Our Partner School in the Spotlight

NYC Chancellor Richard Carranza and NYC first lady Chirlane McCray celebrate Meyer Levin Middle School as a model of social and emotional learning, restorative justice, and culturally responsive education.


We are so proud of the students and staff of Meyer Levin Junior High School, who are featured in this report by NY1 reporter Jillian Jorgensen – and this one by WNYC’s Jessica Gould.  We’re grateful for our deep partnership with the school, which has been part of our Whole School Racial Equity Project.

NYC Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza and NYC first lady Chirlane McCray were at the Brooklyn school on September 18 to highlight it as a model of social and emotional learning, restorative justice, and culturally responsive education. The joy and community students feel at the school is evident in NY1’s story – and so is the school’s dramatic academic progress.



Morningside Center has been partnering with Meyer Levin and its dynamic principal George Patterson for over three years. The school helped us develop our Whole School Racial Equity model (which combines SEL, restorative practices, and racial equity) as part of a federal Investing in Innovation (i3) project. The project includes a randomized control trial study that is now underway, involving 18 additional schools.

“This is exactly what we hope happens in schools we’ve worked in for a long time,” said Morningside Center Deputy Executive Director Tala Manassah, who directs the i3 project. “We give school leaders and communities sustainable tools they need to really take the work on and own it themselves – and make it relevant to their own particular communities.”

Tala notes that one reason for Meyer Levin’s success is that our staff developer at the school, Dionne Grayman, was able to not only train and coach teachers and connect deeply with students, but develop a close relationship with the administration to help them make this a truly whole school approach. 

“The i3 Project has had an academic impact, it’s had a behavioral impact… It’s been like an awakening here at Meyer Levin,” Principal Patterson said in an interview with Dionne about the impact of the i3 project on his school. “I’d say that the project has forced us to bring some of our core values to the forefront as a school. We’re walking the walk.” 

During the visit to the school, Chancellor Carranza told WNYC that “this is just the kind of social emotional learning he wants to see more of.”  We could not agree more!


See the full stories: NY1, WNYC