School of the Future (SOF) is an example of New York City public education that works. It is a gem of a place where students transform intellectually, emotionally, and socially.
SOF is a small, secondary school that serves children from sixth grade to twelfth grade in Manhattan’s District Two. As many of our Middle School students choose to stay for High School, we enjoy the unique opportunity to foster our students’ growth from the time they leave elementary school to the time they are accepted into college. Close to 100 percent of our graduating seniors go on to college, many with scholarships.
We are a dynamic learning community, and our staff comprises dedicated, intelligent, and caring professionals. SOF is a college preparatory school that offers rigorous academics geared toward college expectations. Many aspects offer a unique and deeply connected student experience, including an average class size of twenty-five; the prioritizing of critical and creative thinking; strong teacher collaboration; a diverse, integrated student body; and the ability to see and know our students well as learners and individuals. Students are afforded many special opportunities that expose them to the richness of world beyond traditional school. Examples include internships, a strong art and theater program, a computer science program, competitive sports, courses at local colleges, foreign exchange trips, and frequent field trips, including trips to other US cities.
While today’s political climate emphasizes high stakes testing, SOF values assessment that reflects authentic college and career expectations. Our guiding principle when designing curriculum and assessments for our students is that students should be grappling with ideas and skills that matter to their futures. So, we value research, argumentative speaking and writing, teamwork, personal reflection, problem solving, and innovative thinking. These values are reflected in every assignment and project the students complete.
Rarely will you find a SOF classroom where students are passively listening to a lecture. Instead, our classrooms brim constantly with dynamic learning and thinking. In place of the traditional Regents Exams as a graduation requirement, our high school students must complete four exhibitions. These are independent research papers culminating in a paper that is presented to a panel of students, teachers, and parents. Our alumni always note that exhibitions prepare them for college writing. Similarly, eighth-grade students have to complete a smaller scale research book about a topic that fascinates them, and then teach it to sixth and seventh graders.
SOF also has an advisory program in which each staff member works closely with fifteen students for several years. Advisory is a place to further build community and explore non-academic issues and current events, as well as set personalized goals with advisors and reflect on them monthly. We relish this opportunity to know our students in a non-academic environment and to help them become agents of change in their own lives.
School of the Future graduates caring students who are ready for the world with critical minds and deep understanding of current dilemmas and problems.
Through this website, we hope you enjoy getting to know more about this community we love so much!