We’re Learning Here
New Mission High School
Serving more than six hundred students in grades 7-12, New Mission High School shares the former Hyde Park HS building with BCLA. Norma Colón, New Mission’s secretary for the past 18 years, welcomed me to the school on a warm November day.
I stop to look at eighth grade “I Am” poems, human body system posters outside the health class, and a small Day of the Dead “ofrenda” to honor people who have died. The hallways also advertise candidates for student government positions and after school activities. ABA Paraprofessional Sabrina Diaz has started a Journalism club to bring student voices to the school’s monthly newsletter. She is new to NMHS and says she has felt appreciated since Day 1: “What really attracted me is the homey feeling, a staff that is very supportive and connected and open to new ideas.”
René Reyes animatedly gives directions to his world history class, where ninth grade students are learning about different religions. The assignment of the day has them working in small groups to address the essential question: “By comparing the lives and teachings of Jesus and the Buddha, should they be remembered as more similar or dissimilar?”
In Rita Flynn‘s class, 8th graders are reading I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter, while Myles McNamara‘s seniors tackle A Thousand Splendid Suns, by Khaled Hosseini. Several classes are working on understanding “claim, evidence, and reasoning” as they analyze text or even, in Felicia Valentine-Perry‘s ninth grade algebra class, solutions to math problems!
The population of New Mission HS has more than doubled since its founding as a small pilot school in Mission Hill, although its vision and values remain the same. Core experiences include project-based portfolios, AP coursework for every student, and advisories to provide guidance in identifying and reaching individual goals. Andreea Panaitescu, an engineering and physics teacher who is new to the school, says she is impressed by New Mission’s tight-knit community and the effectiveness of its outreach to families.
Enjoy the photos and voices of New Mission HS students, and please invite me to visit YOUR school!
Amika Kemmler-Ernst, Ed.D.
We were grading one another’s writing about how they used claim, evidence and reasoning to solve a math problem. I’ve learned how to multiply and divide fractions. We’re also learning to solve equations with rational and irrational numbers.
~ Niyani Jefferson-Osborne, Grade 9
We were correcting our homework assignment in math class with Mr. Weekes. We have learned how the x and y axes intersect on the graph of a parabola. ~ Angeli Angulo, Grade 10, & Susana Cardona Restrepo, Grade 12
I was using ACE programming to measure Kerlen’s progress toward the goals of his IEP. I am teaching him how to identify common signs so that he can navigate locations in the community. In our class he is learning academic subjects such as math and ELA, as well as practical life skills to foster independence.
~ Danielle DuBois, ABA Paraprofessional, Grade 9
I’m writing an essay about a story we read in ELA and Ms. Fuentes is helping me. In this class we’re learning the format of an effective essay and how to write properly with correct grammar and punctuation. ~ Josiah DeVaughn, Grade 7
I am in my AP Calculus class and we were finding the limits of exponential functions using a graphing calculator. I’ve learned that some of the most difficult math problems have the simplest answers if you read the question carefully and use what you know already.
~ Timothy Jones, Grade 12
In this picture I was working on an assignment in science class. We’re learning about plants and we’ve looked at cells through a microscope. I’ve learned that photosynthesis is when a plant takes in carbon dioxide, light energy, and water to produce glucose and oxygen.
~ Vaariq Brade, Grade 8
I was asking Ms. Reed a question I had about atoms in chemistry class. I’ve learned how to find the mass of an element without looking at the Periodic Table. We did a lab experiment to change the properties of a penny to make it look like gold and then tested it to find out it was not!
~ Luisana Villalona, Grade 10
Ms. Roberts was helping us with the wording of our arguments for a debate about elements in the story “Thank You Ma’am” by Langston Hughes. We’re learning how to speak fluently and create an effective argument using claim, evidence and reasoning. ~ Christopher Baynes & Aylah Guzman, Grade 7