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Visiting Concourse Village School

Updated: Apr 5, 2019

When I visited Concourse Village School year before last --and observed classrooms-- I was deeply moved by the vision of the principal, the clarity of questioning and collaborative structures used by teachers, but most of all the brilliance of the students who had been DEEPLY using Thinking Maps for several years! The results, in one way, speak for themselves, but visiting this school in the Bronx was a moving experience for me.

Concourse Village Elementary School (CVES), part of the New York City DOE, serves a highly diverse community in the South Bronx, with many families from the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Africa. Founding Principal Alexa Sorden was asked to oversee the opening of the new school in 2013 to replace a school that was closed due to performance.

​​Detail on Concourse Village School


356 students

45 teachers

98% Free/Reduced Lunch

27% Students with Disabilities

26% English Language Learners (ELL)

Alexa emphasizes the need for fidelity of implementation across the school. “It has to be part of the culture,” she says.

That commitment to fidelity is paying off. Just three years after replacing a school closed due to poor performance, CVES is now ranked 7th out of over 1,800 schools in New York City on the state mathematics test and 9th in English Language Arts. In 2015-2016, students at CVES achieved 94% proficient or above in literacy and 98% proficient or above in math—compared to single-digit proficiency levels in the school CVES replaced. Alexa credits this success to the student-centered curriculum they have developed, including the use of Thinking Maps...

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