Monday, April 16, 2012

IS 318 Wins High School Chess Championship

Bill Hall, the executive director of the United States Chess Federation, which organized the championships, said he had never heard of a middle school winning the high school championships. “To my knowledge, it has never happened before,” he said. I.S. 318 beat several other city chess teams this weekend, including Stuyvesant High School and Edward R. Murrow High School.  -----NY Times, Schoolbook
This is really big news. I reported on the Daily News attack on the school in this March 5 post
In Defense of IS 318 after the data reports came out where they charged that the school had a high number of ineffective teachers based on the inaccurate TDRs, even sending a reporter and photographer to one of my long-time friend's home on a Saturday morning.

I also wrote about the school when long-time principal, AP and teacher at the school, Fred Rubino, died suddenly recently (A Giant is Lost: Fortunato (Fred) Rubino). Somewhere up there Fred must be kvelling -- or whatever the Italian word for that is.
About half the school’s 1,600 students take chess classes, said Leander Windley, the school’s principal.
800 kids have time off from test prep? Though they do test prep like everyone else, they manage to create all kinds of interesting programs for the kids. By the way, I know Windley since his teaching days when he was one of the first teachers I involved in a robotics program, which 318 still has.
“This is the greatest achievement we’ve ever had, and probably ever will have,” John Galvin, one of the coaches, said in a telephone interview from Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.
Wait a minute. You mean the chess team is out of town before the testing season?
John Galvin, an AP at the school, has been involved with this program for so many years. He goes back to the late 80s or early 90s when I was teaching all my upper grade classes chess when I was a cluster teacher. John actually organized a district-wide chess tournament where 8-10 schools participated, including mine. Interesting point in that the tournament was held at MS 50, the school Eva is currently invading -- (see After burn.) You know how Eva likes to brag about her chess programs, which the eager pro-charter press reports all the time, while a public school has to win the national championship to get coverage.


After they collected their award on Sunday evening, Mr. Galvin and the team hopped in cabs to catch a 9 p.m. screening of “Brooklyn Castle,” which happened to be showing at the Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival across town. It was the first time many of them had seen it.

The film also looks at the challenges I.S. 318’s longtime principal, Fortunato “Fred” Rubino, who died suddenly earlier this month, faced in maintaining the team through a time of budget cuts. A $25,000 grant from the Brooklyn Navy Yard Co-generation power plant helped pay for this year’s travel, Mr. Galvin said.

Yeah, watch WalBloom jump to take credit -- lookee, we cut their funds to the bone but due to the nurturing we gave them they can do miracles.

After Burn
We returned from Spring Break to find this new floor in the basement, where the charter school will be moving in. Of course, there are no new floors anywhere else in the building. The blue was shocking. I heard one adorable student say, “I don’t know how to swim, Mister.” Another said, “They spent their money on something stupid. We don’t need new tiles.” And another said, “I think the charter school did it.” All of these students will, I’m sure, be surprised to see the changes yet to come.Speaking of Eva, MS 50 is already getting new stuff for Eva, some of it almost a joke if you read the post from the Inside Colocation blog about the Cobble Hill school:

We returned from Spring Break to find this new floor in the basement, where the charter school will be moving in. Of course, there are no new floors anywhere else in the building. The blue was shocking. I heard one adorable student say, “I don’t know how to swim, Mister.” Another said, “They spent their money on something stupid. We don’t need new tiles.” And another said, “I think the charter school did it.” All of these students will, I’m sure, be surprised to see the changes yet to come.





1 comment:

  1. We really need dedicated chess teachers to keep the momentum going with students and pupils. Winning a championship trophy requires constant practice. In the process, parents and teachers play an important role to keep chess players motivated and have the passion to really win in tournaments. Chess and school subjects blend perfectly to develop their mental capability.


    You might also be interested in learning more about chess by visiting http://smartdolphins.net/online-chess-coaching/

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