Borne out of the NYC Young Men's Initiative, ESI Schools challenge all students to dream big and support them in designing their future. We recognize that each student is an individual, and therefore provide a series of learning experiences that equip young people to walk their unique paths. We honor and integrate the cultures of our communities to make learning relevant, responsive, and accessible, as we develop citizens with a positive sense of self, ready to stand for social justice.
All graduates of ESI Schools will be college and career ready as we provide a meaningful pathway to lifelong learning for every student. By fostering the boldness to dream and by developing a commitment to inner growth and outward transformation, our graduates will be ready to design their own futures.
Empowerment: Our learning community fosters young people to be positive decision makers. Our students develop into leaders by making real choices pertaining to their educational paths. We listen to the voices of our young people when assisting them on their journey towards future success in college and careers. We empower them to design the world they want to live in.
Personalized and Applied Learning: Our learning community recognizes and attends to the differences that exist across all of our students and staff members. In fact, we integrate them into everything that we do. All students and staff maintain personal growth plans that highlight their strengths, challenges, and methods of learning and guide their work on a daily basis. We also have a commitment to connecting all learning to practical experiences that deepen and enrich mastery.
Inclusion and Service: Our learning community will honor and embrace the cultures of our students. We will teach in a way that is responsive to their needs. Everything we do is primarily in service to our students.
- Our learning community will serve as an integral part of the neighborhood and city in which we exist. Community members, parents, students and all others who have a stake in our work will have a real say in how we operate. We also will develop young people to be leaders through service to the community. We embrace democratic processes to ensure collective buy-in for our work together.
Cultural Relevance and Responsiveness: Our learning community recognizes that the cultures of students of color have not always been honored and integrated into typical curricular and pedagogical practice in most schools. Often, they have been miseducated and unfairly targeted by zero tolerance discipline policies that deprive of their right to a liberating education. We will purposefully infuse every piece of our work with norms, practices and ideas that engage and connect our students to their heritage and expand access points to learning.
Continuous Growth & Design for Transformation: Our learning community will help all learners focus inward and outward when it comes to transformation. We cannot transform society until we transform ourselves. We are all a part of the systems that shape and define our experiences. We espouse a growth mindset and an asset-based approach when it comes to personal development. We encourage our students to take risks, learn from failure ("fail forward"), and design a better future using the tools they develop in our learning community.
Collective Responsibility: Our learning community operates on the moral principle of Ubuntu — "I am because we are." We each exist as unique and powerful learners, but we also work together to transform ourselves and our community.