top of page

Educational Philosophy

IS 289 is a small middle school of 300 students, grades 6, 7 and 8. Through our selection process, we try to bring into our community students and families who share our belief in the:

  • Value of hard work

  • Importance of productive collaborations based on respect for the ideas and talents of others. Responsibility that students have for their own education, including self-initiation, self-evaluation and reflection, and the ongoing revision of work that goes into a project

  • Celebration of diverse ideas and talents.

  • Value of authentic work; in other words, work that takes students beyond the traditional definitions of “school work” to work that has an impact on people’s lives.


IS 289 is committed to providing a safe and supportive school environment where students are respected and free to learn without disruption or interference. We strive to ensure that students have a positive forum to express and explore different points of view in a peaceful and constructive manner.

We expect our students, families and faculty to show respect for the community by adhering to our rules and guidelines.

One of our founding principles is that learning happens when there is a combination of a high level of effort by the students and a high level of support from the teachers. Our teachers are committed to supporting students and are willing to be available for help before school, during lunch, and after school.  

Structures that we have in place to ensure that students’ work meets high standards include:

  • Planners. Each student is given a planner during the first week of school for organizing assignments. Every teacher requires that students write assignments in the planner and homeroom teachers provide time to review the assignments in the planners. We urge parents to check the planner regularly. New planners can be purchased from the main office for five dollars ($5) if the original one is missing.

  • Advisories. One way in which we support students is through our advisory curriculum. Students are assigned a teacher-advisor who works with students individually and in small groups to provide them with organizational tools and strategies for completing daily and long-term assignments. Advisories are also an important time for exploring the social and emotional issues that confront young adolescents.

  • Academic Coaches. Each student has a one to one personalized learning coach who meets with them regularly. During coaching sessions, students learn about setting goals, making a plan to meet their goals and explore how the school and family can support these goals.

  • Homeroom. Homeroom periods at the end of each day serve to ensure that students understand assignments and have the materials they need to complete them before they leave. Students are expected to bring their planners to homeroom each day.

bottom of page