Connecting students to a world of opportunity
All of our instructional practices are grounded in our Mission and Vision.
In our classrooms, we take a strengths-based approach to meet our students where they are, and to challenge, scaffold, and support their learning.
The social emotional well-being of our students is central to our work, and we offer a robust set of resources, interventions, and supports to all of our students, individualized to their learning and care needs.
All students have dedicated time with social emotional lessons every week through the PATHS program, and all staff are trained in Responsive Classroom and trauma-responsive support.
Be sure to check out more about how social-emotional learning is central to our work.
We provide a range of special education supports. We utilize students’ IEPs to develop instruction geared toward individual goals. Our Integrated Co-Teaching (ICT) setting in most classrooms is the primary way in which we are able to deliver Specially Designed Instruction to meet IEP goals. We also provide Related Services including Speech – as well as Special Education Teacher Support Services (SETSS).
To ensure continuity of learning, multilingual learners (MLLs) receive English language instruction and sheltered English instruction throughout the year, a plan individualized based on their current level of English performance.
Stand-alone English instruction targets the development of English language skills in the four modalities: listening, speaking, reading, and writing.
Students who are identified as Entering, Emerging, and Transitioning MLLs receive stand-alone instruction, facilitated by English language teachers. Further, integrated supports include English language scaffolds and home language supports that ensure access, engagement, and attainment of grade-level core content and skills, based on a students language development goals.
These supports and scaffolds are co-planned and provided by both the classroom teachers(s) and ENL (English as a New Language) teachers, and they are provided to all MLLs.
A Pedagogy of Scholarship and Citizenship
From the work of play in early childhood, to student-centered inquiry approaches to learning across our grades, Harlem Link’s pedagogical program is designed to “empower students and alumni to take an active role in their own learning,” as our mission statement says. We learned from vigorous debates about learning to read in the 1990s: all students benefit from a balanced approach that includes both daily instruction in phonics and phonemic awareness and immersion in a print-rich literacy environment that exposes them to a wide range of genres, engaging books and real-world models for reading.
Our math program was focused on Common Core’s Standards for Mathematical Practice since before they were organized into the Common Core. Through our constructivist math program which includes the TERC curriculum and Cognitively Guided Instruction, students actively create their own knowledge through discovery, experimentation and argument.
The school uses Teaching Tolerance’s Social Justice Standards directly in unit planning to further our school-wide work in Anti-Bias and Anti-Racist (ABAR) practices.
Social Emotional Learning
At Harlem Link, social emotional learning is as important as academic learning. We use a variety of expert resources to ensure our environment is safe for all learners, including those who have experienced trauma. Explore on other areas of our website our all-staff training in Responsive Classroom, our partnership with Bank Street College of Education’s Emotionally Responsive Practices program, and our use of the PATHS curriculum in each classroom.
Harlem Link has an Academic Response to Intervention (RTI) system to help ensure all students have access to the general education curriculum, provide supports to help close gaps in learning, and determine if students need additional support.
Our Academic RTI system is comprised of four tiers:
Tier 1: General Education instruction (80% of students should be in this tier)
Tier 2: Classroom intervention (10-15% of students). Classroom intervention consists of additional small group, small block instruction 3-5 days a week for 1-2 months. This tier requires clear goals and bi-weekly assessments to monitor progress, and to be discussed between teachers and families.
Tier 3: Academic Intervention Services (AIS) (5-10%). AIS consists of small group instruction outside of core instruction for 30-45 minutes 3-5 days a week over the course of 6-8 weeks; requires clear goals and weekly assessments to monitor progress
Tier 4: Special Education Instruction (1-5%). Students in this tier should be referred for a special education evaluation after a team-wide discussion of the students’ needs and data.