J.H.S. 226 Virgil I. Grissom

121-10 ROCKAWAY BOULEVARD
QUEENS NY 11420 Map
Phone: (718) 843-2260
Admissions: Neighborhood school
Principal: Rushell White
Neighborhood: So. Ozone Park
District: 27
Grade range: 6-8
Parent Coordinator: Claudia Bethea
Zoned
Wheelchair Accessible

What's special:

Small themed academies

The downside:

Safety is an on-going concern

InsideSchools Review

Our review:

JHS 226 is an unusually large middle school with uneven performance that has a history of issues with safety despite surveillance cameras, security guards and a reward program for positive behavior. The addition of two new schools offers JHS 226 a chance to improve safety and performance with reduced numbers of students.

Students choose one of four small learning academies, each with a different focus from Humanities Academy for Performing Arts, Discovery and Exploration, Visionaries Academy for Science and Technology, or Renaissance Academy for Broadcast Journalism.

Grant money and partnerships help expose students to special opportunities in each academy, according to the school's yearly plan. These include video teleconferencing equipment for distance-learning; a partnership with the American Globe Theater for workshops on Shakespeare; and Alvin Ailey dance classes. 

Students in each academy work on projects related to the theme, and these are displayed or performed at quarterly events. Humanities students focus on music, art, poetry and drama. Broadcast journalism students create newspapers, comics or magazines using digital media. In the Visionary Academy students use science and technology in web design, robotics, air and space explorations, Power Point projects and video gaming. [photo at right of a dance performance posted by a student on YouTube]

Discovery and Exploration is a hub for 6th graders "to explore the junior high school experience through rigor, discipline, creativity, and culture," according to the school's website. An honors program called ARP, short for Advanced Regents Program, enables top students to get high school credit in math and science.

A school as large as JHS 226 has perks that are not always available at a smaller school including a concert band that plays all genres of music from Broadway to jazz to modern rock. A series of after-school clubs include drama, dance, poetry, creative writing, chorus, art and technology. Older students get a chance to take a trip to Washington D.C.

Safety, however, has been an ongoing concern. The school has appeared on a list of "persistently dangerous" schools in recent years and in 2012 a child accidentally shot pepper spray in the cafeteria, affecting about 30 students. Over half the students report physical fights are a common occurrence at the school on the Learning Environment Survey.

Principal Rushell White took the helm in 2010. She has increased the number of after-school clubs and quickly learned the names of all students and staff. She won an Eyewitness News "above and beyond" award in her first year. But test scores remain mediocre and she has come under scrutiny over testing practices at the school.

As two new schools phase in, the numbers at JHS will decline until there are about 950 students by 2017. Hawtree Creek Middle School opened in 2013, and a new high school, currently unnamed, will open with about 80 ninth-graders beginning in 2014.

Admissions: Neighborhood school (Lydie Raschka, web reports, October 2013)

InsideStats

Click tabs above to see school stats

At a glance

Shared campus? Yes

This school shares a building with Hawtree Creek Middle and EPIC High School South

Number of Students 1191

Average Daily Attendance 91%

Uniforms? NA

Students at this school

Asian

  
21%

Black

  
40%

Hispanic

  
20%

White

  
1%

Free Lunch

  
80%

Special ed

  
19%

English Language Learners

  
6%

INCOMING STUDENTS' PROFICIENCY: 2.81 2.80 CITYWIDE AVERAGE


1 = Far below grade level 2 = Below grade level 3 = At grade level 4 = Above grade level

Safety & vibe

DO STUDENTS LIKE THE SCHOOL?

How many students say their teachers inspire them to learn?

63% 64% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many students say this school offers enough programs to keep them interested?

82% 78% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

ARE KIDS NICE?

How many students complain about bullying?

91% 71% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many students say students at their school respect one another?

48% 57% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained in the school?

27% 77% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO TEACHERS LIKE THE SCHOOL?

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?

38% 80% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers would recommend this school to other parents?

38% 79% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

ARE CLASSES BIG?

Number of students in an average english class

31 26 CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many students are chronically absent?

28% 24% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Academics

Percent of students who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam

16% 25% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ela exam

16% 22% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of students who scored 3 or 4 on the state science exam

36% 53% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

HS Prep

How many 8th graders pass high school regents exams?

Percent of 8th graders who take and pass the algebra regents:

18% 21% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of 8th graders who take and pass a science regents:

12% 14% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How do graduates do in 9th grade?

Percent who pass all their classes freshman year:

83% 85% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Special ed & ELL

How well does this school serve students with disabilities?

Percent of self-contained students who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam:

0% 2% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of self-contained students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:

0% 1% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of ICT students who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam:

1% 5% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of ICT students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:

0% 4% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of SETSS students who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam:

4% 7% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of SETSS students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:

6% 6% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How well does this school serve English language learners?

Percent of ell students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:

0% 2% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of former ell students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:

9% 13% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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