Middle School Parent Discovery Night Spotlight

On Tuesday, April 13th, Hyde’s parents/guardians joined K-12 faculty members for a virtual Parent Discovery Night filled with exploration of personal identity and discussions of the pandemic’s effects on daily life. Below is a glimpse into the way our middle school partnered with parents/ guardians during the event.

Led by our Director of Home and School Partnerships, Ms. Yvonnia Wise, the night began with introductions and opening remarks which congratulated both faculty and parents for their hard work and outstanding dedication to Hyde’s students throughout this challenging school year. Ms. Wise then facilitated a full group activity titled “Look at Me Now!” during which parents and faculty members were instructed to draw a self-portrait that reflected aspects of their identities that they are proud of as well as goals that they have for the future. This exercise served to highlight the mission of the night which was to designate time for both parents and faculty to focus on themselves in a safe and inviting environment.

After drawing their self-portraits, parents and faculty members split into small breakout rooms where teachers facilitated open and honest seminar discussions about how the pandemic has affected them. By asking self-reflective questions about how COVID-19 has changed their lives, teachers and parents were able to learn more about each other, connect with one another, and share their triumphs as well as their struggles. After these conversations, the faculty members in each breakout room facilitated short games in their small groups. Together, parents and teachers played games like Two Truths and a Lie, Would You Rather, and Zoom scavenger hunts. Upon reflecting on the event’s successes, one parent described, “Preparation and presentation were what made playing the games so enjoyable, fun and relaxing.”

By taking the time out of their busy schedules to have some fun and self-reflect, Hyde’s parents and faculty members were able to connect and bond with one another in an open and engaging environment. One of our participating parents explained that they “feel such a stronger connection to the community of Hyde parents” after the night’s events. This positive feedback shows that events like Parent Discovery Night uphold Hyde’s mission to always provide a safe space for self-exploration, not only for our students but also for their parents and guardians who are crucial members of our community. 

Virtual Tour of The Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery

Our elementary students put their detective skills to the test during our virtual tour of the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C, a historic museum whose collections focus on many famous Americans.

Alongside specially trained gallery educators, our young portrait detectives searched for and analyzed clues to learn more about historically significant Americans. Additionally, through discussion, sketching, and writing activities, our students were able to closely compare and contrast portraits used across the collection.

Each class in our elementary school is named after a person that represents African or Hispanic culture. Furthermore, our kids have been studying influential people of color related to this year’s academic theme of identity and anti-racism such as Celia Cruz, John Lewis, AOC, Barack Obama, Kobe Bryant, and more. Using the National Portrait Gallery programming as a guide, and artist Kehinde Wiley as inspiration, our kids created their own portraits and showcased them in our annual Black History Month Showcase!

Student programs like Portrait Detectives are offered by The National Portrait Gallery with the goal being to expose students to leaders who have shaped our nation through the power of portraiture. Combined with Hyde’s programming, it allowed us to teach our students the importance of leaving a legacy by exploring identity through art!

Black History Month Spotlight: Virtual Career Panel Series

During this year’s Black History Month, Hyde’s high school students have been attending weekly virtual career panels which showcase professionals of color. These events feature panelists who each exemplify excellence in varying fields, from science and healthcare to law and journalism. Each panelist speaks about their experiences as a Black, Latinx, or Native American professional in the US and answers questions about their careers asked by Hyde’s high schoolers and student moderators.

On February 10th, biomedical and human factors engineer, Patience Osei spoke to Hyde students about her experience as a Black woman in STEM by highlighting the importance of self-confidence and vigor. “You’re in a room filled with white men, and you just have to be confident and remember that you’re just as capable,” explained Patience. When describing her work ethic over the years, she spoke of the unjust truth which is that, too often, minorities must work immensely harder than the majority to fill the same positions and receive the same level of recognition. With this in mind, Patience emphasized “If you have that grit within you, you can still push forward.”

Jennifer Saint-Preux also joined the events as a panelist representing Black women in law. As the first attorney in her family, Jennifer worked hard to receive mentorship in the legal field by seeking out lawyers to network with. This mention of networking sparked a valuable conversation about the importance of connections and networking in the professional world. Hyde students expressed curiosity by asking questions about the hows, whens, and whys of networking, prompting Jennifer to note, “Networking is hard and awkward. Your teachers are people you can network with. Be present and engaged with figuring out what their interests and hobbies are… It costs nothing to be kind.”

Armani Harris (‘22), a student moderator of the panels, reflected on the events when stating, “Something that stood out to me is when the panelists were telling their stories it spoke to me and it was telling me to just go out there and get it on my own without a handout.” As Armani suggests, each panelist has offered invaluable advice which exemplifies the power of perseverance within communities of color. Informative events such as these which center around skills in networking and a strong work ethic prove to be essential towards supporting both the educational and professional growth of our students.

After providing motivating words of wisdom, the panelists made sure to conclude by emphasizing the importance of being kind and true to yourself when looking towards the future. “Nobody knows what they’re doing… ” explained Jennifer Saint-Preux, “… and it’s ok to cry, just pick yourself back up again.”

The Elementary School’s Virtual Black History Month Showcase

Students Dijme Sissoko (top left), Camila De Paz (Top Right), and Dorian Johnson (Center) presenting their student projects.

Celebrating Black History Past, Present, and Future.

In our first Virtual Black History Month Showcase our K-3 students and staff came together to celebrate black excellence in the past, present and future.

This year we celebrated the many contributions of influential black leaders using guiding principles of creativity, purpose, self-determination, and unity to inspire our students’ projects. We learned a lot about these figures through student made book covers, magazines, videos, portraits, and speeches. Some of the figures included, Jackie Robinson, Barack Obama, Kobe Bryant, Harriet Tubman, Ruby Bridges, Michelle Obama, Mae Jemison, Bessie Col, Rosa Parks and many more. 

We had performances from our very own Hyde Choir, Hip-hop Dance Club, Hyde Elementary Dance Company, and even a special guest appearance from Dj Kool Herc! Our students worked so hard on their projects. It was so heartwarming and amazing to see how much our students have learned this February, and how their love of learning, incredible creativity, and EXCELLENCE shined throughout the showcase.

“I learned that it’s not just for Black History Month, it’s about honoring the people before us.”

– Quran Bell, 3rd grader.

New York Road Runners Initiative

Our Rising Road Runners getting ready to exercise with a fun game of Card Cardio.

Hyde’s elementary students are practicing their running skills this fall through Mighty Milers, a New York Road Runners initiative designed to help our students develop the ability, confidence, and desire to be physically active for life. While working diligently on their academics, students are also staying active and healthy virtually with Mighty Milers. 

Latea O’Kane, K-1 Academic Dean, one of 4 head coaches for this program said, “I believe the earlier you have healthy habits the better off you will be as an adult. It is amazing to see the consistency of kids who show up to the meetings. This means they are already forming good habits because they are committed to their health and learning more ways to be fit.“ 

This is a perfect example of our students building their character by showing concern for their health. It’s great to see how they are taking advantage of this initiative virtually. Their unwavering motivation shows that we all can live a healthy lifestyle!

The 6th Grade’s Virtual Health Fair

Class 603’s group of City Planners presenting their ideas towards building a community that prioritizes a healthier lifestyle.  

Raising Health Awareness in Our Community 

This past October, the middle school hosted a Virtual Health Fair, where our 6th graders showcased their project presentations on the health issues prevalent in our community. The Health Fair Project, aimed to bring awareness to our health, forced our attention towards the environment around us, and stressed the importance of healthy eating habits.

Our students took on the roles of professionals like Nutritionist, Medical Professionals, Data Analyst, Event Coordinators, City Planners, and Chefs. They worked to find and provide research through the lens of these professionals and presented the solutions they believed could support our community.

6th Grade Intervention Teacher, Tiffany Brown says, “I’m very career oriented… I really like the approach of project based learning, and it is something I carried over from my last position…I find that it helps to engage the students more… This particular project allowed for the students to choose the roles that interested them the most, and to get a feel for what it’s like to work and think as that role.”

In addition, the Health Fair Project was supplemented by accounts of past students, real professionals, and documentaries to help direct our students in the right direction of thinking. Amazing work as always, we can’t wait to see what the rest of the year has in store!

Hyde Receives College Board’s Computer Science Female Diversity Award

Seniors Sherice Gomes (left) and Alwynique Prophet (right), both of whom enrolled in the AP CSP class that granted Hyde the 2019 College Board’s Computer Science Female Diversity Award.

Award Recognition and Defying Norms 

This Spring Hyde proudly received the 2019 College Board’s AP Computer Science Female Diversity Award. This honor recognizes the outstanding work and leadership that have gone into engaging more female students in computer science and computer science education. Out of 20,000 institutions that offer AP courses, Hyde was one of only 639 schools, just 3% of that total, to be recognized in achieving this award.

By providing access to computer science courses, Hyde is opening doors for our female students to learn more about not only the world of STEM, but also prepare them for in-demand jobs of the future. These courses will grant them opportunities to help solve some of society’s most challenging problems, ultimately driving innovation and creativity in the field.

Kathryn Anderson, Instructional Coach, Data Manager and Instructor of the AP CSP class at Hyde, said a key contribution to Hyde earning the award has been accessibility. She said, “a reason why a lot of women do not go into the computer science field is because they have this idea in their mind that it isn’t for them, as girls… and it isn’t accessible to them”.

Seniors Sherice Gomes and Alwynique Prophet feel that this course has granted them and other female students the opportunity to explore an interest in the field of computer science before college. Sherice credited Ms. Anderson for inspiring her to take the class. She gave Sherice the confidence that this field is something that women can pursue. Sherice explained the impact of the AP CSP course at Hyde as, “…a chance for more girls to challenge the gender dynamic or norms that… this field is only for boys… Thanks to Hyde, we’ll see more representation of women in the field”. One of Sherice’s favorite parts of the course was coding and designing their very own Mario platform game.

Middle School Completes a 2nd Successful J-Term

Gael Ortiz (right) and Casting Director and Development Producer Meghan Griffin (left), on facetime with an LA partner of DIGA/Coburn Communications.

When I Grow Up

During this year’s middle school J-Term, student Gael Ortiz had the opportunity to shadow  Casting Director and Development Producer Meghan Griffin from the media company, DIGA/Coburn Communications. Which allowed Gael to explore his interest in becoming an actor or movie editor. 

That afternoon Gael was able to meet with several members of the main division in the film production such as the casting directors, film editors, the production manager, and the development team. He also went behind the scenes to see the production and edits of the series, “Hot Ones”, the Youtube hot wings eating game show. 

Gael got very comfortable throughout the course of the shadowing and was highly interested in the editing department and process. He learned that failure is to be expected in this industry, numerous ideas get scrapped, and that editing is extremely tedious. Nonetheless, Gael was curious to learn more, and asked great questions to everyone there.

Hyde’s Elementary School Partners with the New York African Chorus Ensemble for Black History Month


The New York African Chorus Ensemble opening up the elementary school’s, school meeting.

Inspiring and Empowering a Community

Our elementary school eagerly partnered with the NY African Chorus Ensemble, which helped to create meaningful programs and lead workshops to create an authentic Black History Month experience at Hyde. Our students learned about African countries and traditions through hands-on projects, African dance workshops, a fashion show and trivia games on influential African American leaders in history. The program ended with a huge showcase in which our students’ wonderful classwork was celebrated and displayed to faculty, parents and the rest of the elementary school.

The New York African Chorus Ensemble is much more than a chorus. The ensemble celebrates diversity, and through its community outreach, runs multicultural festivals that connect the community to authentic African culture, traditions, and spirituality. President Joyce Adewumi said, “Spending time with the students during Black History Month has allowed us… to break down negative stereotypes that separate us and show our similarities… through music, dance, in any way we can… to celebrate humanity.”

Charmaine Mack, Director of Social and Emotional Programs, knows that these are experiences our students need the most because it gives them the opportunity to develop their self and social awareness, which she highlights, “…are key social competencies needed to be successful throughout life.” Our students become more aware of their own strengths and their unique potential that they can offer to the world. She said, “I think these experiences will forever live with our students as fun and powerful cultural experiences.”

A Historic Partnership: Hyde Partners with the NYU Steinhardt Teacher Residency Program

Dr. Allan Powe and his mentor Melissa Powell help students in Biology

Hyde is proud to announce our new partnership with the NYU Steinhardt Teacher Residency Program, which allows NYU resident teachers to teach alongside Hyde mentor teachers while completing their degree in education. Hyde teachers also have the opportunity to mentor the NYU residents. In turn, NYU is offering Hyde professional development opportunities and cutting edge educational technology tools. “The partnership enforces this idea at Hyde that teaching requires learning,” said Sarah Schoonmaker, the NYU-Hyde cite coordinator for the high school and the Director of Teaching and Learning for the high school. “As educators, our professional development never stops. NYU is teaching us new things and our teachers are mentoring their fellows.” 


Hyde was selected by NYU for our intense on character education, our commitment to a strong character culture, and of course the rigor of our academics. NYU was also particularly impressed by our co-teaching model. Program coordinators from NYU were especially impressed by Hyde faculty’s ability to meet the needs of all our students and our core belief that every child has a unique potential. Indeed, it was these components that initially drew resident teacher Dr. Allan Powe to Hyde. He was especially drawn to Hyde because of our focus on character education, he said, “I believe that a focus on social-emotional learning can be transformational personally and academically and so does Hyde.”


The Hyde-NYU partnership is just another way that Hyde continues to maintain its promise of academic  excellence. This historic partnership continues to promise highly qualified and highly motivated instructors, who are open to learn and grow along with their students. The director of the high school Celia Sosa is very excited for the future. Speaking on the program she said: “Our partnership with NYU continues to create a pipeline of great teachers. The alignment between NYU’s philosophy of education and Hyde’s mission and vision is clear. The training residents receive in the program, coupled with an ability to learn about our students, approach, and curriculum, prepares them to be effective. The partnership also creates additional leadership opportunities for Hyde teachers, many of whom are eager and ready to take on the mentor role.” 


Dr. Allan Powe provides one-on-one instruction to students in science class.

Dr. Allan Powe provides one-on-one instruction to students in science class.

Fellow Marissa Ippolito engages one of her eighth students, Xiomara Kirkland on the Revolutionary War. “What was the nickname the Americans gave the British troops, Xiomara? You got this!” (Spoiler: she got the answer right!)
From Left: Sarah Schoonmaker (NYU Coordinator), Marissa Ippolito (MS fellow), Allan Powe, Erik Wiedenmann (HS fellow), Joe Tarantino (HS English Teacher and mentor to Mr. Wiedenmann). Not pictured: Janelle Jarvis (Co NYU coordinator), Jessica Perkins (MS fellow), and Melissa Powell (HS science teacher and mentor to Mr. Powe)