Toby Tebo, Principal
Grade level: K–6
Free and Reduced Meals: 29.8%
Year school began to implement innovative practices: 2013
Brownsville Elementary is a community of innovative problem solvers. We collaborate and persevere to prepare for our future. We also have deep traditions, celebrating our 60 years and centered around a STEM-based mission to provide relevance and direction. Our innovative approaches serve as a laboratory for our broader district and beyond. Our STEM focus is about substance, not just a shiny toy.
Prior to 2013, our school district was primarily a PC, desktop, wired, traditional technology system. Our staff wanted more for our students. Starting with a grassroots effort in 2013-2014, staff collaboratively authored a proposal to become the first choice school in CKSD, centered around a STEM core. After our proposal was approved and funded, our first year efforts focused on upgrading our technology resources and math curriculum.
In 2014-2015, we received 200 Chromebooks, an expanded PD budget, 50 tablets, wifi access building-wide, and functional Google Apps for Education (GAFE) accounts for each of our students. We also became the first school to adopt EngageNY building-wide in the district and aligned support to create a system that provided robust problem solving, fact fluency, and conceptual-based instruction. We are currently implementing Engineering is Elementary kits school-wide, building partnerships with community, as well as expanding our extracurricular offerings to 12, ranging from Lego Robotics to Garden Club.
We deeply collaborated with LASER (Leadership & Assistance for Science Education Reform), an organization that provides STEM-focused support, including a week-long summer institute for furthering STEM education. Our work with them helped us create a 1-2 year plan built from solid research including that from the
S3 Outlier U of Chicago research, PNW National Laboratory, and other sources. This experience also provided a framework for the future, revealing for us how focusing on Problem-based learning, School/Community belonging, and Personalization of Learning could guide all future work.