New York City Department of Education

New York City Department of Education

The New York City Department of Education is dedicated to building personalized learning environments for students through blended learning models by preparing teachers to provide personalized instruction for students.

State: New York Number of Students: 1,141,232
School Type: City Department of Education Free and Reduced Lunch: 75.2%
School Type: City Department of Education English Language Learners: 13.4%

School Context

Strong School Leadership: The NYCDOE is focused on supporting principals to create inclusive teaching and learningenvironments that promote student achievement. The goal for principals is to support teachers through professionallearning opportunities and regular meetings for feedback.

Supported Teachers: The district believes that high quality instruction plays the most important role in studentachievement, so it is focused on helping teachers grow through professional learning opportunities in addition to spendingtime with their peers and experts in their field.

Instruction for All: NYCDOE teachers engage students with instruction that is aligned to the Common Core and that meetslearners where they are. The district encourages differentiated instruction that is inclusive of all learning styles.

Inviting Environments: Learning environments are critical to student success, so the district aims for all learningenvironments to be safe, welcoming and student-centered.

Community Counts: A major goal of the district is for all schools to create environments that include, welcome and valuefamily and community members. Schools are committed to building partnerships with local businesses and organizations toenhance learning.

State of Technology

Innovation Zone: In 2010, the NYCDOE created a special office calledThe Innovation Zone (iZone) to support a collection of schools that arededicated to building personalized learning environments for students.The iZone initially involved 81 schools, and over time has grown toinclude over 300. It is an open community and NYCDOE schools can optin at any time. The office has launched multiple programs and initiativesto encourage innovation within NYC schools including the iLearnNYCprogram, which supports a blended learning approach, the BlendedLearning Institute which prepares teachers of math, science andcomputer science for success in 21st century classrooms, and InnovateNYC Schools, which connects educators and students with edtechcompanies developing tools for teaching and learning.

A Push for Personalized Learning: The iZone aims to support schoolsthat want to personalize learning through a blended learning model. TheiLearnNYC program allows teachers to create online lessons and courses,track student progress, and interact online with students. The program isused in over 300 schools as of the 2015-2016 school year with a plan toexpand.

Blended Learning Institute: The Blended Learning Institute, aniZone program, was launched to prepare teachers of math, science andcomputer science to provide personalized instruction for students. TheComputer Science Track was developed out of a partnership betweeniZone and to increase access to computer science instruction atthe middle and high school levels. The 18-month program was launchedin the summer of 2014 and involved over 50 high school teachers. Duringthe 2015-2016 school year, the program was made available to middleschool teachers as well. Teachers who complete the Computer Science willreceive a certificate in Computer Science Instruction from Pace University.

Short-Cycle Evaluation Challenge: The Innovate NYC Schools initiativehelps teachers, students and entrepreneurs work together. One of theirprojects, the Short-Cycle Evaluation Challenge aims to shed light on whichedtech tools will be most effective in the classroom. During the challenge,the iZone puts an open call out for teacher teams to apply with a challengeor instructional problem that they are experiencing at their school. Then,they put out a call to early stage edtech companies building tools that mayhelp with that specific challenge. The teacher teams are matched witha company to pilot the tool and provide feedback. During the pilot, theteacher teams, companies and researchers from The iZone collaboratethrough school visits and full-day workshops to document implementationsuccess and challenges, and provide feedback on what’s working.

Tech Needs & Requirements

NYCDOE schools must make purchases through existingcontracts when possible. If a good or service isn’t availablethrough an existing contract, the principal can submit arequest to the DOE Division of Contracts and Purchasing tomake the purchase.

The district offers thousands of items including textbooks,school supplies and audio/video equipment through theFAMIS Portal. The portal allows users to find and orderonline. The NYCDOE also contracts many professionallearning services including curriculum development,coaching, training for school leadership and more.


STEM Soars: The Computer Science for All initiative is focused on increasing access to STEM and computer scienceeducation for all students. The NYC STEM Education Framework was launched in Summer 2015 as a way to support schoolsin STEM programming. The NYCDOE and partner organizations will offer an array of professional learning opportunities totrain nearly 5,000 teachers across elementary, middle, and high school. There are also a number of programs for studentsincluding a four-week NYC Summer STEM program for students living in high-need areas and a variety of Career andTechnical Education programs that seek to prepare students for careers in STEM related fields through hands-on learningopportunities.

Software Engineering Pilot: The NYCDOE launched a program called the Software Engineering Pilot (SEP) for students andteachers of grades 6-12. During the 2015-2016 school year it served 42 teachers and over 3,000 students in 9 high schoolsand 9 middle schools. The program was designed to prepare more students to enter emerging technology fields and toboost students’ computational thinking skills. The program offers curriculum in programming, robotics, web design anddevelopment, and physical and mobile computing and there are plans to expand. It also provides students with work-basedopportunities in technology fields.

Bridging the Technology Gap: The NYCDOE is focused on ensuring that all students have consistent access to technology,so in March 2015, the district started allowing students to bring their own devices for use in the classroom. Each schoolcan decide on their own BYOD policy, so rules will vary by site. A BYOD Institute was created to help staff learn about bestpractices and to develop school and classroom policies.

*Content From 2016

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