Friday, December 16, 2011
My Adventures As A Traveling ATR - School #10
My last school showed me what those poor District 76 ATRs have to go through when traveling between Brooklyn and Staten Island. I was sent to my first (and last) Rockaway school and it took me a good hour by car, including a $6.50 bridge toll to get there. The school is one of those small schools that co-exist with a closing large school. This school and all the other small schools in the Rockaway Peninsula are fighting tooth and nail to get the dwindling middle class students who don't go to the local parochial school.
The school has struggled to keep their school environment, requiring students to wear proper pants and shirts. However, there are just too many students who pull their pants down and show their underwear and nothing is done about it. Teachers in the school see a rise in student disrespect and it is becoming a concern. Furthermore, the students complain that they are treated as elementary school children as teachers are required to pick them up in the cafeteria when they first come in and after lunch. Of course the Administration comes from elementary school roots and are quite vindictive when teachers dare to complain about this and other issues. There is not enough hallway supervision as boys are seen hanging out in the stairwells and twice as many boys seem to go to the bathroom than girls. The reason being these students don't want to stay in class. Furthermore, the middle school where many of the students come from saw their grade drop from an "A" to a "C" as academic achievement has stagnated and violence has risen.
Overall, the school is competing with the other small schools for the limited number of high achieving students available. However,this and the other small schools in the Rockaway peninsula are isolated and victims of a slowly worsening and changing social-economic conditions on the peninsula. Worse, is the dumping of low achieving students in these small schools as the closing school can no longer take then in and they must go somewhere? The prognosis is bleak. However, that is the future. Therefore, I must grade the school based upon the present.