On August 28, representatives from PS/IS 217, including members of the PTA, met with Cathy Dove, VP of Cornell Tech, and Meghan French, Director of External Relations.
Cornell recapped the Girls Who Code Summer Immersion program. Eight middle schoolers from Roosevelt Island joined twelve other girls in an eight-week program that taught them how to code. This was the first time middle schoolers had been admitted to the program, and while most did well, there was a higher drop-off rate than is typical with high school girls. As a result, Girls Who Code was going to examine whether they needed to adjust the curriculum in order to better accommodate younger girls.
Cornell's commitment was to education for all grades, but they told us that they wanted to focus their efforts on the middle school population. When the PTA representatives pointed out that they had expected all grades to benefit, Ms Dove responded that Cornell is very short-staffed right now, but will be hiring a Director of K-12 outreach. That job is currently posted, and we anticipate working very closely with the new person to bring benefits from the partnership to all grade levels.
We let Cornell know that our most pressing needs are for teacher aides and assistants, but because their campus is so small (currently 30 MA and Ph.D students) and is not focused on education as a major, they wouldn't be able to provide personnel as a resource. However, they will work with us to find organizations and partnerships that may help with that need.
Organizations they mentioned include:
* Scholarships for 1-2 middle schoolers in Cornell Summer programs in Ithaca - Cornell will follow up with more information
* Teaching Assistant Partnerships for Middle School with Citizen Schools - Cornell will put Ms Beckman and the organization in touch
* Girls Who Code - Cornell is exploring possible follow-up to the Summer Immersion program
* Weill Cornell Medical Center - Apparently, the administration is interested in a partnership of some sort. Cornell Tech will put them in touch with us.
If anyone is interested in the Cornell Tech jobs or knows someone who would be a good fit, the job descriptions are posted here:
Director of K-12 Position:
K-12 Admin Assistant: