Williamsburg Charter High School (WCHS) is a high performing public charter high school located in Brooklyn, New York. WCHS opened in August 2004 as the first Chancellor-authorized charter high school in the City of New York with a ninth grade class of 267 students. Now in its thirteenth year of operation, WCHS has grown to serve approximately 963 students in grades nine through twelve. The school’s mission is to unite youth, families, staff, teachers and the community at large in providing young people with the tools necessary to make sense of the world, and prepare them in their journey to become skilled workers and literate citizens of the world. Young people will accomplish this through their participation in a rigorous and demanding liberal arts education that includes language, literature, writing, science, history, mathematics, the arts, technology, and exploration in disciplines designed to teach fairness, justice, respect and compassion for themselves and others, as well as the skills of critical thinking, communication and research.
Williamsburg Charter High School provides a broad liberal arts academic program to the high-school age youth of north Brooklyn. School programs are individualized to connect to each student’s particular level of development, including English Language Learners and students with Special Education Services. Further, WCHS provides supportive relationships with faculty, extended instructional periods, and opportunities after-school and on Saturdays for additional academic support. Social and emotional support is also available to students to ensure their non-academic needs are addressed. Students are accepted to WCHS through a random lottery with no minimum requirements, tests, or auditions required to gain entrance and, as a public charter school, there is no tuition.
Our teachers are at the very core of work. WCHS’ powerful educational program enables every student to graduate well-prepared for college and the world beyond. In service of this, our teachers remain at the forefront of educational innovation. With our teachers at their very best, all WCHS students mature intellectually, socially and morally as a result of being an active member of a school community that endorses high expectations. Plainly stated, our teachers challenge each student to achieve his/her full potential.
Because we realize that there are neither ‘quick-fixes’ nor ‘easy solutions’ to ensuring that all students are afforded access to a dynamic education, WCHS has designed an extensive school day composed of instructional periods that allow students to spend more time to engage in meaningful, inquiry based learning. Our staff never sacrifices academic time for extracurricular activities, performing/visual art and health classes because we believe that through one of those areas scholars are able to find their true passion. These are all important parts of a full high school experience.
In order to fulfill its mission, WCHS employs exceptional teachers who are in continuous pursuit of the best practices. Our teachers play very critical roles in realizing the core mission, philosophy, and unique youth-centered approach of the school’s educational design. WCHS teachers are not just classroom teachers, but architects of learning —educators who are committed to facilitating the entire learning and instructional process and coaching young people to become independent learners, thinkers and researchers. Our teachers are innovators, educators and enthusiasts in their field.
Prospective Williamsburg Charter High School Instructional Staff:
● Are committed to the idea that every child can succeed at high levels
● Believe that they have been called to teach and empower young people
● Demonstrate a commitment to providing students with a rigorous academic experience
● Are resilient, resourceful, relentless, and well-able to adapt to the many changes that can happen in an organization focused solely on doing what is best for students
● Excel at working in a highly collaborative, professional setting but can also work independently
● Understand the unique needs of the community they serve as well as the complex issues that affect urban youth and their families
● Are committed to inquiry-based teaching
● Engage a youth development approach in their interactions with young people by being sensitive to their developmental needs
● Are passionate and positive about school culture
● Feel full responsibility for students’ achievement
● Love ‘the details’ and realize that student success depends almost exclusively on them
● Are reflective and willing to improve upon their practice through professional development and support
● Effectively manage their time, resources, and technology
● Are convinced of the transformative power of education for all students, families, and educators
A Williamsburg Charter High School instructor creates an enriching environment where learning is fostered, ideas are created, and the outcomes of those behaviors result in student achievement. Our instructors serve as the academic head of their classes but also as advisors to students. We believe that at an ideal educational institution, the whole scholar is nurtured through not only academics, but through interpersonal relationships and purposeful social emotional learning.
The Instructor as the Facilitator of Learning
● Building and maintaining positive relationships with students, families, and all other stakeholders
● Utilizing the backwards planning model to design assessments and unit plans that are aligned to NYS Common Core Learning Standards and NYS Content Standards (where applicable)
● Responding to student achievement data (interims, Regents exams, course exams/quizzes, etc.) by revising instructional plans to respond to individual student needs and areas of strength
● Planning rigorous daily lesson plans rooted in three part objectives that clearly designate the lesson’s expected behavior, condition, and criteria
● Engaging students in self-assessment and reflection to engage them in the learning process and to ensure motivation and engagement
● Implementing class procedures and routines that are maintained throughout the year to ensure little to no loss of instructional time during lessons
● Facilitating bell-to-bell instruction by employing student-centered learning activities and strategies during instruction
● Ensuring a clean and safe learning environment where classroom materials, furniture, and technology are utilized to maximize student learning
● Showcasing the learning process and student work by creating classroom and hallway bulletin boards that are updated on a monthly basis
● Collaborating with co-teachers (where applicable) to design lessons and experiences that meet the needs of all learners
● Ensuring that all learners receive accommodations and/modifications as identified by Individualized Education Plans and/or 504s.
● Adhering to the school-wide grading policy to provide students (and families) with clear and reliable data about student progress and maintaining a gradebook that is updated on a weekly basis
● Meticulously maintaining accurate attendance and behavior data and enlisting the assistance of the Student Support department to support students (where needed)
The Instructor as an Advisor
Research has shown that the student-advisor relationship is a key part of providing sustainable support and accountability. In service of our students, our teachers work as Advisors to between 12-15 students for the duration of their high school career. With that, our teachers become a part of the developmental process of their students, thereby affording each family a primary contact within the school at all times. Advisors serve students and families by:
The Instructor as a Steward of Data:
The Instructor as a Life-Long Student
The Instructor as Interventionist
A primary function of our instructional staff is to ensure that the instructional programming for students is differentiated based on their needs. In service of meeting all students’ needs, instructors will:
The Instructor as a Steward of School Culture
● Participating in all class level assemblies, student support meetings and school-sponsored events
● Participating in focus groups, evaluations, and committees as requested to assist with the constant improvement of the school as a whole
● Participating and supporting WCHS open-door classroom policy, allowing parents and teachers and other stakeholders to informally observe the work and actively seeking to observe the work of your colleagues for professional development
● Arriving to school no later than 7:50AM (to ensure that the classroom is clean, supplies are prepared and the instructor is ready to receive students) and departing no earlier than 4:00PM (to hold necessary interventions, hold office hours, attend school meetings and to ensure that students that need extra help are able to receive it). Even with these time parameters in mind, we ultimately seek educators who will work relentlessly to ensure each student’s learning is maximized
● Teach five class periods per school day, unless otherwise designated
● Serve two periods of School Service per week as determined by his/her supervisor (e.g., Study Hall supervision, cafeteria duty, hallway duty, monitoring of student entry and exit, etc.)
● Proactively involve the student’s family in their learning through regular communications including, but not limited to: weekly informal communication via emails, notes, telephone calls, and meetings
● Realize that although student achievement is central to our work, Williamsburg Charter High School graduates are not just academically well-prepared, but also good citizens of their community. The cornerstone of our ideology is based on providing students with life skills and a sense responsibility to their community in addition to excellent education
● Share expertise and curriculum with colleagues
● Respond to all school-related communications within 48 hours, including but not limited to voicemails and emails, from Williamsburg Charter High School faculty and staff (including supervisors and other teachers)
● Attend and participate in school-related activities and events outside of normal school hours (e.g., Back to School Night, Student Led Conferences, Parent Advisory meetings, Back-to-School Night, field trips, student events and performances, etc.)
● Adhere to the WCHS Student Handbook, Teacher Handbook, Personnel Policies, and Instructional Manual
Education and Credentials (minimum)