Enriching Enrichment

Identifying the talents of students from different cultural backgrounds and with varying language needs provides both challenges and opportunities for teachers working with diverse populations. The faculty at PS 152 in Queens has embraced this challenge by implementing the Schoolwide Enrichment Model (SEM).

PS 152 in Queens is home to a diverse student population and teachers working to meet their needs.

Walking down bustling Roosevelt Avenue in Queens you’re just as likely to hear people speaking English as Arabic, Korean, Farsi, or Spanish. Region 4 in New York City is one of the most diverse school districts in the nation. Here, demographics seem to shift as quickly as planes land at nearby LaGuardia Airport. Teachers at PS 152 capitalize on this rich cultural tapestry,

PS 152 teachers and students recently began implementing the Schoolwide Enrichment Model.

finding ways to tap into the unique talents of their diverse students. Recently, they began implementing the Schoolwide Enrichment Model (SEM).

Each morning, Roseann Moore’s heels clop-clop-clopdown the shiny hall floor. Coffee in hand, she begins her days early, leading the small group of SEM teachers. They began planning during the summer and continued preparations once school began thanks to scheduling support from their principal.

Read about the Schoolwide Enrichment Model (SEM).



After spending one morning each week for two months planning, the SEM team began meeting with students clusters. Creating the cluster groups had been challenging. First, teachers had to identify topics they would be interested in teaching. Next, they had to create appealing descriptions of what they had to offer. Students then spent time reading about their choices and completed surveys listing their top five selections. The logistics of matching student choices to available slots proved difficult, but that was just the beginning of a series of hurdles the group would face. Most teachers were unprepared for the shifting roles they would later embrace.

See the teachers’ cluster descriptions and a sample student survey response below:

The SEM cluster groups in action

See summaries of the Yearbook and Memory Book Cluster activities below:


See the Playwriting Cluster teacher’s journal below:

Read the student-written script the group is performing.

Students in the Yearbook Cluster prepare pages for publishing.

What comes next for the SEM team and PS 152 will depend upon the momentum they gain this year, the success of the SEM team’s careful planning, and the extent to which the students’ and teachers’ enthusiasm spreads.