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Feature Stories

Queens swim coach saves drowning student

“Twenty eyes are better than two” is a refrain that swim team members at John Adams HS in Queens hear from their coach, physical education teacher Alex Navarrete, encouraging them to watch out for one another’s safety. They found out how true it is one afternoon in December 2023 when their attentiveness helped Navarrete save a teammate’s life.

A ‘sense’ of what some students need

The Sensory Exploration, Education and Discovery (SEED) program at PS 171 in Queens takes place in a special room with a rock-climbing wall, a brightly colored tunnel to crawl through, a swing and trampoline. These components are powerful tools to address sensory needs in children with autism spectrum disorders, ADHD or other sensory and self-regulation issues that qualify them for occupational therapy.

'Giving control to the people doing the work'

The Progressive Redesign Opportunity Schools for Excellence (PROSE) program, which affords schools the freedom to experiment and innovate, is marking its 10th anniversary this school year. Nearly 300 teachers, chapter leaders and principals from the now 217 PROSE schools citywide gathered at union headquarters on Dec. 12 to celebrate.

Time for projects

Central Park East II, which has participated in PROSE for all 10 years of its existence, has used the freedom that the program affords to embrace project-based learning, change its teacher evaluation system and more.

‘A game-changer’

Thanks to the PROSE program, Concord HS, a transfer high school for students ages 16 to 21 on Staten Island, has been able to revamp its school hours to meet the needs of its unique student population, who have not thrived in a traditional high school. That flexible schedule means that students don’t have to choose between school and shifts at Amazon or other work.

At 100, still embracing the challenge

Miriam Krinick, who turned 100 in November, was honored on Nov. 1 at Brooklyn’s PS 108, where she taught for 18 years, at the unveiling of a Little Yellow Library, a charitable donation to the school from the Kendra Scott Foundation.