Thursday, May 25, 2017

Who Will Be Future Operator Of Roosevelt Island PS/IS 217 Beacon After School Program - Not Long Time Operator RIYP Or Island Kids Reports School Principal

The New York City Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) issued a Request For Proposals to operate the Roosevelt Island Beacon After School Program for next year. The Roosevelt Island Youth Program (RIYP) 

has operated the Beacon After School Program at PS/IS 217 for the last 22 years.

On May 18, I asked Roosevelt Island's PS/IS 217 Principal Mandana Beckman:
I am preparing a story on the issue of Roosevelt Island Beacon After School program RFP.

I understand there was a meeting today concerning applicants to operate the PS/IS 217 Beacon After School program.

I am told the purpose of the meeting was to evaluate applicants and to make recommendations to Department Of Youth & Community Development (DYCD) for an operator of the after school program.

Who were the RFP applicants for the Roosevelt Islands PS/IS 217 Beacon After School Program?

What is the criteria for evaluating and making recommendations to DYCD?

If qualified, will there be more than 1 applicant recommendation?...
and followed up yesterday, May 24:
... I understand that PS/Is 217 has decided not to sign the Partnership Agreement with the current Beacon operator, the Roosevelt Island Youth Program.

Is that true?

If it is true, do you have any statement regarding the reason for declining to sign the partnership agreement?

What was the criteria used for making the decision?

What group or groups did you sign the partnership agreement with?

Who is on the PS/IS 217 School Leadership Team?

Do you have any other comment on this matter?...
Ms Beckman replied today:
The New York City Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) recently released the Beacon Request for Proposal (RFP) to identify community-based organization (CBO) partners for the next round of Beacon Community Centers. Our school community at PS/IS 217 will continue to benefit from the Beacon program and its resources.

The RFP is a competitive application process and CBOs submit a proposal. Principals need to sign-off on a School Partnership Agreement (SPA) to ensure a strong relationship between the school and the Beacon provider. Proposals will not be considered without the principal’s signature. If a principal signs multiple SPAs - each of the proposals will be considered, and the one proposal with the highest score (determined by DYCD rubric) will be awarded the Beacon contract.

At PS/IS 217, we gathered with our School Leadership Team (SLT) and met with all five potential Beacon CBO partners. We utilized the CBO interview protocol developed by DOE and reviewed by DYCD. After consulting with our SLT, I decided to sign three SPAs by applicants to the Beacon RFP. DYCD will now score the three proposals and the Beacon contract will be awarded over the summer.

If you have any additional questions regarding the Beacon application process, contact Michelle Rosa at DOE.
The RIYP learned yesterday that Ms. Beckman declined to sign a School Partnership Agreement with RIYP. RIYP received this email from Ms Beckman:
In consultation with the School Leadership Team we have decided not to sign your organizations’s partnership agreement. Thank you for your interest.
Another Roosevelt Island based group, Island Kids, which has been serving Roosevelt Island for over 20 years was informed today that they will not be receiving a signed PS/IS 217 School Partnership Agreement either.

Without the signed School Partnership Agreement, neither RIYP or Island Kids will be considered as an applicant to operate the PS/IS 217 Roosevelt Island Beacon After School Program next year by DYCD.

At this time, the three organizations that received signed School Partnership Agreements from Ms Beckman is unknown.  I've asked but have not received an answer.

Stay tuned for more.

UPDATE 8:55 PM - I asked Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) President Susan Rosenthal:
Any comment to what extent Beacon RFP winner will have on Roosevelt Island Youth Center operator?
Ms. Rosenthal replied:
There is no relationship between the 2
UPDATE 6/23 - The Main Street Wire obtained and shares with us the 2017 DYCD RFP Beacon Guidance Note For School Principals:
Beacon Guidance Note for Principals

The Department of Youth and Community Development manages the Beacon Community Center program that provide expanded learning and youth development supports in 91 NYCDOE Schools. The first Beacons were established in 1991 by Commissioner Richard Murphy at a time of widespread concern about public safety and drug-related crime. They were conceived as prevention-focused, collaborative, multi-service safe havens for youth and adults with each host school transformed, during non-school hours, into a neighborhood hub for the whole community. Beacons are widely considered an early example of Community Schools.

DYCD released a new RFP for Beacons in April 2017. The Office of Community Schools (OCS) worked with DYCD on the RFP with a focus on aligning the model more closely to the Community Schools framework, encouraging stronger collaboration between schools and CBOs and developing a more rigorous focus on student level results (namely attendance).

  • Promote the positive development of all participants through programming characterized by safe environments, multiple supportive relationships, inspiring role models, high expectations, family engagement, and intergenerational activities.
  • Create a trusted, neighborhood service hub that helps community members access services, strengthens community bonds, and fosters a sense of belonging.
  • Participants will have the opportunity to engage in activities that increase their personal and family well-being through arts and culture, career awareness, life skills, sports and recreation, academic enrichment, and civic engagement.
  • Strengthen community life by expanding partnerships, tapping into the City’s rich array of resources, encouraging residents to participate in neighborhood activities and connecting community resources to the school.
  • Support student engagement in school, specifically targeting students at risk of being chronically absent.
School/CBO Partnership Process:
  • Community-Based Organizations are able to apply for more multiple schools but must submit a separate proposal for each school site.
  • Principals need to sign off of a ​School Partnership Agreement (SPA)​ and proposals will not be considered without a principal signature.
  • If principals sign multiple SPAs, each of the proposals will be considered, and the one proposal with the highest score will be awarded a Beacon contract.
  • The principal will select a liaison from his/her staff to facilitate ongoing communication and include the Beacon director in the school governance structure. In addition, the proposer may involve the school principal in the selection of the Beacon Director.
  • Director will join the school building council and the school leadership team.
  • School leadership team and Beacon staff will collaborate on development of common vision and
  • annual goals.
  • Beacon staff will work with the school to develop strategies to reduce chronic absenteeism.
  • Principal and Beacon director will schedule and adhere to a weekly meeting, engaging other key
  • partners to reinforce and support the common vision.
  • Classroom facilities and equipment will be available for use by Beacon program participant. Beacon staff will ensure that all classrooms, facilities, and equipment are used appropriately and are in good order at the end of program operating hours.
Questions to Ask a Potential Beacon Provider

We recommend that you gather school and community stakeholders (perhaps through your SLT) to interview potential Beacon providers. Below are some suggested questions. These can be tailored to meet your school’s individual needs.
  • What is your organization’s mission and how do you see this aligning with the school community?
  • How will you incorporate positive youth development, social-emotional learning and youth leadership into your program?
  • What gaps do you currently see in our community? How would you work to integrate yourself into the community to address these issues?
  • What sets you apart from other providers in the community?
  • How do you typically work with school partners? How do you describe successful collaboration?
  • Can you provide an example of one of your most successful programs? How do you define success?
  • How do you deal with program challenges or conflict?
  • What is your experience working with families and engaging adults?
  • What strategies do you use to engage youth and encourage them to participate in the planning of a variety of offerings?
  • What strategies do you use to recruit and retain participants?
  • What is your staffing plan? What type of staff professional development do you offer?
  • What type of space in the school building would you need to run a successful Beacon program?
  • How do you measure your program goals and outcomes? How do you use that information for ongoing program planning, improvement, and evaluation?
Principles for Effective School/CBO Partnerships

Principles for Effective School/CBO Partnerships
● Plan collaboratively together from the start
● Develop and clarify the program vision
● Build a meaningful working relationship
● Involve parents as partners
● Clarify roles and responsibilities
● Be strategic

● Set ground rules
● Start small and build gradually
● Share decision-making
● Prepare team members to work together
● Make adjustments to the program as needed and keep lines of communication open with all

In addition to the RIYP and Island Kids who were rejected as applicants by the Principal, the approved applicants are:
Now that we have some criteria used to evaluate the Roosevelt Island Beacon RFP applicants, we need to see how each applicant was evaluated by the Principal and School Leadership Team.