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The International High School @ Prospect Heights empowers recent immigrant students by teaching them fluency in reading, writing, speaking, and understanding English through a rigorous curriculum that is language rich, interdisciplinary, and project based. Students learn to think critically, navigate societal constructs, and prepare for college and other education after high school. Students, staff and families create a caring school environment that promotes collaboration, cross-cultural interaction, and appreciation of diversity. Above all, International High School students become successful contributing members of society and conscientious global citizens of the future.
The International High School @ Prospect Heights focuses on providing recent immigrant students with an intensive language development curriculum throughout the entire school day. The key components of this model are:
- Project-based, interdisciplinary curriculum
- Language intensive curriculum in all content areas
- Heterogeneous collaborative groupings
- Extended class periods in core academic subjects
- Autonomous teacher teams that collaborate to serve small cohorts of students
We serve English language learners (ELLs), specifically the population of students who score at intermediate beginner or below on the NYSESLAT exam and have been in the United States fewer than four years at the time of admission. Students will attend classes in the humanities and math and science, as well as in art and physical education.
The school's educational program is premised on the belief that limited English proficient students must be able to achieve near-native fluency in English in order to realize their full potential and that language skills are learned more effectively when embedded in content area instruction through interdisciplinary study. By providing effective support systems and multiple learning contexts (e.g., field trips and off-site educational experiences), students will be successful in acquiring language skills and mastery of content. Through teachers' active participation in curriculum development, selection of materials, and school decision-making, in addition to innovative scheduling and small group/cooperative learning models, those who work closest to the students directly shape the instructional program from design to implementation. Students at The International High School @ Prospect Heights receive a complete high school curriculum combining interdisciplinary study of all subject matter with intensive study of English. Faculty integrate English as a second language techniques into their content area courses while providing students with opportunities to further develop their native language skills through peer-mediated instructional activities and instructional materials and books in their native languages. All classes will be heterogeneous; that is, students will not be grouped according to language level, achievement level, age, or grade level. Teams of teachers will develop thematically-based courses of study designed to ensure that students have the opportunity to meet or exceed city and state standards in all content areas.Students stay with the same interdisciplinary team of teachers for the entire school year. As part of their interdisciplinary course work, students work on performance-based tasks that become part of their graduation portfolio. While performance assessment is a key component of this program, International @ Prospect Heights intends to use this work to support students' development towards mastery of all state standards. All entering ninth graders will be required to pass five regents exams by the time they graduate. International @ Prospect Heights will prepare students for those Regents exams that all schools are required to administer for graduation.
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