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Number of posts : 92
Age : 23
Registration date : 2007-02-03

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PostSubject: School Reviews   Wed Mar 07, 2007 9:10 pm

Over here you can copy and paste your school review straight from the net. My school obviously needs alot of improvement. bubt theres no time for that because next year there's not gonna be 6th grade, then the next there isnt gonna be a 7th grade, the next no 8th grade and then it's gonna be a campus. so, no more winthrop Crying or Very sad I'm gonna miss that out of control school


Teachers and administrators, including a newly minted principal, agree that the main focus of their work at IS 232 is to establish order. Decorating the hallways of this school with student work is on the to-do list, according to the administration, but keeping them clean and quiet takes precedence.

While the current principal may not have been brought in specifically to end disorder at IS 232, veteran teachers of IS 232 told us that past administrations had failed to gain control of the school, which had impaired learning.

Still, imposing order does not have to mean harsh rule. During our visit, we saw administrators handle discipline with a high degree of patience and understanding. As we headed toward the cafeteria, the principal even exhibited a sense of humor. "You know you're getting closer to the lunchroom because you see more artifacts," Ingrid Thomas-Clark said, picking a wad of paper towel and numerous candy wrappers off the floor. In another instance, she seemed to let a misbehaving student off too easily, but then explained her leniency. "He's having a bad day today," she said, lowering her voice to avoid embarrassing the boy. "He was robbed on the way to school." Thomas-Clark arrived at the school from the Aspiring Principal's Program, a training initiative offered by the New York City Leadership Academy, one of the major projects of the education reform program launched by Mayor Bloomberg and schools chancellor Joel Klein.

Many of the students come from difficult surroundings, and the school seeks to assist them in a number of ways. A "substance abuse prevention intervention specialist" is available for more than drug and alcohol abuse counseling. She was helping a small group of girls work out a social dispute when we stopped by, one of the girls explained, and their calm discussion resumed as we left.

Keeping order in classrooms seems automatic for the more skilled teachers we encountered. One 7th grade science class, in the process of working out a chemical equation, listened intently as the veteran teacher explained the answer. This was not an Astral class, IS 232's gifted science program. The same equations are taught in every class, with only the complexity of variables differing, the teacher told us.

Students were equally engaged in a 7th grade English Language Arts class. The teacher, dressed in the tie and vest of a traditional college professor, gave an animated presentation of story plotting, using the conventions of horror films as an example. "When everything is quiet," he whispered, "you know something is going to happen."

An 8th grade special education class also proved to be a calm, yet creatively stimulating environment. Thank you letters written to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. were posted on the classroom wall next to a list of guidelines for writing a basic outline for a book report. This was a contrast to another special education class, where, in a sparsely decorated room, the teacher and an aide seemed oblivious to students leaving their desks and acting out. The principal restored order as the teachers remained silent.

Despite accommodating more than one lunch period, the cafeteria at IS 232 is not large enough and lacks the number of tables necessary for every student to sit down simultaneously to eat. This results in an exceptionally loud level of noise and blatant defiance of authority by some students. "You've got to pick your battles," the principal commented, as objects sailed through the air above her.

The school's staff developer told us she believes the recent change in administration has made the staff "more cohesive" and that "there's been a marked improvement in discipline." That fact is highly important, given a history of staff turnover that the school has suffered from.

Other hopeful signs include a new parent coordinator, who was appointed after the school did without one for a few months. Around a dozen parents came to the first parent meeting she conducted, she told us. Notes from that meeting indicate parents being pleased with the school's extended day program and pledging to be more active in the school.

Admissions: Applicants take a written test for admission to the Astral program.

Special education: In 6th and 8th grade, there are "self-contained" classes only for students with special needs. In 7th grade, there is an "inclusion" school, where about 60 percent of the children are general education students and 40 percent are students with special needs, and two teachers -- a general education and special education instructor -- supervise. A teacher for the hearing-impaired works with a speech teacher. (Paul Burkhardt, January 2005)

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