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- Submitted by PChea on Mon, 09/15/2014 - 16:22
Dear Mr. Sherman,
I want to thank you for the unique pleasure of visiting your school. It takes just moments inside the walls of East-West to sense the comfort level and collegiality of all members of your staff from veterans to newcomers. That kind of environment allows staff to strive for excellence and to truly work collaboratively. That kind of environment is a place where staff can find a long-term home, trusting that the administration cares about their continuing development. It’s a clear testament to a leadership style which values and respects each individual member of its team. It is the kind of place I would want to work my hardest and do my absolute best.
But of course, the bottom line is the students. And the results were evident everywhere. Even near the end of the school year, when students could hardly be blamed for being distracted, these students were both relaxed and fully engaged in their learning. And I mean all of the students. Almost hard to believe. Students knew what they were supposed to be doing at all times. They were either focused on the teacher or quietly involved in intent, relevant and quiet discussions or individual work. None of the students I saw seemed frustrated, alienated or disruptive. Admittedly, I was there for only a few periods. But for that amount of time it was still quite an accomplishment. I can only assume that the students respond to the commitment and nurturing of the teachers and administration as well as to a school which pulses with diversity, creativity, community and fun. How I would have loved to attend East West as a student!
- Submitted by PChea on Sun, 12/15/2013 - 20:03
My name is Carol, and my son and my niece both attend East West. They transferred from our zoned middle school which they hated because of bullying and overcrowding. Now at East-West, they love the school so much and most importantly feel safe at East-West. This is so important to my sister and I who are both working moms. For our children to love school and feel safe is priceless.
Your administration, faculty and staff all contribute to this exceptional asset at East West. We are so grateful! My sister and I would love to provide a light breakfast to all the staff & administrators of East West to express our appreciation. Thank you so much.
- Submitted by PChea on Fri, 12/13/2013 - 01:15
When I was applying to East-West, I was worried that I was going to a school that wouldn't give me much satisfaction because it was such a small and new school. Fortunately, I was wrong and I am very glad to have chosen to spend my high school years at East-West. Now that I am a college student, I really do miss my high school and I wish I can just rewind time because I was so happy then.
East-West is a very small school, but it was filled with amazing teachers and staff members who I always turned to for a friendly conversation or if I needed help or advice. I have made friends at EWSIS that have truly affected my life and personality. I know this sounds very cliche, but I did feel like I was at home when I was attending EWSIS. The school was small enough to give me a chance to get to know a lot of people, upperclassmen and underclassmen included.
Although EWSIS struggles in getting more advanced courses available, I still think it's a good enough school to prepare students academically and socially.
- Submitted by PChea on Mon, 12/02/2013 - 14:39
Coming from a large middle school to a small high school, I didn't know what to expect. I was going into a new environment where I knew nobody and knew nothing. I was a bit frightened, but after getting myself settled into the school, I felt like I was part of a community. Since the school has a small population, I grew to know all the students and teachers. East-West was, in a way, those small little towns where everybody knows everybody. It is a close-knit community that is still growing and thriving.One of the best things about East-West that I love is the opportunities. Going to high school, I received the opportunity to learn a language I truly wanted to learn, Japanese. Later on in my high school, I received the opportunity of being one of the first students to be at the first offered AP Class at East-West. East-West offers many opportunities for their students that best suits them. They range from internships to study aboard programs. The opportunities that are offered at East-West are one of a kind, making it unique from your ordinary high school. My time at East-West is unforgettable and I hope future or perspective students come to experience what East-West truly has to offer for them.
- Submitted by PChea on Wed, 11/20/2013 - 19:26
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 - 14:14
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 - 14:03
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 - 12:03
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 - 12:09
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 Tue, 08/06/2013 - 11:23Where do I begin when I reminisce about my time at East-West? After staying in a school for six years, making many life-long friends, and learning from various teachers year after year, I find myself saddened by my departure yet euphoric that I was able to attain so many memories.When I first attended East-West in the 7th grade, I was reluctant to make friends or even come to school. My mom heard about East-West from her friend whose daughter was a student, and so she decided to send me here. I had to take the MTA bus from Briarwood all the way out to Elder Avenue in Flushing. It was my first time taking public transportation to a school and becoming submerged in an unknown environment. Looking back now, it shaped me into becoming an adult; going to school by myself and getting a really good education. I almost felt like a college student and I was only 12 years old!In the six years that I was at East-West, I participated in many activities and clubs. My most memorable moments were going to the Korean New Year's Day parade, helping out with distributing food and drinks at the Queens Botanical Garden during the Chinese New Year’s Festival, planting trees after a horrible rainstorm at Kissena Park, and of course travelling to Japan.East-West provided me with these wonderful opportunities that I would not have found anywhere else. I could not have asked for a better trip than the one I went to in Japan.Japan was an amazing experience for me because I never studied Japanese so I was completely new to the environment, similar to when I first came to East-West. The sights, the foods, and my host family were only a part of what was to be the greatest experience at East-West for me. Japan’s small town of Nagoya had a variety of suburban style sightseeing that kept me interested. I visited temples, large golf courses, and shopping malls where the best of the best gathered for Pokémon battles. Videogames are also popular there and my host brother and I would play Wii games, Nintendo DS games, and with Lego sets. Visiting Kyoto and Kiyomisudera was breath-taking because of how old the structures and the city was and how the old Japanese style was so authentic. It was surreal and our group was very eager to learn as much as they could. I was more intent on buying souvenirs and taking pictures and shopping. This trip to Japan was the highlight of my years at East-West and I couldn’t ask for anything more.At East-West, I had many memories. Some of the most enjoyable moments were hosting the East-West Game Show, the Hunger Games, the Basketball 3 On 3 tournaments, Field Day, the Color Wars, and becoming Chancellor for Student Government in the 11th grade. My time at East-West was enjoyable and I would stay for another year if I could. If I had one piece of advice to share with future students, it would be to pay attention in class and work smarter, not harder.