Local school receives top honor

MS 223 in Mott Haven was nationally honored for its math & science curriculum.Photo courtesy of the NYC Board of Education.

A Mott Haven school has won a prestigious national award for its innovative math curriculum. The Library School of Finance and Technology, otherwise known as MS 223, earned the Middle School Mathematics School of Distinction award in September from the Intel Corporation, which honored 18 schools from across the country, among which MS 223 was the only one from New York.

“Students at MS 223 work hard every day with teachers that are committed to their personal and academic success,” said the school’s principal, Ramon Gonzalez.  “I can’t think of a better way to mark the beginning of school than to share this honor with our staff and families.”

“We are honored to be the only school in New York State to be selected as a School of Distinction as well as the only district school serving a local community,” he added. 

Gonzalez founded the school in 2003, as part of schools Chancellor Joel Klein and Mayor Bloomberg’s Children First initiative. MS 223, which is located on E. 145th Street, has a student body of about 500, serving grades 6-8, and was founded in 2003.

Representatives from the 18 award-winning schools attended a national event in Washington DC on September 14 to receive their awards. Intel granted MS 223 and the other five schools to win the math honor $160,000 each, in cash, instructional material, and cutting edge hardware and software programs provided by sponsoring technology organizations.

“It is essential that U.S. schools invest in math and science education,” said Shelly Esque, Intel’s vice president. “Because such investment is critical to maintain U.S. competitiveness in a global economy, the schools recognized as Intel Schools of Distinction are contributing in a significant way to preparing students for the future.” 

The school uses “information technology and global commerce through a simulated economy and intensive technology training” as keys to the curriculum, according to its mission statement on the city’s Board of Education website.

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