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An Inside Look at Boys Town: The Well Managed Classroom Model

Written by Damian Kinsey, School Program Manager

As a New York City Education service, Boys Town New York works with a population of youth that is 85% special education and is faced with a high percentage of truancy. Our Well Managed Classroom Model is effective with the boys and girls we serve. .

The school-based Well Managed Classroom Model is designed to tie social skills into the education by addressing responsible and irresponsible behaviors.

Expecting students to arrive with a common, and consistent, set of social skills is naïve. Every student entering a school needs behavior support. Youth who are never taught social skills will develop their own habits and devices for getting their needs met. These habits and devices are what often conflict with what most educators would consider acceptable behavior.
I have had the liberty to observe three students impacted by the WMC Model who struggled with education prior to coming to Boys Town. Dom is a 15-year-old Asian who spoke and understood little English prior to coming to our school. Brian is 16-year-old African American boy struggling through middle school. The third student, Meghan, is in high school.

Brian has gone from refusing to wake up for school and arriving late to completing all his work and helps Dom learn English. Brian and Dom have created a friendship and motivate each other to do well in class. Brian’s hard work is paying off as he passed an assessment that enables him to move to High School. Meghan was a youth who sat in the corner and only completed work when staff was watching or encouraged her. Meghan is now encouraging others to volunteer and help new youth adjustment to the class.  Each youth seems more respectful and have acknowledged the growth.