends call me Toni. I am originally from Harlem, NY (155 St, Polo Grounds, The Rucker, you know), but for most of my life I have lived all around the Bronx. I now reside in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, where I just bought a house with my girlfriend. I attended Wellesley College in Massachusetts, where I had a wonderful four years and majored in International Relations with a focus on Education. After college I joined the NYC Teaching Fellows Program and had the opportunity to teach Social Studies in a Bronx Middle School for three years as well as obtain my Master’s degree in Secondary Education-History. A year ago I found myself stepping into this unfamiliar Brooklyn territory to become a part of the inspiring vision of BCAM. I believe this was one of the best decisions I have made. I am an advocate for community service and have a strong relationship with the Big Brothers Big Sisters Organization. I am also a proud member and have a lifetime commitment to Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. It is my belief that we are first and foremost a population of individuals, and we have to make a commitment to ourselves and then to each other to work towards improving our surroundings. Only then are we are really a community. It is through teaching history that I am able to make this commitment to improving our community. We can all learn from and be inspired by the past and then use this knowledge and inspiration to affect our present and future. Some of my goals for this year are: • To promote student learning of the past that is still relevant to the present and the future; I want students to see how history still influences them today. • Additionally, I am excited about facilitating BCAM Student Council meetings. I hope to have a dedicated and excited group of students who want to be a voice for positivity, success and change for their classmates. • This year I will be pushing myself and my students to take more of a creative/active role in learning history. Long gone are the days of textbook memorization and regurgitation. I want the class to get involved with the content through discussions, debates, trips, papers, plays and other productions that demonstrate their work and understanding. See you in class!


BCAM Brooklyn Community Arts & Media High School Mamadou Diallo, Mathematics Teacher My name is Mamadou Diallo. I was born in Guinea, which is a country located in West Africa. Most of my family lives in Guinea, except my mother and my two brothers who live in Europe, in the Netherlands. I came to the United States as a foreign student with a dream, which was and still is to acquire the highest level of education that I can get. The only languages that I spoke when I arrived here were French and a few African dialects; therefore, I had to take ESL courses for eight months at LaGuardia Community College, where I eventually earned my Associate degree in Computer Programming and Systems in 2002. I then transferred to Queens College to further my education. There I decided that I wanted to become a mathematics teacher and changed my major to mathematics/secondary Education. I completed my bachelor’s degree at Queens College in 2006 and I am now enrolled in its graduate program. My primary role as a mathematics teacher is to transmit the appropriate knowledge and experience that I have acquired in the mathematics field to my students so that they understand it and are able to use it in their everyday lives. My responsibilities at BCAM will be to fulfill this role and make sure that I contribute in other ways that will help BCAM eventually become the best high school that it can be. In conclusion, I have 3 primary goals for the 2006-07 year. They are to: • develop an effective math curriculum that targets the students needs and interests; • identify creative ways to efficiently get the mathematical content across; • make mathematics fun and interesting for students.

Robin D’Averso, Humanities Teacher Hello all, my name is Robin D’Averso. Like many of the other staff, I am a transplant to Brooklyn. Born in Arizona, I was raised in Alabama, Alaska, Georgia, Oregon, Tennessee and Washington. For the past seven years I have taught and lived in the most lovely, most tough and rusty, city of Chicago. After 4 years of teaching, 20 years of institutional learning and 27 years of living (that equals = some tough life lessons, some new grey hairs, a Masters, and some change y’all), I am very happy and honored to have made it to bold and beautiful Brooklyn, and specifically, to contribute my skills, and to be a part of the BCAM family. I am passionate about teaching the Humanities because I believe that people become what they study. To study the humanities is to understand in deeper ways what it means to be human—both the beautiful and the ugly. In this course, we will examine the world from multiple perspectives and through talking about the juicy stuff: money and power, communities and conflicts, art and culture, war and colonialism, equity and justice, and much more. Prepare for academic challenges and personal growth. Prepare to think differently about yourself and the world around you. You might geek out. You might fall in love with humanity.


BCAM Brooklyn Community Arts & Media High School Dawn Flynn, Administrative Director Growing up in the Brevoort Projects in Brooklyn, NY, I was one of four children and moved out at the tender age of 17. I am the oldest of three girls, despite being one minute apart with one of them. You got it, I’m a twin! I grew up as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses and made my own conscientious decision to be baptized as one at the age of twelve. Upon my baptism, I became an ordained minister. That decision has proved to be the most important and best step in my life. Now, all of my actions (personally and socially) would be based on my choice to serve Jehovah more fully. That is my true goal! At the age of 23 I married the love of my life, Billy. We have two children (our cats), Pebbles and Buttons. At a young age, I rapidly became immersed in the business world. I’ve been employed working directly with some of the presidents of MTA as well as with great engineers with the Trane (HVAC) Company. However, I decided that choosing a job with the Department of Education would help further my career as a full time minister (evangelizer) of Jehovah’s Witnesses—which it has! My sister and I were encouraged to get some type of schooling to support us in our career to continue in the full time ministry. That led to my going to Wood-Tobe Coburn, a private school in Manhattan. I took up Collegiate Administrative Assistant courses that led to me obtaining an Associates Degree. Wood-Tobe Coburn helped a lot with secular knowledge of the working world, such as learning to type and formatting text and letters. However, much of my knowledge is accredited to the on-going training that I receive each week at the Theocratic Ministry School and Service Meeting, where more than six million Witnesses worldwide receive training in communications, human relations, and speaking. All of the information received at these meetings is Bible-based and is a great guide to living. In fact, it helps me to get by the everyday stress of living from day to day, especially in an environment that requires multi-tasking and people-oriented skills. With that being said, my duties at BCAM are built on keeping up with all of the school’s funds, employee payroll, and organizing student files. I would definitely say that I wear many hats—but I don’t mind, I think I look great in hats! My goals for the coming years include: •

to work with administration to send out report cards, progress reports, and mailers in a timely manner that doesn’t unnecessarily burden anyone;

to develop a great working relationship/routine with the office assistants to make the office more efficient and productive;

to continue to perform my duties as Administrative Director to the very best of my ability.

Demetra L. Francis, Paraprofessional Hi everyone, I am Demetra L. Francis, born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, the fourth of seven kids. Since childhood I have been exposed to Brooklyn’s extreme variety of culture and personalities. I am very proud to say that I have emerged from the perception of a “project girl” to a graceful young lady. Coming from the Farragut, Fort Greene, and Tompkins projects, I have overcome many barriers and stereotypes. I am now known by my peers and others as someone who has built community relationships, managed and sponsored my own programs, spoken at prestigious events such as the Jack and Jill luncheon, and even participated in the Ms. Caribbean Pageant. My history also includes hosting, supporting, and managing Hip-Hop events from grassroots to major media networks. In addition to my extra curricular activities, I graduated at the top of my class from Thomas Jefferson High School, entered a computer technologies class at the Brooklyn Adult Learning Cen


BCAM Brooklyn Community Arts & Media High School ter, and pursued a Bachelor’s degree at the Metropolitan College of New York for Business Administration. My role at BCAM will not just be the standing model of “I made it through circumstance,” but will be more of a hands-on role of showing students how they can rise above their current standards and be all that they can be. Furthermore, my goal will be to learn the culture of the school and develop some new and hot programs that will take BCAM into the next level of school pride. GOOOOOOOOO BCAMMMMMMM (hint)!

Charlene Fravien, Counselor/ Social Work I joined the BCAM Fam last year as part of the founding staff and as a licensed school social worker and guidance counselor. The 10th graders and most of BCAM’s staff probably remember me as Ms. Sargeant. With a new school year, a new school location, new staff, and new students, I have a new last name: Mrs. Fravien! I happily got married this past summer. Though my name has changed, my role at BCAM has not. While Denyse Murray (the new school social worker/counselor) will focus her support on the 9th grade class, I will maintain and build on my relationship with our 10th graders. I am still dedicated to working with our students as a confidential listening ear to problems, drama, secrets, dreams, goals, and celebrations. I still strive to be a voice of reason to help our students deal with conflict between their friends, families, teachers, and even within themselves. I am still committed to supporting our students in making important decisions that will affect their futures in their academic worlds, and also in actively seeking internships, jobs, and preparing for college. Outside of BCAM, I am a California native with much love for NYC. I love to be in the outdoors, listening to live music, eating, watching movies, and fulfilling my lifelong travel goal of setting foot on every continent in the world . . . and then doing it again! Professional Goals: •

creating a more evenly distributed counseling caseload focusing on both female and increasing my work with male students, individual and increasing my group counseling caseload, and creating a more consistent counseling schedule that takes priority;

making myself more available to more students than just those seeking out counseling services by additionally maintaining a “check-in” schedule with all 10th graders;

collaborating with Denyse Murray, School Social Worker/Counselor and Jessica Valoris, Community Associate/Student Development Coordinator, to plan Advisory curriculum, consult with regarding difficult student issues, collaborate with to develop workshops for students and social/emotional professional development for staff.

Lalika Gerald, Student Support Teacher The best girls are from Brooklyn, especially me!! Hey everyone, my name is Lalika Gerald and I was born and raised in beautiful Brooklyn. I attended P.S. 3 (Bed-Stuy), JHS 113-Summit Program (Clinton Hill), and Clara Barton High School (Crown Heights). After high school I was determined to attend a college that had my major, served good food, and made me comfortable. My first stop on this journey was the University of New Hampshire for my freshman year and then Temple University for a semester, and finally I found my way to the place I was meant to be: Howard University. While at Howard I majored in Television Production with a minor in Sports Administration. Although I didn’t go into the entertainment 29

BCAM Brooklyn Community Arts & Media High School industry I found my way into the wonderful world of education thanks to the New York City Teaching Fellows program. For the past two years I have taught Special Education English at Boys and Girls High School, and I am excited about my new transition to BCAM. I have a strong love for education and media. It is my hope to inspire students to know that the sky is the limit for their future goals. It is my belief that students should be committed to education, their community and each other, and I look forward to watching our students mature and carve out their place in this world. I hope to help foster a place for students to voice their ideas, opinions and creativity at BCAM, and hopefully give students an outlet on public access television with original student created programming. As a student support teacher I plan to assist all students in reaching their potential. My professional goals for the 2007-2008 school year include: • • •

Successfully collaborating with teachers to ensure that the needs of all students are met. Creating supportive relationships with students so that they know that I have their best interest at heart. Giving my assistance where needed to make sure that the BCAM community is a place where students enjoy coming to every day.

Kevin Greer, English Chair Born in Arkansas, I grew up in New York City, where I wrote graffiti, played in rock and roll bands, studied jazz guitar, and worshipped the Knicks’ Bernard King. My mother was a political activist and my step-father was a writer. I hold a B.A. in English from the University of California at Berkeley and an M.A. in American Literature from the University of Arizona, where I also taught for four years. Most recently, I taught American Literature, Literary Criticism, and Advanced Placement Language and Composition at DeWitt Clinton High School in the Boogie Down Bronx. In today’s information-based society, the ability to read and write is more crucial than ever. As citizens of the 21st century students must be able to interpret texts of incredible variety and sophistication, and to decipher their meanings on many levels. In other words, you can’t just listen to a speech by George W. Bush or watch a McDonald’s commercial or read the New York Post and take what they say at face value. Moreover, students must understand how genres of literature, art, music, and even sports are all rooted in complex webs of tradition, philosophy, politics, history, geography, and that their own lives and artistic expressions are just as complex, interesting, and evolving. Jazz, hip-hop, graffiti, and basketball, just to name a few examples, all came from particular times and places and peoples, but none are the same now as when they started. And neither will our students be. Finally, in order to communicate effectively in the 21st century, students must be able to write clearly and persuasively in a variety of contexts, languages, and media. Different situations call for different vocabularies and different styles of presentation. You write, talk, dress, and walk one way when you’re applying for a job and another way with you’re chilling in the park with your friends. Neither is better, just different. This means that in addition to appreciating the great variety of languages and dialects and slangs that surround us every day, we must work hard to master the conventions of “standard” written English. Yes, grammar, punctuation, and even spelling and handwriting are important and must be taken seriously if we are to become effective communicators. My professional goals for the 2007-2008 school year include:


BCAM Brooklyn Community Arts & Media High School • • •

to create and implement an inquiry- and skill-based English Arts curriculum that is engaging, challenging, and relevant; to organize exhibitions, publications and events that will inspire students to write at the very best of their abilities and share it with the world; to be more organized and maintain my health and sanity.

Christy Herbes, Media Arts Chair I was born and raised in the Southern hills of Tennessee, but managed to escape about 13 years ago and have spent the last decade of my life as a nomad- living in Greensboro, Washington DC, London, Chicago, and New York. Trained as a traditional oil painter in my early years, it was only after finishing college in Chicago that I transitioned to commercial art, becoming a multimedia designer in the field of Graphic and Commercial Design and doing interactive ads for all the mega-corporations that flood the virtual realm. Upon moving to Brooklyn 4 years ago, I woke up one morning and realized that I would rather teach youth how to deconstruct mass-media than produce it. Two years later I had a Masters from NYU in Art Education and a goal to help students become active producers of alternative art and media, challenging the negative messages that flood our lives every day. Teaching art has taught me so much about the unique and powerful voices of our BCAM students. In this past year alone, I have witnessed the incredible talent of our student artists, continually impressed by the creative and mature content that has arisen out of our founding class. From contemporary self-portraits to activist ad campaigns, teaching art at BCAM is inspiring as both an educator and an artist! I look forward to teaching our 9th grade students this Fall while further developing the artistic style and content of our 10th graders in the Spring. When I’m not teaching, grading assignments, or designing in front of a computer, you can generally find me consuming large quantities of pasta (my mom is Italian), talking pop culture and modern media with friends ( maybe recapping the latest “I love New York” episode with Mr. Greer), or going to local art and music shows. Much to my students’ dismay, you might even find me watching an old skate video or two back from my adolescent days of boarding and punk rock. Hard to believe, I know. My main goals as Art Department Chair at BCAM for the 2007-08 school year are: • To design an art curriculum that includes knowledge of contemporary issues in the arts and media fields, encouraging students to understand their roles as artists and people in our contemporary world. • To create a cohesive, art curriculum for the 9th & 10th grades that incorporates 2 semester themes of Community and Identity that makes connections between artwork discussed and created in class and their relevance to the lives of our students. • To include many opportunities for students to be exposed to the rich cultural Arts located in NYC. The opportunities will include off-site visits to a variety of NYC Museums, Galleries, Artist Workspaces, and Institutes.

Patrick Howell, Mathematics Teacher I grew up in South Dakota, but moved as soon as possible to the big city. I started college in Chicago in 1985, earned a BA in History in 1989. I had become a big Cubs fan, so I stayed in Chicago after I finished college. I explored a few different jobs after graduation and eventually began teaching for the Chicago city college in 1991. I taught adult education classes in several different neighborhood centers. In 1996, I moved to Brooklyn. I continued to teach 31

BCAM Brooklyn Community Arts & Media High School and run adult education programs in East Harlem and Columbia University. In 2002 I joined the New York City Teaching Fellows and earned a high school teaching license in math. I began teaching high school math while I completed a master’s degree in math education at Brooklyn College. I have taught high school for four years and look forward to teaching for many more. I have been married for ten years and have two wonderful kids, Nicholas, who is seven, and Charlotte, who is five. They both attend PS 29 here in Brooklyn. My wife, Jane Heaphy, works in Manhattan as the director of OPTIONS, a college access program at Goddard-Riverside Community Center. This year I am looking forward to working at a small high school where I can really get to know all my students and help them pass their math regents. I also hope to establish a National Honor Society at BCAM for those students who have worked especially hard on their grades and are interested in working hard to help others in their communities.

Leah Hoyle, History Teacher Hi! As I write this, I’m sitting in my disheveled apartment in North Carolina – I’m currently in the process of moving to Brooklyn to join the BCAM staff! I’ve lived here all my life, but I’m looking forward to bringing a bit of the Dirty South to New York. For the past two years, I taught World and United States History and sponsored the Wildcat Fever at West Johnston High School. I have a B.A. in U.S. History and an M.A. in Teaching from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Naturally I’m a devoted Tarheel . . . don’t look for me during March Madness, I’ll be cheering on my boys! I actually never intended to become a teacher. During my time at UNC, I had the opportunity to work in both the Ackland Art Museum and the NC Collections Gallery. I planned to continue my education in Museum Studies until my brother passed away during my junior year. My brother Josh was my best friend and partner in crime – we were going to change the world together! Yet in his absence I found that working with teenagers, helping to foster courage and motivation within others, is my true calling. Now I cannot imagine doing anything else. As a teacher, I see myself not as the disseminator of facts to empty heads, but as a senior student on a journey of revealing more questions than answers. Although I would love for all of my students to develop and maintain a passion for history, I feel that it is infinitely more important that each develop and maintain a zest for life. My greatest hope is that my students will live their lives to the fullest. During the 2007/2008 school year, I hope to: • • •

Provide students with empowering experiences that will cultivate their own personal growth. Establish and maintain positive relationships with students and parents through communication and collaboration. Help students appreciate that history is alive, exciting, and relevant.

Hasaun Hunter, Student Dean/ Mathematics Teacher What’s going on people! My name is Hasaun Hunter and I was born and raised in Brooklyn N.Y. (Coney Island and Crown Heights, to be exact). I also spent a lot of my youth in Florida where my sister lives. I was raised by my three mothers—my birth mother and my two sisters—in a very small apartment.


BCAM Brooklyn Community Arts & Media High School When I was growing up my mother always stressed to me the importance of having an education, yet I would still find my way into trouble. I made some mistakes when I was young, but I learned from each one and I’m a stronger person as a result. I may have had a challenging upbringing, yet I still found a way to do something positive. That is why I can relate to a lot of our students, and I can tell them: if I can do it, you can too. I went to Brooklyn Tech High School then transferred to a prep school in upstate N.Y. After graduating, I went to college in Colorado, in upstate N.Y., and at Stony Brook in Long Island, where I received my Bachelor’s degree. After college I had a job on Wall Street waiting for me, but the tragic events of 9/11 shattered that idea. So I went into teaching and being a math coach for two years and that experience turned me on to the field of education. After moving back down to Florida, where I opened a small electronics business, I made a decision to return to my roots in Brooklyn and get back into education. I joined the Teaching Opportunity Program and became a member of BCAM’s founding staff, and I received a Master’s degree in mathematics education in the summer of 2007. I have three primary roles at BCAM, as Dean of Students, Athletic Director and as a mathematics teacher. My goals for this year are as follows: • as Dean, to use my life experiences to help guide the young men and women to become successful adults; • as math teacher, to help the students become proficient and do well on the math regents; • as Athletic Director, to create a track team, baseball team, and a young women’s basketball team.

Tiffany Jefferson, English Teacher I have been one of BK’s finest since I was born. I grew up in Ocean Hill, Brownsville and attended John M. Coleman I.S. 271. It was in Junior High school that I was most inspired by my English teacher to become a teacher. She pushed me past my limits. She reprimanded me when I wasn’t doing my personal best, and she gave me praise when I did the right thing. The values and the work ethic that were built in me then still exist today. With this said, I am going to do the same for my students. My class is going to be challenging; however, it will be a rewarding experience that will prepare my students for a competitive and challenging world. I have been teaching for five years in the New York City Department of Education. I have a Masters degree in Education and I am currently thinking about pursuing another degree in educational leadership. I envision taking on two important roles at BCAM. My first role is to be actively involved in motivating and shaping students into productive people. I want to teach students that hard work is the key to success, and that if they put the time and effort into their work, they will become stronger individuals. I plan to do this through my advisory position and also through working with students on extra-curricular activities. My second role will be as an observer. I am a lifelong learner and I am going to take part in the collegial atmosphere and learn from my students and colleagues so that I can strengthen my practice as a teacher.


BCAM Brooklyn Community Arts & Media High School Ebony Jones, Science Teacher Hey! My name is Ebony Jones. I was born and raised in Brooklyn (Tha Zoo!), NY. I currently reside in Brooklyn while my younger brother sold-out (just kidding) and currently lives in Phoenix, AZ. I was educated here in this very neighborhood in Community School District 13. After graduating from Science Skills Center High School, I took my first step toward independence when I left my “Metropolis” to attend South Carolina State University in Orangeburg, SC. There I majored in Professional Biology and minored in Chemistry. Like many HBCU’s (Historically Black Colleges and Universities), SCSU is rich in history, culture and academics. It allowed me to develop in a number of areas. As an undergraduate, I secured membership with the NAACP, Student Government Association and Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Intl., just to name a few. After graduating, I became a NYC Teaching Fellow and taught two years on the Middle School level in East New York. I’m currently enrolled at Queens College where I’m working on a Masters degree in Secondary Education. Being an educator is a gratifying experience that I wouldn’t trade for anything. I’m extremely excited about joining the BCAM family and having the opportunity to reach students at such a pivotal time in their lives. Science education allows students to understand the designed world and identify factors that impact their communities. The ability to think and reason brings about those big-questions that drive an inquiry-based curriculum. In conclusion, I have 3 main professional goals for this 2007-2008 year. They are: •

To create a curriculum that addresses the needs of every learning type

To explore and study interdisciplinary links in the science setting

To encourage higher-order thinking consistent with Blooms Taxonomy

Mollie King, Office Associate I, Mollie King, was born in Linden, Alabama on May 1st. I am the 10th child of the late Handy King. My mother Elmarine still lives in Linden, Alabama with my siblings. I graduated from George P. Austin High School. I also attended the Royal Business School in New York City. In 1982, I started working at P.S. 93 as a school aide. My responsibilities were direct supervision of children from kindergarten through grade 6 while implementing structured activities. I also assisted in their math and Reading Labs, and assist the students during their hearing and vision screening. My other duties were daily attendance recording and ATS reports for students and staff. My other daily tasks were breakfast and lunch accounting, mail and office duties. I would like the goals of the school to include building social skills through conflict resolution. I would like to see positive communication between school and families, and parent partnerships with teachers. I also would like to see celebration activities that encourage excellent attendance, creativity and higher learning. In addition to the above goals, I would like to help each student to perform well on their grade level assessments.

Adam Mendola, Student Support Teacher Growing up around Boston, I always loved music and making art. I decided to study film in college because I thought of movies as pictures that acted like music. Also, I was attracted to the idea of reaching many people at once, as one can with a movie or TV show. I moved to Brooklyn and started working in New York’s television industry, which mostly meant working on commercials and music videos. It 34

BCAM Brooklyn Community Arts & Media High School was exhilarating to be in such a challenging, fast-paced environment. There were always new, interesting problems to solve and plenty of pressure to motivate me. My contributions were sometimes big and sometimes small, but it was always exciting to think about something I helped make being seen by millions. The problem was that I don’t really like commercials. I loved the technical and creative parts of my job, but being a part of spreading negative messages and tricking people into buying things they didn’t need bothered me. So, at the same time, I was trying to use my skills in ways I thought were more positive. At first, these efforts mostly consisted of writing screenplays and working on documentaries and art films that few people have or ever will see. Little by little, though, I was drawn to education. I tutored some nursing students at Staten Island University in reading and writing, and loved it. I started doing some side work for Downtown Community Television (DCTV) and ended up being their Director of Education, running workshops to teach media-making skills to the masses. After a while, I decided I liked helping other people discover how to make films more than I liked making my own. I got a substituteteaching license and tried out some high schools like Brownsville Academy. Finally, I was accepted by the New York City Teaching Fellows and began teaching full time at ACORN High School for Social Justice in Bed Stuy while earning my MA in education from Long Island University. As a teacher, my goals are to help students learn about the world, but also about themselves. I’m here to challenge students to broaden their imaginings of their future selves, and then actually build themselves into what they imagine. I think that, more than anything else I could teach, helping students understand how they think, learn and develop new skills will lead them to become the kind of learners who can succeed in any situation.

James O’Brien, Principal I was born a Gemini to my parent James B. and Judith S., in Chicago the day after Bobby Kennedy was shot. I guess one could say it was an important time. My sister Tyke came two years later. Growing up, my artistic instruments were a baseball, a football, and a basketball. This was my birthright given to me from my dad, the original O’Brien athlete. He and my mom always knew where to find me when I wasn’t home. I was at the park or the gym, doing my thing. In both high school and in college, I played basketball, read many novels, and worked fairly hard. If I had to do it over again I would have taken more my learning seriously, as I missed out on some great knowledge-building. However, as I matured I began to focus more intently on the world around me and realized that my passion lay in doing my best to combat an unfair society. Teaching and education called to me. Public education has been my life since graduating from college. I taught 3 years in the CPT–Compton, California (Yeeeah, yeeeah!!!). I wasn’t feeling Cali enough to stay, though, so I came home to Chicago and worked to complete a doctorate in education. After this long road, I attained this top degree in the professional I loved. And then a different type of love came along. When my kitten, Lakersha Lashawn Smith (aka Sha, aka LaLa) decided she’d had enough of Chicago and set out for New York to pursue her own doctorate, I had to make a decision: lose Chicago or lose my love. While I didn’t want to leave my family, I couldn’t lose my true heart. So, here I am 6 years later married to the best woman in the world. This brings us to BCAM. I guess we wanted to do things our way. We got together and built this great school from scratch. Brooklyn, stand up! BCAM, stand up! As Funk Flex hollers, “Why not?!” Why not take on the greatest challenge? Why not try to build the best school we possibly can? Why not work incredibly hard, and do it our way? Why not, BCAM! 35

BCAM Brooklyn Community Arts & Media High School This year at I am determined to: • support our staff and students in developing as individuals and as a community. • focus on our classes so that we excel in academic performance and on the coming Regent Exams; • help create structures and systems that make consistent the correct BCAM qualities and rid us of unnecessary clutter. (RIP to my and my sister’s pop, the “big man,” James Bruce O’Brien)

Jessica Valoris, Student Opportunities Coordinator I was raised in and by a household of strong women who instilled in me a respect for myself, for knowledge, and for justice. Though far from home, I carry my family and their lessons with me. They manifest themselves in my actions and my work. I grew up in Silver Spring, Maryland, in the DC area, spending most of my time in a performing arts youth organization, playing soccer, finishing high school, and maintaining whatever odd job I happened to have at the moment. After graduating high school, I moved to New York City to attend Eugene Lang College. Soon after, I transferred to Hunter College to study Black History. After Hunter tried to keep me in school indefinitely, I transferred back to Eugene Lang College to finish up my senior year majoring in Education Studies. I’ve been living in Bedstuy, Brooklyn for the past three years, and am creating a home for myself here. I’ve done work with various social justice and community organizations such as the Applied Research Center, ColorLines Magazine, Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, Sankofa Community Empowerment and Groundwork for Youth, Inc. I am deeply committed to social justice issues, have an unquenchable thirst for knowledge of black history, and have a passion for art and education. I am an avid reader, doodler, wanna-be-artist, dancer, and thinker. I come to the BCAM community through various partnerships between my college and BCAM. I am excited to be a more permanent, stronger presence here, and to be a part of the BCAM Fam. As Student Development Coordinator I will be working on building the advisory curriculum, and developing the CCC (Creative/College/Career) Resource Center. I bring with me some big ideas, and am working to create the practical steps to actualize them. My main goals this year are to: • create an accessible, and supportive space for students to explore college, creative, and career opportunities; • collaboratively build the advisory curriculum, and build connections between advisory and the CCC center; • connect with students and get to know their personal and professional strengths, challenges, interests, and needs.

Bethany Weisberger, Science Chair My name is Bethany Weisberger, and this is my second year teaching Earth Science at BCAM. I grew up in the woods of Maine, and I have always enjoyed being outside and learning about the environment around me. In school, I was one of those annoying students who always asked WHY? about everything! I wanted to know (and still do) what causes things to happen or how things are connected. Teaching Earth Science allows me to share with


BCAM Brooklyn Community Arts & Media High School you all of the amazing facts about the way Earth works. For college, I left my home state to attend Beloit College in Wisconsin where I studied geology. For my senior thesis, I had the opportunity to travel to Tanzania, Africa to conduct research on the rocks of Serengeti National Park. They are some of the oldest rocks on Earth, formed about 2.7 billion years ago! During my five-month visit, I was able to learn a lot about the culture and a little bit of the language. In college, I enjoyed the small size of my classes, the enthusiasm of the students and the engaging lessons. College offered so many opportunities for me! This experience showed me that I wanted to stay in the classroom, but this time as a teacher, and help students create opportunities for themselves. After college, I joined the New York City Teaching Fellows Program and have taught science in the city for the last five years. I have three BIG goals for my 9th grade science students. I want you to be able to: • • •

observe the world around you, question what you see and draw conclusions you can apply to the real world work together with a team of students to engage in problems and find solutions explain how earth has changed over its lifetime and how different earth systems are connected

Simone Wilson, Office Associate My name is Simone Wilson and I was born and raised in New York City. During the earlier years of my life I lived in the East Flatbush section of Brooklyn. By the time I was able to go to school I was living in Queens, where I continued to for most of my life up until recently. Queens was also where I completed most of my schooling. For grades 1-6 I attended a private school, Bethel Learning Center. For Junior High school I went to I.S. 231.Then I attended and graduated from Nazareth Regional High School in the Canarsie section of

Brooklyn. I have been working since I was 14 years old. The first couple of jobs I had were summer jobs. I have experienced some very interesting work environments—as a counselor at a summer camp in the Bronx, as a stylist at a hair salon, as a file clerk at St. Johns University, as a sales associate at Target, as a security guard, as a counselor at a counseling center, as a receptionist and switchboard operator, and so on. Recently I have taken a position as an Office Assistant here at BCAM. I am very excited to be performing multiple duties beyond the office. Besides working in the office, I will be working closely with the Administrative Director, Principal, and Assistant Principal. I will also be collaborating in Ms. Herbes’ Advisory Fam, assisting in lunch duty, participating in community-building activities with the students, and I will carry out numerous assignments given to me as needs arise. Now that I will be working at BCAM, I have a few goals that I would like to set for the school year: • First, to facilitate the smooth and efficient operations of the BCAM office. • Second, to do all I can to help make BCAM a positive environment for the students and faculty. • Third, is to be flexible with my duties so that I can help out with whatever is needed as situations arise.


BCAM Brooklyn Community Arts & Media High School BCAM Staff Staff Member



Samantha Charles-Pierre

Assistant Principal


Lyntonia Coston

History Chair


Mamadou Diallo

Mathematics Teacher


Robin D’Averso

Humanities Teacher


Hubert Ebanks



Windy Edwards

Parent Coordinator


Dawn Flynn

Administrative Director


Demetra Francis



Charlene Fravien

Counselor/Social Work


Lalika Gerald

Student Support Teacher


Kevin Greer

English Chair


Christy Herbes

Media Arts Chair


Patrick Howell

Mathematics Teacher


Leah Hoyle

History Teacher


Hasaun Hunter


Tiffany Jefferson

Student Dean/ Mathematics Teacher English Teacher

Ebony Jones

Science Teacher


Mollie King

Office Associate


Adam Mendola

Student Support Teacher


Denyse Murray

Counselor/Social Work


James O’Brien



Christopher Olsen

ESL/Spanish Teacher


Jessica Valoris


Bethany Weisberger

Student Opportuties Coordinator Science Chair

Simone Wilson

Office Associate





BCAM Community Handbook  

This handbook describes our school and the many components that help to make it work.It allows us as a community to be on the same page so w...

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