The Community Shool for Social Justice is an active and caring learning community. Young people learn to solve and resolve, collaborate and create, and develop the intellectual and social skills to become thoughtful and engaged members of their communities. We honor each student's heritage and values. Additionally, we embrace a climate of social activism in which our students feel the confidence to address issues that affect their lives. Our community provides a space for students to connect their desires with hope and possibility. Additionally, our faculty and staff provide the emotional and academic support that students need in order for them to earn a high school diploma, transition easily into college, and be successful in life.
At CSSJ we place emphasis on developing critical thinking through inquiry and project-based instruction. By understanding how to ask questions and examining real-life problems, young people learn to consider solutions that are both practical and ideal. As students grow, learn and reflect, we strive to guide them toward a sense of power and personal discovery to make changes for themselves, for their own futures and for the world in which they live.
In the ninth and tenth grades, students participate in the "Foundations Program" and complete two PBATs: "Demonstration of Learning " and "Foundations of Learning and Community Membership Portfolio." Through an introduction to the concept of leadership, community membership and social responsibility, CSSJ motivates its students to become independent, socially conscious life-long learners.
In tenth grade, all students complete a year-long service learning internship for which they volunteer at local organizations including some that provide promote empowerment and youth activism in our neighboring communities. The tenth grade internship experience culminates with a "Service Learning" PBAT.
In eleventh and twelfth grades, students complete the graduation level PBATs in the areas of math, science, history and English.
Finally In the twelfth grade, each student is required to complete the required performance-based assessment tasks (PBATs) and a "Social Action Portfolio" which is a culmination of learning, investigation, and research about a particular social issue. Students are expected to develop original theses, explain why the issues present problems for our community/society, and develop plans of action to eradicate them.
The Office of College Advisement at CSSJ provides opportunites for students to gain exposure to the discourse of college via campus visits, college fair trips, college admissions presentations and workshops. CSSJ has a partnership with College Summit which will serve to deepen all community members' understanding of the college admissions process.
CSSJ's participation in the College NOW program at Hostos Community College also allows students to get a "jump start" on the college experience by providing them the opportunity to take college level classes, and earn college credit while in high school. Some of our students graduate from CSSJ with as many as 18 college credits.
Our courses emphasize the following:
-Developing habits for academic success,
-Strengthening literacy, research and inquiry skills,
-Writing and revision,
-Integration of the arts,
-Community membership and service internships.