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Guest Name
Jamaal Bowman
Guest Category
Guest Occupation
Teacher and Founding Principal of CASA Middle School in the Bronx, NYC
Guest Biography

Jamaal Bowman is the founding principal of Cornerstone Academy for Social Action Middle School. In its 4th year, based on the New York City Department of Education's progress report, Cornerstone ranks in the 83rd percentile of all middle schools. Jamaal was trained to be a school leader by New Leaders for New Schools in 2008. New Leaders is a national principal recruitment and training program, which admits less than 7% of applicants. During his time with New Leaders, Jamaal's principal residency took place at Achievement First Endeavor Charter School in Brooklyn New York, and he participated in seminars and visits to exemplary middle schools in New York and throughout the country. Prior to joining New Leaders in 2008, Jamaal served as Guidance Counselor, teacher, and Dean of Students at The High School of Art and Technology at the Martin Luther King Jr. Campus for 3 years. Before working at M.L.K, Jamaal began his career as an elementary school teacher at P.S. 90 in the Bronx for five years.

More about CASA Middle School:

The mission of C.A.S.A. Middle School is to provide an aesthetic learning environment that graduates self-aware, hard working, and socially responsible, 21st  century learners.

Our staff believes that all children can achieve at high levels academically, as long as we create a nurturing, academically challenging environment. Education is the key to community change and empowerment, and we make no excuses as we work hard, smart, and collaboratively, to accomplish this mission.

Our student and staff culture is rooted in love, support, being responsible, and improving what we do each and every day. We have counseling and mediation services for students, and follow a progressive discipline model to support students behaviorally. We have a community circle meeting every Friday in which we reinforce our positive school culture through inspirational videos and speeches, public apologies, and student-to-student and staff-to-student shout outs.

Our curriculum is rooted in the common core standards and our pedagogy focuses on improving the creative, critical, collaborative, and higher-order thinking skills of students.  Our units follow the principles of understanding by design and culminate with cornerstone tasks. The content of our instruction is rooted in real-world scenarios and core academic knowledge, as well as essential 21st century skills in reading and mathematics. Students work both collaboratively and independently as they navigate through the mastering of standards.

We also implement a Data Driven Instruction model in which students take practice state assessments every 6-8 weeks, where teachers and administrators deeply analyze the data and make instructional plans for the next 6-8 week period. We also implement a data driven model daily by strategically checking for understanding during each lesson and/or analyzing exit ticket data.

As we continue to work toward meeting our 21st century mission and prepare our students for local, national, and international benchmarks, we will begin to incorporate more project based learning, increase our use of computers and technology, and be creative in increasing critical and higher order thinking opportunities. Our teacher-activists will continue to work relentlessly to educate, uplift, and empower our community!