2016 Nassau BOCES Education Partner Award Honoree
April C. Francis
Lead Social Studies Teacher
Lawrence Road Middle School
April Francis is a dynamic educator who has served the Uniondale school district for 13 years as a lead social studies teacher. She has also made a profound impact in a number of other roles including curriculum writer, professional developer, program coordinator, advisor, coach and mentor. Ms. Francis was the driving force behind the implementation of the "Girl's Rites of Passage" mentoring program, which helps students to develop life skills, complete community service and build a support network. She has also served as a mentor to numerous teachers.
Ms. Francis was selected by Middle School Principal Dexter Hodge to assist in the development of a Response to Intervention program called the Saturday Learning Academy, which provides academic support to students struggling with English language arts, math and science. Since its inception, the Academy has tripled in size, with participating students scoring between 7 and 10 percent higher on assessments. The program's notable success has prompted other schools to adopt the model as well.
Ms. Francis earned the Program of Excellence Award from the National Council of Social Studies (NCSS) for her participation on the Hofstra University social studies curriculum research team. She was selected to participate on the New York State Social Studies Toolkit guide project, tasked with creating curricular tools and resources for teachers throughout New York State. As part of the Honorees Teacher Collaborative Council, Ms. Francis helped to pilot the New York State Social Studies Inquiry Design Models. Her impressive work landed her on the cover of the 2015 NCSS journal.
"April Francis is a driven, innovative, diligent and inspiring educator," wrote her award nominator. "She is always seeking new opportunities to master her craft, and has made an indelible impression on the hearts and minds of her students throughout the years. Her contributions to education can be observed on the local, state and national levels. Lawrence Road Middle School is better for her hard work and dedication to her educational vision."