Posts tagged "PS 11"
June 27, 2012
Principal Bob Bender wanted to make sure his teachers started planning for September before they left for summer vacation. So P.S. 11 joined more than 600 schools in scrapping classes on Monday and Tuesday in favor of adding prep time for teachers.
Department of Education officials extended the option, which parents were supposed to approve, to all schools late this spring. Many schools took the time to give teachers a crash course in new learning standards known as the Common Core.
The Common Core emphasizes “deeper” thinking and problem-solving skills. Next year’s state tests will be based on the new standards.
P.S. 11 routinely earns A’s on its city progress reports, and Bender said he is not worried about its performance next year because his staff has been thinking hard about the instructional shifts they will have to make.
“It’s not going to be asking ‘What is 8 times 5?’ It’s going to be ‘I have 8 bookshelves, and 40 books, so how many books go on each shelf?’” he said. “We spend a lot of time on problem-solving, giving kids strategies to solve problems.”
This year, the city asked schools to practice with the new standards in one math unit and one literacy unit, and next year, they’ll be expected to roll out two Common Core-aligned units in each subject. But at P.S. 11, Bender asked his teachers to plan their curriculums in teams made up of teachers at each grade level — and align every one of their units to the Common Core. (more…)
August 16, 2011
Many schools have summer “bridge” programs to bring new students up to speed. City Polytechnic High School of Engineering, Architecture, and Technology has ninth-graders build actual bridges.
The two-year-old school’s summer orientation program includes a bridge-building competition where incoming freshmen can showcase their newly acquired engineering skills.
The orientation kicks off an intensive program that condenses all of high school plus a taste of college into three years. That’s a steep challenge for many students at the Downtown Brooklyn school, which admits students without considering their grades or test scores. But school officials say about three-quarters of the small school’s first entering class is on track to spend a fourth year studying full-time at the New York City College of Technology, the high school’s partner, free of charge.
Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott attended this year’s competition today, offering congratulations and consolations as students pushed their popsicle-stick bridges to the breaking point. Tension mounted as students, teachers, and supporters watched to see whether any bridges would bear more than last year’s record 109 pounds.
One bridge did: The winning team, Building Fanatics, loaded 114 pounds of geometry textbooks onto their structure before it collapsed. Stephon Stevens, a ninth-grader who came to City Poly from Explore Charter School, said the team guessed that moving popsicle sticks from the bottom to the top of the bridge design would make it stronger.
May 11, 2010
A prolonged battle against the city’s plan to shuffle space at five Manhattan schools spilled onto the sidewalks of East 23rd Street yesterday.
The plan to relocate Chelsea’s Clinton School for Artists and Writers into the building shared by the American Sign Language and English Lower and Secondary Schools has drawn fierce criticism from parents at all of those schools. City officials have argued that even with the Clinton School in their building, the ASL schools will have ample space to maintain their unique sign-language based instructional program. But parents contend that moving the Clinton School’s nearly 300 students into the building will create overcrowded classes and prevent students from seeing each other as they sign.
Clinton parents have proposed staying one more year in their current space in P.S. 11, a rapidly expanding zoned school, but the city and P.S. 11 parents say that school is also nearly bursting with students.
February 22, 2010
The city is swapping a plan that would have relocated nearly 100 disabled students to a new building for a plan to disperse the students into special education programs throughout the city.
Under the Department of Education’s original proposal, roughly two-thirds of the students at P.S. 138, a school for severely disabled students, would have moved to share space with the American Sign Language and English Secondary School, a middle and high school that gives admissions preference to deaf students.
That plan was scrapped after P.S. 138 parents and elected officials protested that the new site posed safety risks and that students would not be able to get around the school easily.
Some parents are saying that the department’s new plan is not much better. (more…)
December 7, 2009
A plan aimed at easing crowding in District 2 has parents up in arms because it would force a popular middle school to move from its long-time home.
The plan would move the Clinton School for Writers and Artists to P.S. 33, roughly five blocks from its home on the fifth floor of P.S. 11 in Chelsea. The move was finalized at the end of last week just as the school’s parent-teacher association sent a letter to the Department of Education rejecting the placement.
Though parents and the department agree that P.S. 11 is too overcrowded for the Clinton School to remain there, there’s disagreement over whether P.S. 33 is an appropriate relocation spot.
In a letter sent to the DOE last Friday, co-president of the PTA Darren Taffinder asked that the Clinton School be given one more year at P.S. 11. Taffinder wrote that he and other parents couldn’t agree to a move to P.S. 33 without knowing how much space their school would have and without a promise that the move is temporary. (more…)
April 7, 2009
In an extensive comments thread today on Brownstoner.com, a Web site that focuses on real estate in brownstone Brooklyn, readers are debating whether it makes sense to choose a home based on the local school. (Their discussion is inspired by the recent Times story about how some parents who until recently were planning on sending their children to private school are getting an unpleasant surprise when they learn they what school they’re zoned to attend.) Some say yes, but others say that rather than moving, parents should focus on improving their zoned school — and they have advice about how to do that.
Writes user BedStuy11216:
Instead of complaining and trying to squeeze ever more kids into the already overtaxed “Good” schools, target an underfunctioning school but one that shows some promise and has an administration open to new ideas and partnerships. Organize and recruit your fellow wealthy parents to commit to sending their kids. Instead of $25- 30,000 a year have each of them commit to contribute at least $3,000 per child. Focus on something the funds will go to that will improve the overall quality of the school (library, computers, science lab, gym equipment, sound and lighting equipment for the auditorium, chess teacher, art supplies, after school program). Have them use their lofty connections to get organizations to partner with the school. Create a relationship with local politicians to get your chosen school on the radar. With extra funds and a heatlhy partnership between parents and school administrators, within two years you will see a turn around.
Other commenters are suggesting schools that are “ripe for a turnaround” of the type that PS 11 in Clinton Hill experienced after a core group of involved parents there teamed up with the school’s principal to become an attractive option for gentrifiers moving to the neighborhood. PS 11 parents threw a fundraiser for Insideschools.org last spring to thank the site, where I worked at the time, for its role in promoting new developments at the school, which included the addition of enrichment classes, a reduction in class sizes, and a partnership with the human rights organization Amnesty International. The parents I spoke to at the fundraiser, whose children have been at PS 11 for several years now, said they were working on a strategy to bolster the district’s struggling middle schools.