As part of the Leadership Collaborative Pilot with CSD 16 in New York City Schools, we are spotlighting our participating CSD 16 principals throughout the upcoming year.


Mrs. Jacklyn Charles-Marcus
Principal Bio
Jacklyn Charles

Mrs. Jacklyn Charles – Marcus has been the Principal and Instructional Leader at Stephen Decatur Middle School 35 since July 1, 2004.

Mrs. Charles – Marcus is a native New Yorker and attended St. Theresa of Avila Elementary School and St. Joseph High School which are both located in Brooklyn, New York. In 1985 she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from Syracuse University; a Master of Science degree in Education Long Island University in 1992; and a Master of Science degree in Administration and Supervision from Fordham University in 2002. In 2014, Mrs. Charles – Marcus completed the Leadership for Educational Achievement Foundation (LEAF) Inc. and Capital Region BOCES Future Superintendents Academy.

Mrs. Charles – Marcus began her career in education in l988 in Community School District 14, located in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn as an elementary school teacher. After five years of teaching, she became a Guidance Counselor. Before her current position as Principal and Instructional Leader at Middle School 35, Mrs. Charles – Marcus was Assistant Principal for 8 years at Public/Intermediate School 308 located in the Bedford – Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn.

Mrs. Charles – Marcus believes that all children can learn if they are provided with the appropriate resources and skills coupled with a strong home environment.

Mrs. Charles – Marcus is a very independent and strong individual that works smart to accomplish her goals and she firmly believes that people should live each day as if it were their last.


Hopes for Leadership Collaborative Pilot

It is my hope to convene with fellow education change agents to collaborate on ways to construct a response that addresses the inequities in education – specifically focusing on students with disabilities. Through the pilot I anticipate that we will construct and devise strategies and programs within our respective learning communities that ensure that all students, regardless of disability, will be afforded an enriched education that challenges all students through rigorous instruction, while keeping them engaged and motivated in the learning process.


Leadership Strengths

As principal, I foster a harmonious connection between the home, school and community. I am committed to creating and maintaining a viable network of support for every student within the confines of our school community with an unwavering passion to support students, educators and families. Leading with passion, I embark upon the following attributes as a leader by leading with professionalism, high standards and expectations.

Another area of strength centers on my ability to interact with diverse personalities and empathize with our students, maintaining a thirst for rigorous education across all content areas and grade levels in my school community. Possession of a nurturing demeanor allows me to welcome and provide support and guidance in all facets of instructional leadership.

As an instructional leader, I have worked to focus each and every educator to make informed instructional decisions. These decisions can only be formulated by analyzing and strategizing with data. We work to keep instructional practices heavily laced with data. Educators receive extensive professional literature concerning data collection, types, and the effective use of data. Data is analyzed in teams of educators throughout the building. Students discuss their individual needs and the SMART goals that they are working toward fulfilling. We work to share data frequently and purposefully with families. Our school hopes to keep families informed through workshops, individual sessions, and online services.

As a visionary leader, I have created opportunities, rituals, ceremonies, and activities to celebrate and reinforce the values and goals of the school. One of several of our verbal nutrients is, “Middle School 35 ROCS.” It is done in a call and response fashion and followed by the fortification of clearly defined expectations for both students and educators alike. It is expected for the entire school community to honor the avowal of this acronym; R-Respect O-Others-C-Community and S-Self.


Goals for 2016-2017

Leadership is an endless venture that requires the leader to be flexible, determined, and ready to take risks. Students’ needs must be met physically, mentally, socially, and academically. To that end, my goals for the 2016-2017 school year are to ensure that the needs of all students are met on a daily basis as we continue to make strides in providing quality and rigorous instruction to all of our students regardless of their social-economical background and academic standing. I will continue to ensure that systems and structures are in place to validate the opportunities for improving teacher pedagogy and student achievement.

Systems have been established in looking at student achievement, such as analyzing student trends, strengths and weaknesses, evaluating teacher pedagogy through formal and informal observations as well as discussions and conversations focusing on Charlotte Danielson’s Framework for Effective Teaching. My final goal is maintaining a Professional Learning Community through immersion of professional literature discussions on planning and implementing rigorous instruction, providing students with feedback and differentiated instruction together with workshops and seminars to improve our instructional strategies.



School Description

Stephen Decatur School is a middle school with 170 students from grades 6 through 8. The school population is comprised of 89% Black and 10% Hispanic students. The student body includes 2% English language learners and 29% special education students. Boys account for 54% of the students enrolled, and girls account for 46%. The average attendance rate for the school year 2014-2015 school year was 91%.

We proudly unveiled in the 2015-2016 school year a new state of the art Science Lab as well as a Dance Studio. It is our goal to enhance our instructional delivery through the Arts and Sciences that will permeate through all content areas.

In our effort to “Create a Community of Lifelong Learners,” The Family Dynamics Program Beacon Center, which is a member of the SCO family of services, is housed in the building and provides after school activities for our students as well as services to address the “whole child.” A plethora of services are provided for all families, including, but not limited to, financial planning, individual and family counseling as well as a student-centered programs during school holidays such as winter and spring recess and summer camp.

The elements that our school made the most progress on over the past year, as it pertains to the Framework for Great Schools, are Effective School Leadership, Strong Family-Community Ties, and Trust. Our key areas of focus for the 2015-2016 school year will be Rigorous Instruction, Collaborative Teachers, and Strong Family-Community Ties. In addition, we would like to increase the proficiency levels of our students with special needs across all grade levels and content areas. We have aligned our school mission to the Framework for Great Schools to further frame our work as a school community.

Our coherent set of beliefs on how students learn best and school mission statement is embodied within our C.H.A.N.G.E. acronym.

Challenging and Meeting Our Students Needs On a Daily Basis

Having and Believing in Clear and High Expectations

Analyzing and Strategizing the Data to Inform Instruction, accepting

No Excuses

Gaining Knowledge to Increase Student Outcomes and Our Own Professional Growth and

Empowering Parents and Families to Work Collaboratively in Ensuring College and Career Readiness.


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