CEI supports charter and public schools with student-centered innovation, customized support and life-changing enrichment programs for at-risk students. CEI works directly with schools to help them achieve their visions for educational excellence. This takes many forms–from working in classrooms to help teachers adopt effective instructional practices to helping school leaders establish effective human capital management systems to customizing after-school programs. CEI’s areas of focus are 

  • Whole school turnaround for schools in need of improvement,
  • Capacity building for teachers, leaders administrators and parents to improve school climate and student achievement, and
  • Direct enrichment programs for students.



For traditional public schools and public charter schools seeking a comprehensive level of support, CEI offers School Turnaround services, helping schools transform into high-performing educational institutions with vibrant and engaging learning environments capable of advancing learning for all students. We design, develop and implement effective and innovative practices to provide operating and authorizer support to help school leaders create successful learning environments and manage their schools effectively.

CEI has helped launch more than 40 charter schools over the past two decades. These charter schools have innovative and wide-
ranging missions that include modeling best practices in educating autistic children to integrating classical education in the K through 12 system.


CEI helps school leaders run effective organizations as well as educational programs. From managing limited resources to improving facilities, school
leaders have to create learning environments that are safe and nurturing for students and staff.

  • CEI provides customized hands on support to teachers, leaders, administration
    and families to improve school climate, student engagement and student
    achievement. CEI offers research-based, instructional strategies and opportunities
    for meaningful association among colleagues and educational experts in all
    content areas.
    For example:
    CEI offers training in Social and Emotional Learning, to enhance academic
    outcomes for students and equip them with the social and emotional skills
    to succeed beyond the classroom.
  • Through our comprehensive Attendance Improvement initiative, we equip
    schools with the skills to reduce chronic absenteeism and improve student
  • To increase Family and Community Engagement, CEI guides school leaders
    in establishing strong family relationships through partnerships and sharing
    of resources between schools, families, local businesses and community-
    based organizations.
  • CEI provides a deeper understanding of STEAM through professional
    development in instruction and curriculum designed to help students use a
    multidisciplinary approach to make connections between school,
    community and the world.


School Leaders shape the agenda and build the capacity of their schools for long-term success. To do so, they must be skillful in managing a myriad of tasks and responsibilities, ranging from administrative to supervisory to instructional. CEI works with principals, assistant principals, and school leadership teams to develop the skills and assets necessary to meet the challenge.


With a team of experts in a variety of disciplines, CEI helps schools design, develop and implement effective and innovative practices. CEI helps teachers and school leaders hone their skills and adopt innovative practices by providing them with a range of professional learning and development opportunities:


CEI believes that creating positive, supportive learning environments is absolutely essential to promote academic and intellectual development.
Some of the programs and strategies we support in public schools are:

  • Restorative Justice – Restorative justice is a philosophy based on a set
    of principles that guide the response to conflict and harm away from
    traditional punitive models to approaches that emphasize
    accountability, community safety and development of pro-social skills.
    It provides ways to effectively address behavior and other complex
    school issues, including offering a supportive environment, improving
    school safety and providing alternatives to suspension and expulsion.
    Restorative justice programs have formal guidelines and trained
    individuals to deal with conflict and violations of school rules. CEI
    helps schools develop restorative justice programs, which can take
    many forms in schools, including peer juries, student mediators and
    peacemaking circles.

Through workshops, coaching, and modeling, CEI arts educators work with teachers and school leaders to incorporate arts-based strategies (visual art, music, theater, dance) into academic instruction across disciplines. These strategies utilize an experiential and project-based learning model along with a student- centered, inquiry-based approach. Activities are crafted as open-ended projects in order to address the varied learning styles of students.


(Building Options and Opportunities for Students) is CEI’s signature enrichment program which helps students gain the skills and talents necessary for long term growth and success. The Project BOOST model provides academic support, social and emotional skills support, cultural enrichment and community engagement. Project BOOST provides character-building experiences, nurturing individual aspirations and communicating the possibilities for unlimited success, regardless of background.

Academic support includes interactive, hands-on STEAM instruction, coding and robotics, academic goal setting, and college visits. The program includes customized museum learning experiences aligned with the curriculum through partnerships with institutions such as the Bronx Zoo and the New York Hall of Science. In addition, Project BOOST provides social-emotional support and teaches social skills. Ongoing guidance includes age-appropriate activities focused on personal goal setting, team-building, character education, and employment skills.

BOOST is designed to serve the school and communities needs and can be integrated into the school day, after school and even includes activities on nights and weekends. The experiences that students gain in these programs are often life-altering for them. Among the aspects of the programs that students remark on are the unique experiences that they feel are otherwise beyond their reach, the value of gaining one-on-one mentoring and guidance, a sense of increased self-esteem, gaining positive values, and a recognition of the importance of academic commitment and achievement.

BENCHMARKS is a comprehensive student arts residency program that inspires young people to tackle major social issues and become engaged citizens. Students create large-scale, meaningful artwork on benches for public display, to effect social change. BENCHMARKS serves 600 NYC public school students in grades 5-9 in disadvantaged communities citywide. Students receive a robust visual arts curriculum that addresses contemporary social challenges selected by students. Issues such as racism, gender inequality, drug abuse, homelessness, and religious intolerance are addressed through research and facilitated discussion. The project culminates in a visit to a guest artist’s studio and in the creation and public display of issue-based works of art on benches in parks in all 5 boroughs.


In this current climate, young people need a public platform to express themselves on current social issues in constructive, creative and powerful ways to join the conversation and effect social change.



Early Stages is an exciting and innovative CEI program in NYC that provides under-resourced schools and their students’ exposure to NYC’s performing arts. Students attend Broadway, Off-Broadway, dance and music performances for free. For most public schools, Early Stages provides their only arts programming. Early Stages is more than just a trip to the theater. We introduce students to a new part of NYC, take them to renowned performing arts venues, such as Broadway theaters, Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall, and provide opportunities for students to reflect about their own lives through workshops, discussions, and writing.

Since 2013, over 7500 students from more than 80 schools have attended multiple performances of Phantom of the Opera, Mamma Mia!, Blue Man Group, Jersey Boys, Paul Taylor Dance Company, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and many more.

Esports, CEI’s latest innovation, uses gaming as a platform for all students to acquire positive critical communication, collaboration, and problem-solving skills needed to thrive in school and in life. Student gaming teams learn marketing, social media, IT support, event-planning, and other components which are useful skills as they go out in the world. CEI’s Esports program builds a strong community of scholar athletes who demonstrate leadership, accountability, commitment, and resilience. Students practice social and emotional skills such as understanding and managing emotions, setting and achieving positive goals, feeling and showing empathy for others, and establishing and maintaining positive relationships while engaging in competitive discourse. Esports engages students in new ways, while building character, improving school culture and promoting career and college readiness.