Launch is an EL Education school dedicated to putting students at the center of their learning. We believe in equity-driven teaching which means:
a) having high expectations for ALL students
b) amplifying and celebrating the culture of our students while additionally teaching them about other cultures
c) building a critical consciousness in our students so that they have the reasoning and analytical skills necessary to analyze real-world situations and lead beyond our school building
This can take many different forms in our classrooms around how we engage students in high-quality, rigorous instruction.
At Launch, we select curricular materials to ensure all students can master the content of the NYS Learning Standards and to guide our teachers in creating the rigorous, meaningful and authentic learning environments present at an EL Education school.
One of the hallmarks of Launch’s academic program is our commitment to co-teaching. In almost all classes, students have two teachers – most often, a general educator and a special educator – working to differentiate the pace, learning modalities, and group sizes in order to meet the needs of all learners. Most often, our teachers pull small alternative groups based on data gathered from formative assessments. We also focus on English Language Learners (ELLs) to ensure that students' language development is attended to in all academic content areas.
Launch is an EL Education school dedicated to putting students at the center of their learning. At each grade level, students take part in a 6-8 week cross-curricular Case Study. Over the past three years, our topics have been the Justice System with a focus on mock trial and playwriting in 6th grade, Disrupting Gun Violence in our Community in 7th grade, and the Civil Rights Movement in 8th grade. Students analyze the expedition topic through a number of lenses within their Reading, Writing, Social Studies, Art and Science or Math classes and prepare for a big culminating event where they can engage the community in their learning.
Learning Expeditions are only one way that students engage in high-quality, rigorous instruction. Throughout the year, teachers plan units of study with the final assessment or project in mind and build their daily lessons to ensure that students will be able to show mastery on the end-of-unit assessments. We use a variety of engagement strategies in our classrooms – turn and talk, whole class discourse, discussion protocols, chalk talks, cold calling, group work and showcasing student work – to involve all our students in daily learning. Our classroom seats are arranged to provide students with the opportunity to learn from their peers. Whenever possible, we ensure that students are reading books that include a diverse set of authors and characters to provide a windows and mirrors opportunity for deeper learning.