- Contact Us
- Quick Links
- Lunch Form
Submit your positive experiences at East-West to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Submitted by PChea on Wed, 11/20/2013 - 18:26
To the East-West Community,
I've been a New York City Department of Education Earth Science teacher for the past fifteen years, a member of the Absent Teacher Reserve (ATR), taught within my license (Earth Science) at an individual school for an entire year. This year (2012-2013), I have been circulated around almost ten schools before being placed here, at the East-West School of International Studies in March 2013 where I covered a maternity leave in my area of certification.
The ATR rotation has afforded me a new perspective on public education. There are schools that fight the good fight, but will inevitably close; there are schools where students are graduating with A averages on a regular basis...but need to take remedial Math and English when accepted to our local university system. Fortunately, there are a few schools that fight the good fight, and succeed. The East-West School is in this group. But as good as the teachers and administration are, it would be thoughtless of me to ignore the true heroes of East-West...the students.
The students I worked with at East-West without exception, are the best group of kids I've ever met in my teaching career. That they would allow me to seamlessly take over a class and continue the curriculum during a maternity leave is a true testament to their own integrity, and the values their families and East-West have instilled. The students have truly benefited from the staff's collaborative spirit, and the regular sharing of ides through inquiry. How very fortunate all of you are to have one another!
Finally Mr. Sherman, thank you for having the students and staff recite the Pledge of Allegiance at your daily muster, and offering a moment of silence for our fallen soldiers on Memorial Day. Sadly, very few of the "new" schools, I've seen in the last four years think such acknowledgement is appropriate. Your open door policy, cultural awareness, and desire to share personal experiences with humor, is a rare gift and greatly appreciated.
God bless you all,
East-West School 5/31/2013
- Submitted by PChea on Tue, 11/19/2013 - 13:14
Fleeing from Guatemala and having an undocumented status in New York City, not speaking an ounce of English, I never dreamed in a million years that I would be a QuestBridge Finalist in high school applying for early decision to Ivy League Colleges like Brown, Columbia,and Dartmouth.
I came to New York at the age of 8 years old. No one in my family spoke English. I struggled in elementary school learning the language.
By the time I started middle school at East-West, I was still struggling in English, but I was very fortunate to have the individualized attention that a small school like East-West can afford. Mrs. Mandel was my English teacher and Advisor. I attribute my success in scoring a 730 on my SATs in critical reading to Mrs. Mandel. I thank her for being proactive in getting me the support I needed in writing, reading, and basically getting me organized so that I could do my best. Mrs. Mandel would have ongoing conferences with my mom to work with me in areas that I needed improvements on. I also had Mrs. Braverman for English, and she recommended the book The Hunger Games to me, which got me engaged in reading more young adult books, and I believe that is where my love of reading started. Ms. Marinos provided a solid foundation in American History, which prepared me for the Advanced Placement course in US History.
I was also a middle school delegate in Mrs. Gorry’s Model UN club. Though I wasn’t very outspoken at the time, the experience of attending conferences at the United Nations and doing research on numerous countries, provided a positive experience that when I became a junior in high school, my experience from East-West was one of the reasons I was promoted to Editor of the Model UN Club. As Editor, I had the opportunity to mentor and instruct all the new members.
Dr. Sherman sparked my interest in Biology and Genetics. Having taken Living Environment with Dr. Sherman, along with the Algebra Regents in 8th Grade, I was one of the few 9th graders at Francis Lewis High School to take Chemistry and Geometry, which eventually followed with Physics and Trigonometry in 10th Grade. By Junior and Senior year, I was able to take extra Advance Placement courses in Biology and Psychology, which prepared me for the Science Research Mentoring Program at the American Museum of Natural History.
The individualized attention that I received from East-West made a big difference in my education. I don’t want to blend in and get lost in the shuffle, I wanted to be noticed by my peers and stand out. East-West provided a nurturing environment for me to succeed. I didn’t know how much I appreciated Morning Muster at East-West, where the students and teachers all said Good Morning to everybody in four different languages, where all the announcements were made, and we had performances on Fridays until I transferred to a large school where information like that would be from a public address system; not as personable.
I have come a long way from when I was first arrived to America, adjusting to a new country with a language different than my own. My parents have sacrificed a lot for my brother and I. This is what fuels me to do my best, and dream big, and I have East-West to thank for for believing in me and supporting me in middle school.
- Submitted by PChea on Tue, 11/19/2013 - 13:03
I was very interested in the Asian Language Program at East-West. The choice to study Japanese for three years and then having the opportunity to visit Japan was one of my highlights of attending East-West in middle school. The small school environment provided a feeling of safety and comfort that other middle schools with 1000 students in each grade could not have created. By taking my Algebra and Living Environment Regents in the eighth grade, I was a year ahead of most of my peers entering high school. East-West pushed me to do my best and instilled in me the ability to succeed in high school and beyond. Thank you East-West!
- Submitted by PChea on Wed, 10/23/2013 - 11:03
Before I attended East-West I was attending I.S. 59, which had a black population of 98%, so I was somewhat trapped in a bubble of my own race. The idea of diversity there was being half-Black and half-Spanish or half-Black and half-White, so coming to East-West at first was a little frightening. I was far away from home; there were foreign signs all around the neighborhood, absolutely nobody of the same race for miles, and the school was so small that the halls seemed deserted. However, the students as well as the teachers and staff made it really easy to adjust.
The High School Assistant Principle at the time took it upon himself to introduce me to some students in my class, one particular person being Malcolm, who is practically a brother. After about only one month attending the school, I knew practically everybody in my grade and had a good relationship with most of the teachers. It was at East-West where I was able to just grow and be comfortable. I didn’t worry about trivial high school things such as bullies or narcotics. Throughout the years, it’s only been about my studies and my friends, so it was much easier for me to focus on what I wanted to do in the future. Now I’m going to the college of my dreams, following my goals, and unlike people from other high schools, I’m going to keep in touch with a large amount of my fellow classmates.
One of the best things about East-West to me is the foreign language program. Despite only having one Japanese teacher, East-West fully immerses you into not only the language, but also the culture. I took Japanese at East-West expecting only to study out of a textbook, learn the language, and take the NYS Language Other Than English test. However, in my five years at East-West, I have tasted many foods, played Japanese games, made New Year’s cards, talked to Atomic Bomb survivors and even went to the country itself! Not only has East-West amazed me with the intensive lessons and hands-on experiences but the cultural aspect of the entire program glued everything together in one amazing package. East-West is far from perfect but it’s been an incredible experience that I will never forget.
- Submitted by PChea on Thu, 09/26/2013 - 11:09
Dear Mr. Sherman:
How does a parent say “thank you” for saving their child? When Hannah started High School in a large, impersonal school, things quickly went from bad to worse. Poor attendance, cutting classes, bad choice of friends, and failing grades were making the situation look grim.
I knew that school was not what Hannah needed, and I asked (begged) Mr. Sherman to allow her to transfer to the East-West School of International Studies. After interviewing both Hannah, her parents and her friends, you agreed to give her a chance at a new beginning.
At first she continued to struggle with her issues. At one point I could not see the light at the end of the tunnel – I just did not know what more to do to help her. You spoke with me in your usual calming way and assured me that she would do OK and graduate on time. What you knew helped me to wait it out.
Hannah has blossomed under the caring of the teachers, administrators and staff of the EWSIS. Recently she received the honor of “Student of the Month” from her Japanese Language and Culture class. Her attendance is excellent, she wears the school uniform every day, she is passing all of her subjects with decent grades, enjoys working with Mrs. Arroyo in the office, and looks forward to coming to school every day. The supportive, caring environment that exists at EWSIS has made all the difference.
There are so many people who have worked so hard to help Hannah. Mrs. Klinger was always there when Hannah needed support and guidance. Hannah calls Mrs. Arroyo her “mother in school” this year. Mrs. Horowitz has managed to make Hannah look forward to Wednesdays when she has gym, dressed for play, and now a great fan of kickball. Mrs. Mandel has worked tirelessly to convince Hannah that she is a great kid. Mrs. Shim is always available to answer my questions and help Hannah. How exciting that now she has begun to help Hannah choose schools and apply for college! So many of her teachers have been there to encourage her to do her best, and the upcoming trip to Japan is going to be such an amazing opportunity for Hannah to gain confidence and life-long memories.
You have created a climate conducive to learning. The school has a small town feel, where staff are accessible, and Hannah feels that she is an important member of the school community. You have made such a big difference in her life. “Thank you” only begins to express my feelings of gratitude.
- Submitted by PChea on Wed, 07/24/2013 - 10:37
One Moment in East-West
High School is all about self-discovery. As I end my four-year journey, I have taken a few moments to sit back and reflect on what I have learned here at East-West. High School is that influence that helps one to examine oneself and to become a better person for the future. High School is the driving force, the transition from the person you once were, to the person you desire to become. No school accomplishes that more than East-West.
East-West helped me to open my shell and break down the walls I had built up over the years. From 7th grade to present day, I’ve grown to assert myself and stand firm to the ideas I believe in. This transition has helped to mold my personality. I am now an independent, ambitious, curious and outgoing young woman. I am eternally grateful to my past teachers and to my principal, Mr. Sherman, who have helped shape me into becoming who I am today.
East-West was only a small portion of the 4th floor when I arrived back in 2007. Yes, we are a small school and I am grateful that I was able to accomplish so much during my junior high and high school years. I was able to get to know many of my teachers as well as establishing a relationship with the school staff. From 8th grade to 12th grade, my teachers have seen and influenced me to grow from a shy student to a confident, bright young woman. My teachers have helped me into becoming not only a better student but a better person with morals and ethics.
However, what I enjoyed the most about attending this school was making so many friends from different ethnicities. This only fulfills the idea of East-West being so international. We are a diverse community; I’m friends with Asians, Whites and Hispanics. They have all given me opportunities to learn about their cultures. Over the years we’ve become a small family where I have embraced various cultures during my years of East-West.
Throughout the years I participated in so many school-wide events such as the 2010 Talent Show, the 1st and 3rd Annual Poetry Slam and other extracurricular activities that have helped me sharpen my interests and hobbies. In these events and clubs I’ve learned to express myself through song, writing and in my beliefs.
East-West has also challenged me to take difficult courses in order to challenge myself and better prepare myself for college curriculum. English AP was indeed a challenging course to take, however, the experience has made me stronger and more willing to take on more challenges. I am also appreciative that I was able to partake in so many first time events in East-West such as having our first Chemistry and English AP Classes as well as signing our Rachel’s Challenge banner which creates a zero-tolerance bullying zone and promotes the virtues of compassion and kindness in our school.
Both courses have not only accomplished my desire in taking challenging courses but have prepared me for college. While taking the English AP Course, I was required to write essays in MLA format and was graded on a college level scale. The topics ranged from modern education to argumentative essays where we were required to have a counterargument and analyze our evidence. East-West also has given me the opportunity to experience another college course in Queens College in a program known as College Now.
Another course I was able to take was the Chinese Language Course, that East-West offers for it’s students. From their first year of East-West, students are able to choose from the three Asian language courses offered: Chinese, Japanese and Korean. After taking Chinese for 4 years, I’m proud to say that I’ve learned more about Chinese language as well as Chinese culture (such as cooking, painting and calligraphy). This course has also prepared me for college as well as prepared me for my trip to China during the Summer of 2012.
As a high school senior, I am planning to go to St. John’s University in the Fall and majoring in the Pharmacy Program. Looking back towards the last six years, East-West has had a lasting influence on my life and has provided me with the morals, ethics and the intellect to assist me in the near future. East-West has never given up on me and has pushed me in doing the best I can by encouraging me to challenge myself and to be the best I can be. I will cherish for the rest of my life the good friends I made here at East-West, and the unforgettable lessons I have experienced.
- Submitted by PChea on Tue, 05/07/2013 - 11:45
Thank you so much again for inviting me to EWSIS to give a workshop. I was completely moved by how passionate all of your students were about Japanese and the culture. I'll be honest with you -- it's been a long day for me but I felt invigorated by everyone's love and energy!
I was also moved by the card you put together for me -- all the messages from your students including some parents made me cry. Thank you for being so warm and kind. I shared with you on the ride to the train that I sensed your love for your students and their love for you. I'm so grateful to be part of such a warm community today. You have already achieved something beyond simply teaching a subject matter. I was so honored to have a chance to share what ikebana is about. I apologize profusely about the visuals. I cannot even describe how embarrassed and nervous I was. Thank you for being patient with me.
I hope you will get some sleep tonight. Thank you again for being so wonderful. I learned so much from you and your community. Hontou ni otsukaresamadeshita.
- Submitted by PChea on Thu, 02/21/2013 - 22:02
Making the decision as to which high school Ashley would attend after graduation from East-West School of International Studies’ middle school was not difficult. She had already made up her mind that she will continue at East-West. She had given me every reason to go along, notably the school’s commitment to excellence. I was comfortable with her choice, if only for the fact she would not have to change school.
I am very satisfied with Ashley’s academic accomplishments. To be sure, Ashley has always been a good learner, a student with a high level of achievement motivation, who tends to attribute her successes (or failures) to her own efforts or actions. But she herself makes the point that she has been fortunate to have “real good” teachers, the ones with consistent interest in their students’ learning and progress, the ones who, as they say, teach from the heart, not only from the book. It’s a good feeling when a teacher shows appreciation of parents’ readiness to be actively involved in their children education. High expectations for student academic success are linked significantly to direct parents contact with schools. This is why I never missed school meetings.
Ashley’s educational journey will in not too distant a future take a new turn, as she transitions to college. This by all accounts is a stressful event, physically, mentally, and emotionally- a lengthy process that involves multiple tasks, requiring time management, resourcefulness, steadfast supportiveness of home and school. Like most college applicants Ashley experienced spikes in anxiety and felt an intense pressure to comply with deadlines. She commented, however, that consistent support had been available throughout. She very much enjoyed her trips to Yale and Columbia campuses, among others. These trips were relevant to the process as important steps of achieving perspective taking.
Parents frequently express hope that their children are happy and fulfilled at school, both in their learning and socialization. In this respect, it is satisfying that East-West offer a range of program activities for the students to develop their social skills, showcase their talents and interests, and achieve their strivings. Some activities are intercultural, while others are culture-specific, such as judo, Korean painting, dancing, and singing.
East-West also deserves praise for recognizing how beneficial it is to encourage a spirit of volunteerism, to develop citizenship skills in our young adolescents that in turn help to strengthen community functioning. The aim is that they will eventually translate knowledge and experiences acquired within the community to a wider world.
East-West’s student population is ethnically diverse. Cultural differences notwithstanding, there is no reported intergroup conflict, a testimony to the quality of East-West leadership. American born of Haitian descent, Ashley has a long history of immersion in East Asian cultures, especially Korean, dating back to her pre-school years.
Besides being a dedicated member of the dance team, Ashley is involved in a Korean tutoring program, tutoring younger children, as well as classmates. She is also an active member of “Model United Nations” club. Participation in Model United Nations has enlarged her world view, providing her with insight as to how some of the complex issues could be solved. An issue of great concern to her is Human Rights, especially for children. Ashley’s communication and problem-solving skills have markedly improved as a result of her involvement in these programs.
Looking back, Ashley’s enrollment at East-West was a right choice. Interactions with the school personnel could not have been better. I held high expectations for my daughter’s academic success, and East-West has been instrumental in making it come through. Perhaps more important, it has given her the sense of purpose and direction. As someone said quite appropriately, “The purpose of life is a life of purpose.”
As Ashley prepares to exit high school and take her place in adult society, this is the time, my time, to rejoice, and to say to you, “East-West educators, job well done. Thank you for your time.”
- Submitted by PChea on Tue, 02/12/2013 - 20:04
This school provides a rigorous, challenging academic program for my kids. The East-West students are disciplined and respectful. We're very happy with the school environment. My kids feel very safe in and around the school. Their favorite subject is Japanese.
- Submitted by PChea on Tue, 02/12/2013 - 19:59
East-West is a great school. The teachers are dedicated and supportive in my child's academics and has helped her tremendously in achieving her goals. She has learned a second language and is in the right direction to further develop her ability to continue to improve. Thank you.