Saturday, May 17, 2014
A School Struggling To Survive - School #25
I was sent to a school that was once one of the "turnaround schools" and because of the poor publicity, lost most of their higher achieving students. The school struggles academically, has seen three principals in three years, and suspension rates are highest in the City. However, the hallways are quiet and the students, for the most part, are respectful.. Lateness is an ongoing problem as students take their time making it to class.
This school appears to be violating State instruction regulations as they have 40 minute periods but still practice a 4-1 program for Regents Science classes, meaning that there is not enough classroom instruction time during the week. Furthermore, the school has no certified Earth Science teacher teaching the 21 classes of Earth Science and the poor Regents results reflect it.
Teacher morale is poor as they feel the effects of the unstable and ever-changing administration as well as their own frustration with the poor quality academically of the students that are accepted to the school. Like all former "turnaround schools" they get hundreds of "over the counter students" that are a continuing disciplinary problem at the school and leads to their high suspension rates.
Parking is adequate and the staff is friendly. However, the ISS staff is composed of "Teach for America" newbies and "Teaching Fellows" many, who are teaching out of license and are just doing their two year stints before leaving.
The student body is mostly South Asian with a Hispanic minority. There is a small but increasing Black component with few Eastern European students left in the school. This school is struggling to reinvent itself but is having trouble doing it. I would take a position there if offered because of their early schedule and quiet hallways.