Dear S2 Community,

For these three months, the days are longer and the weeks don’t end until Saturday afternoon. Why? Our commitment to teaching curriculum during the regular school day means we—staff and students—must use extracurricular time for teaching test prep. For us, teaching curriculum is the priority and the most important lever for real learning.

There are always happenings in the school that I want the wider world to see and celebrate. This newsletter takes us beyond the boundaries of the school. Our own experience reminds us that much of our most powerful learning takes place outside of the classroom. At S2, we curate students' schedules to ensure exposure beyond core content classes that open new windows of possibility for our students. In that context, I’m happy to share some of our most recent experiences.

With gratitude,
A Day in the Life at RBC
Thanks to our board member, Jennifer Grazel, for arranging a trip for 24 7 th and 8 th graders to spend a day at RBC, a global investment bank. The day before the visit, one of our participating students reminded me that it was a “button down shirt day” for the trip—part of the way we help students learn that different dress and behaviors are required in certain settings.

After introductions in a large conference room, the students toured the trading floor and enjoyed a panel discussion with various people from the bank. Kids were surprised to learn about all the different types of jobs at the bank and were inspired by the bank employees’ stories and backgrounds, which were more similar to their own than the kids anticipated. Before heading home, we broke up into smaller groups to further build relationships and enjoyed a wonderful lunch together.
Password: RBCCM

"So many people have different histories and skills and they all work together at a bank out of all places." -Cristal

"I will try my hardest to put my all into every action and I know the decisions I make reflects on me as an individual. I will think about how I will succeed in the future."

"I would say I heard that " although you're in 8th grade, start thinking about your life choices and path. This really stands out to me because it shows me preparation is key to life." -Daniel
Inspired at the Whitney
Since its inception, S2 has been committed to making sure that students have strong exposure to and experience with art. Our first-year students benefitted from a partnership with the MOMA. Last year, S2 was lucky to be able to add a talented art teacher, Sophie Burton, to the faculty. She has done a great job of making art integral to the school’s programming. This year, we’re pleased that students from each grade got to visit the Whitney Museum and see the Andy Warhol exhibit, which dovetailed with their Pop Art unit in class.
School on Saturday?!
For ten Saturdays during the winter at S2 you wouldn't think it was the weekend - the halls are filled with students and teachers busy at work. The half-day begins with breakfast, followed by small-group work targeting specific areas of need for state tests in both ELA and math. The morning’s work ends with pizza and some gym time before everyone goes off for the rest of the weekend.

In addition to teachers, S2 has devoted volunteer tutors who work 1:1 with some of our least experienced learners to make sure they have the individual attention they need. Beyond the specific instruction or homework help, these tutors are wonderful role models and the relationships they build benefit both participants. 
"It's amazing how excited the students are to be coming to school on a Saturday - a testament to the comfort level the students feel inside of S2."

"Within minutes of reconvening after we had been off for a week, my student was so excited to use the new vocab words he had learned in our last session!"

"After years of hearing Evan talk about his vision for S2, I was still blown away by the level of attention each student and their family receive at S2."

"The S2 staff provide professional materials and preparation tailored to each student, allowing us to fully take advantage of our tutoring session."

Do You Believe...!
Events outside the regular school day include staff too. Below, members of our staff enjoying a night out at the Broadway show, CHER!
Valentine's Day Dance
Do you remember your middle school dance? 
Students at S2 will certainly remember theirs if these pictures are any indication!