Innovation’s Culinary Arts (“CARTS”)
Innovation’s culinary arts program follows the ProStart curriculum sponsored by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation. The curriculum teaches students the management and culinary skills needed for a wide range of career options in the hospitality industry. This multi-year program provides students with both the academic content and the work-based learning experiences to be proficient in basic cooking and baking knowledge and skills – preparing them for jobs in the restaurant industry or for advanced study in culinary school. Students also have opportunities to be involved in public service events and culinary skills competitions.
Special guest Maria Petridis (Winner of Chopped on Food Network!) and our very own food enthusiasts were blown away by our Chefs-in-Training’s hard work, professionalism, and creativity.
Students engage in cooking, food preparation, standard health & safety practices, all while learning what it takes to start a career in the food service industry.
Students also have opportunities to be involved in public service events and culinary skills competitions. In addition to the culinary arts courses, there is a culinary arts after school program and a culinary arts Enrichment Week program, which offers an intensive overview of some aspect of food and culture. Innovation hopes to become Career and Technical Education (“CTE”) certified in the near future, and will then offer a CTE stamp on the high school diploma to students who have successfully completed the CARTS program.
The Software Engineering Program (SEP) is a standards-aligned 9th-12th grade computer science course sequence offering classes in programming, app design, and game building, culminating in an AP course. SEP is an initiative by New York City’s CS4ALL initiative whose mission is to increase the number of high school graduates, particularly from traditionally underrepresented groups, that are ready to pursue new and emerging technology-driven roles across industries, and to develop student computational thinking and problem-solving skills in real-world contexts. In a partnership with Deloitte Consulting, Innovation SEP students get the opportunity to interact with Deloitte mentors, and present their final app designs at Rockefeller Center.
SEP students with their “digital gardens” – learning to use technology to help grow healthy food.
Innovation is proud to partner with the Earthwatch Institute, an environmental organization, to send our students to Costa Rica, where they engage in scientific field research to protect the ecology and promote a sustainable environment. Our students work side-by-side with scientists who are at the forefront of ecological research. Our science teacher and expedition leader, Benjamin Caraballo, teaches a related year-long science class with a curriculum that includes biology, the foundations of ecology, and the study of bees and bee pollinators. Students who undertake the Earthwatch expedition are equipped to engage in scientific field research on bee pollinators and to learn about environmental sustainability. Innovation students report that the Earthwatch expedition is a life-changing experience and some say that they hope to join the next generation of leaders in the science of ecology.
Benjamin Caraballo eloquently describes the impact that Earthwatch has on Innovation students: “For many students who have never left the city, let alone the country, travel is a new experience that brings personal growth. Earthwatch has provided our students, students of color in particular, with access to real-life career experiences in the STEM fields and exposed them to new opportunities and career paths.”
Read more about Innovation’s adventure on the Earthwatch Blog!
The Writing Revolution
Innovation uses The Hochman Writing Program, known as The Writing Revolution, to provide intensive instruction in writing, and this instruction is embedded in every aspect of our curriculum, from English language arts to the sciences. Through this intensive writing practice, our students develop essential literacy and critical thinking skills. The Writing Revolution approach begins with creating complete and grammatically correct sentences, then builds to well-constructed paragraphs and compositions. The results are impressive: Innovation students become effective writers, strong readers, and critical thinkers, and they show substantial improvement in their Regents scores; in one remarkable case, a student saw his English Regents score rise by 36 points. This revolutionary approach to teaching writing in every high school grade from 9-12 is supported by the The Writing Revolution professional development team: they provide intensive and ongoing training for Innovation teachers and teacher leaders, who then ensure strong implementation of the program in our classrooms.
Bold Art Society
Innovation’s partnership with Bold Art Society teaches our students the value of being independent through art, and provides them with filmmaking experience that is rare at the high school level. This intensive, year-long Independent Film Program takes our students from the inception of their ideas to producing independent films. The curriculum teaches every aspect of filmmaking, including screenwriting, acting, directing, editing and producing. The program thrives on teamwork, creative thinking, and artistic expression, as students work in small groups to produce their own films. The program arrives at a dramatic conclusion with the Bold Film Festival. This festival is produced entirely by our students, and they proudly showcase their work to their friends, family, community, and industry professionals.
“The activities in this class are based upon writing stories, taking photos and filming. We even wrote scripts for our own stories and filmed our own movies. These activities were fun and educational, and they really improved my skills in art of any kind. This class is amazing, the teacher and students are all amazing, and I wish I could take this class again.”Innovation 11th Grader