Bronx High School for Writing and Communication Arts

Organizational Structures

Every core academic teacher is a member of a cohort team and a department team. Cohort teams meet officially twice a week for 60 minutes to conduct best practice protocols, although common planning time is provided daily. Teachers engage in “Learning by Looking at Student Work” protocol and they meet with a guidance counselor to engage in “Kid Talk” to discuss students’ social, emotional, and academic growth. Every Friday we release students early to provide additional professional development time so we can meet in department teams. We alternate this time with meeting as a school staff to discuss the school’s metrics, including the School’s state report card, quality review, progress report and learning environment survey. We share best practices to support our implementation of the Common Core Learning Standards (CCLS), city-wide instructional expectation (CIE) and teacher effectiveness. We work in humanities, math, science and technology, special education, guidance and safety (wellness) teams.


The Parent Association (PA) is a forum in which family members collaborate with school staff to support, assist, and guide participants as they assume various roles within the school community. Families and school staff collaborate as advocates for our students’ education. Meetings are held during the third Thursday of
every month.


The Principal’s Cabinet is a formal group consisting of school leaders and leaders in training who meet regularly to address the issues that arise pertaining to student achievement and teachers’ instructional practice. We gather data, develop strategies, and implement policies and practices to help the staff to be more effective with students. Staff members are encouraged to keep members, of the Cabinet informed and to raise issues they feel need to be addressed.


The School Inquiry Team (SIT) focuses on the needs of students who are “outside the sphere of success.” They gather, analyze and synthesize academic data. They develop strategies to help targeted students become more successful and experiment to determine which strategies are most effective using their observations and
evidence. The whole staff participates in this form of work, and are all considered members of the SIT. 


The School Leadership Team (SLT) is a formal governing body of the school. Minimally, it is comprised
of the Principal, four UFT representatives and 1 DC-37 representative, 4 family members, and 2 students. The School Leadership Team works with the principal as she makes decisions about the school’s budget and programs. The Student Leadership Team is responsible annually for reviewing and revising the School’s Comprehensive Educational Plan (SCEP) and course accreditation. Members of the staff represent their colleagues on the School Leadership Team, consulting and reporting back to the staff about the SLT’s work. Participants receive a
stipend for their monthly participation.


The UFT and DC-37 Chapters represent the school’s pedagogues and staff and ensure adherence to proper procedures as written in the UFT contract and due process. Staff members are part of their representative chapters and meet regularly after school hours.  

The Wellness Team is made up of guidance counselors, school counseling interns, the Dean and AP Wyre.

They support the social and emotional needs of our students and provide mandated services throughout the year. They case manage students who need additional support and communicate with the rest of the staff about students’ needs in weekly cohort meetings. Teachers are encouraged to work closely with the members of the Wellness Team as they develop relationships with individual students in their classes or to ask for support developing strategies that will allow students to be successful. 

The Preventive Team is comprised of the Principal, the assistant principals, and the dean. The role of the wellness team is support the shared understanding and enforcement of the Chancellor’s Discipline Code and the school’s ladder of referral among all school stakeholders. The Preventive Team also oversees the Peer Mediation Program.

The PBIS Team is made up of representatives of all constituents of our school community- administrators,
teachers, aides, parent coordinator, students and counselors. Positive Behavioral Intervention System/Support (PBIS) is a framework for developing positive behavior and creating a positive climate for learning. PBIS provides a clear system for all expected behaviors which prepares students to graduate and become socially responsible young adults. Through continuous teaching, modeling and rewards, we support students’ positive behaviors, reduce discipline problems and promote a climate of greater productivity, safety and learning.

Teacher Leadership Roles in the School

In addition to serving as a member of a department and\or cohort team and participating in common planning time, each teacher performs a professional responsibility for the school for release time from classroom or
professional activities or per session (hourly) pay. The professional assignments may be selected from the following:

·     Serving as a teacher mentor

·     Supervising independent study for students

·     Coordinating the individualized education plans for students with disabilities

·     Coordinating services for students designated as English language learners

·     Facilitating a cohort team

·     Serving as the UFT chapter leader

·     Serving as a dean of discipline

·     Coordinating all testing administrations

·     Coordinating student activities as the COSA

·     Serving as the senior year activities

·     Coordinating the student government

·     Facilitating the implementation of project based assessments and the alignment of core curriculum

·     Overseeing the city-wide instructional expectations

·     Serving as the school’s data specialist

·     Serving as the school’s sustainability (recycling) coordinator

·     Coordinating on-line learning

·     Serving as the Advanced Placement Coordinator