2016-2017 Blackboard Awards Honoree: Mark Federman of East Side Community School

Photo by Daniel S. Burnstein

Editor’s note: To read profiles of all 2016-2017 Blackboard Awards honorees, click HERE! Plus: Scroll down for video from the Awards.

East Side Community School
Principal: Mark Federman

420 East 12​th​ Street
Award: Outstanding School Leader

How you would describe your school’s core educational philosophy? 

East Side Community School believes that all students can, must, and will learn. We set high standards for every student and help them meet these standards by providing personal attention, a safe and respectful environment, a strong sense of community, high quality instruction and innovative learning experiences. We do this through small classes, high-level instruction and professional development, and innovative support practices including advisory designed to make sure every student is challenged and growing.

Tell us about your school’s achievements that you are especially proud of.

East Side was selected as a NYCDOE Showcase school for all three years of the program Creating a Culture of Literacy, Professional Collaboration, Authentic Assessment and Authentic Learning (Week Without Walls). We offer over 100 extra-curricular opportunities for our students to participate in after school and on weekends. We have worked very hard to make sure two-thirds of the students in our school come from families who are under-resourced and receive free lunch.

Photo by Andrew Schwartz

What’s new?

We are tremendously proud that in an age where schools are so segregated, we are not only diverse and integrated, but also make our top priority serving all students well. This commitment was recognized when East Side was selected as part of the NYC Department of Education diversity in admissions pilot, which aims to serve a diverse student population and will be piloting a new admissions policy starting with students applying this fall to enter grade 6 in September 2017. East Side Community School strongly believes that one of the biggest strengths for all students is the diverse learning community that currently exists in the school.

What do you love about your school?  

I love our students. They are such incredible and talented young people. My happiness and job satisfaction is measured by how much time I spend with students each day. I truly appreciate how dedicated our teachers are to students and the community. I love that every one of my teachers is truly invested in doing what is absolutely best for students. I love running the Principal’s book club and the fact that the school and I grow and get better each year.