Hunter College Schools
Through a variety of strategic projects, and with support from Hunter's Schools of Education, Nursing and Social Work, Hunter is strengthening PS/MS 7 in East Harlem through a vibrant arts curriculum, health and social support programs, teacher training and more.
PS/MS 7 is located across the street from Hunter’s East Harlem complex/Silberman School of Social Work and educates students in K through 8th grade. Hunter College has been actively involved with PS/MS 7 for several years. Sensing the potential that could stem from a more formal partnership, Hunter approached the New York City Department of Education in 2017 about institutionalizing the relationship with the school and restructuring the school to have an arts-infused curriculum and a vibrant after-school program.
Project dates: 2017–present
Through the leadership of a Hunter College Foundation board member, a donation of approximately 150 violins launched a vibrant music program at the school. A Hunter-trained elementary music educator instructs the students in a program that extends from Pre-K through eighth grade.
Teacher Candidate Placements
Each year, the School of Education’s (SOE) Office of Clinical Experience works with PS/MS 7 to place teacher candidates in classrooms daily to assist with pedagogy. The teacher candidates also participate in a seminar in tandem with the placement on class management and other pedagogical topics.
Early Childhood Fieldwork Interns
Dr. Lacey Peters, professor for the early childhood program, is working on a grant from the Foundation of Child Development on authentic assessment in universal Pre-K program. As part of this grant, Dr. Peters collaborates with the 3-K and Pre-K teachers at PS 7. In addition, the SOE places early childhood undergraduate teacher candidates as fieldwork interns (one day a week) with these teachers.
READ East Harlem
The New York Community Trust funded a multi-year grant to Hunter College to improve student literacy outcomes through a professional development model supporting Kindergarten through Grade 2 District 4 teachers. Under the leadership of Dr. Jenny Tuten, Dr. Sherryl Browne-Graves and Ileana Infante, this project started with three schools in East Harlem and has gradually increased to serve all elementary schools in the district.
School of Education staff consultant(s) supports teachers and the principal on jointly determined professional development projects. In 2018–2019 Laurie Rabinowitz is working with teachers Ms. Delucia and Ms. Greenidge to develop ELA middle school curriculum mapping.
SON embeds nursing students in the fall and spring in classes under the supervision of a Hunter faculty person. The fall community health class provides nursing students the opportunity to assess population health and present on community health topics. The spring pediatric health class offers the opportunity to observe and engage with the well child, and teach age-appropriate personal hygiene strategies. Students are on site in the classroom the full school day, once a week each semester.
The Silberman School of Social Work (SSW) coordinates placement of social work interns at the school to offer individual counseling and behavioral supports to students. Hunter engages a licensed clinical social worker to supervise multiple student interns at the school during school and after-school hours. SSW’s point person at the school works closely with the other social service providers to coordinate services.
Hunter has also negotiated the availability of mental health services at the school by two community-based organizations. Child Mind Institute provides group behavioral sessions for elementary and middle school students. CMI also provides capacity-building sessions for school staff on support services concerns. Hunter facilitated the addition of crisis intervention services onsite by the Association to Benefit Children (ABC) to complement the work of Child Mind Institute.
In 2017–2018 Hunter initiated a partnership with City Year New York and Wells Fargo that yielded several new and refreshed spaces at the school. The following year Hunter received funding from Wells Fargo to purchase books for students in 3-K through second grade to support early reading skills and library resources. As well, Wells Fargo donated school supplies to all PS/MS 7 students.
Each year Charles Platkin, Director of the Hunter NYC Food Policy Center, hosts an event to mark “Big Apple Crunch”—a city-wide celebration of healthy eating, topped off by a mass crunch into apples. Students in grades K-3 participate each year in the October event at the Silberman building. As well, throughout the year, nutrition students work with staff from Edible Schoolyard to provide lunch time education on healthy eating options.
President Raab, in partnership with founder Matilda Cuomo, introduced the NYS Mentoring program to the school community. Fourth graders are given the opportunity to work one-on-one with a Hunter undergraduate mentor on a weekly basis during the students’ lunch break with a PS/MS 7 staff person to supervise the program.
Hunter has hired an After-School Program Director to provide leadership, direction and coordination of after-school services that complement the school’s arts-infused, rigorous academic program. The Director serves as the primary contact to Hunter College, the school’s principal and the faculty. As well, the Director leads data collection and fundraising efforts to sustain and enhance the program over time.
Support from staff members in Hunter’s External Affairs department support PS/MS 7 student recruitment efforts, coordinate and contribute to school-wide events, develop and upkeep parent communication systems, assist with fundraising efforts, and facilitate use of Hunter space resources for professional development and graduation events.