Teacher Co-Director Josh Heisler and I, Principal
Co-Director Brady Smith, will take turns updating this blog with important information and events at JBS. For starters, it seems like a good idea to explain why we have Co-Directors!
The James Baldwin School was started in 2005 by teachers and wellness staff from our sister school, Humanities Prep. The JBS Core Values, the connection to the Coalition of Essential Schools and the Performance Standards Consortium, the approach to teaching and learning, were all brought from Prep to Baldwin. But the founding staff wanted to ensure teachers were represented on the leadership team and that decisions included all voices. So, the leadership structure of Co-Directors, one a Principal and one a teacher, was created.
Josh and I have different aspects of the school that we focus on, but we share an office and meet frequently to discuss just about everything. Founding staff member, AP, Instructional Guide and Admissions Director (and former Principal of JBS) Christine Olson rounds out the JBS Leadership Team.
One of the JBS Core Values is 'Commitment to Democracy' and one of the ways we live that value is by working hard to make sure our school is as democratic as we can make it. Faculty and staff at JBS want to have a voice in how the school is governed and want to take part in debating and decision-making. We work hard to involve student voice in our governance and so hold weekly Town Meetings. And we would love to have more parent voice in determining the direction of the school. Since our students come from all over NYC, it can be a challenge to bring our families together, but we are committed to meaningful parent/guardian involvement and fostering student voice in our school. I welcome suggestions as to how we can involve family members more deeply in our school community. Please email me about this (and any other questions or concerns you might have) at firstname.lastname@example.org
I look forward to hearing from you, and to seeing you here at school!