We believe all children will learn and thrive in an environment that provides a wide array of learning supports to both children and their families. We intend to give our K-1 children a strong foundation in literacy, essential to scholastic success in higher grades. Our key design elements include a 9-hour school day, 8 a.m.-5 p.m., a high-quality curriculum, teaching teams, differentiated instruction, help for at-risk children, and parent involvement. K-1 class schedules include two blocks of nap/play time to keep young children alert. Yalow’s goal: developing the whole child, encouraging each young student to excel.
Our team teaching model links a NYS certified experienced lead teacher with a licensed social worker in grades K‐2 and a second teacher in later grades. Our wraparound supports will be similar to those of Bronx Head Start programs, from which we expect to draw many students. Social workers, identifying social/emotional issues in the classroom, will help students having trouble—both in small groups in class and in special sessions if need be. This guidance will follow data-driven assessment using the NWEA and STEP Literacy assessments. In addition, we will have a Response to Intervention team, with focused special education and English language-learning teachers working student caseloads. Stepstone Academy in Cleveland, OH (with demographics matching Yalow’s) uses a “theoretical change” model—grounded in the same beliefs as Yalow’s—with extraordinary achievement results on NWEA’s MAP for Primary Grades. At Stepstone, social workers teach Incredible Years, an evidence-based intervention supported by 30 years of research to treat young children’s behavior problems and promote academic competence across socioeconomic groups. We will closely follow that model.