Albert Shanker School for Visual and Performing Arts

31-51 21 STREET
QUEENS NY 11106 Map
Phone: (718) 274-8316
Website: Click here
Admissions: neighborhood school/gifted program/auditions for arts magnet
Principal: Alexander Angueira
Neighborhood: Astoria
District: 30
Grade range: 6-8
Parent Coordinator: ROSALYN HENDERSON
Zoned
Screened

What's special:

Lots of new technology; broad range of after-school activities

The downside:

High rate of suspensions; test scores are low

InsideSchools Review

Our review:

At IS 126, students benefit from lots of technology and a comprehensive after-school program. Several years ago the school struggled with gang activity, and teachers and staff have worked very hard to improve the school's tone and reputation. These days there are no gangs and IS 126 is a calmer, safer and cheerier place, though not without its challenges. Test scores are low and the suspension rate is high owing to a zero tolerance policy for student misconduct.

Longtime staff members we spoke with said that the school has changed dramatically and for the better. Nevertheless, misconduct occurs, and there were 248 suspensions issued during the 2010-11 school year. "We go strictly by the citywide discipline code," said Principal Alexander Anguiera. Since taking the helm in 2008, Aguilera installed security cameras throughout the building. He monitors screen shots of hallway, stairwells and common areas from a large screen installed outside the door to his office. "With the cameras, we no longer have any 'he said, she said' problems," Aguiera said.

The vibe we encountered when we visited the school seemed at odds with the stats. The scene at arrival time was calm. Students swiped their ID cards as they entered the building and headed to class. Hallways throughout the school were nicely decorated with colorful murals. Bulletin boards displayed creative and challenging student work. We didn't observe any student misconduct during our visit, though students were very loud and a bit boisterous during lunchtime.

Overall it was a subdued day when we visited. The state exams were a couple of weeks away, and some classes were reviewing topics covered early in the year or taking practice tests. Elsewhere we saw a lot of instances of students working independently on iPads and computers. To support struggling learners, teachers assign supplemental work through online programs including Achieve 3000 and Carnegie Learning. In science, students of all levels access online lessons through Science 360.

High achievers can take Regents algebra and earth science in the 8th grade and students interested in math can compete in the Math Olympiad. In Spanish, teachers break up students into small groups according to skill set. For instance, native Spanish speakers are given more challenging work than beginning learners.

Students in all grades take classes in technology and art.

A school-run prep course for the Specialized High School Exam is open to all students. In 2012, four gained admission to a specialized high school: two to Stuyvesant and two to Brooklyn Tech. There is no one high school that draws the majority of students, but Information Technology High School is popular and some students have been accepted into performing arts schools.

A citywide Alternative Learning Center (ALC) for students serving a superintendent suspension is housed in a wing of the bottom floor of the building. The ALC operates independent of IS 126 and has a separate entrance to the building.

Special education: There are self-contained and ICT (Integrated Collaborative Teaching) classes. English language learners get extra support during class and on a pull-out basis.

After school: The Jacob A. Riis Neighborhood Settlement House sponsors an onsite after-school program offering a range of academic, arts and sports activities. The school sponsors an animation program and fields several sports teams including basketball, soccer, flag football and cricket.

Admissions: IS 126 is a zoned school that also accepts district students from outside the zone to the arts program via a lottery, giving preference to those who have signed in at a school fair or open house. For the gifted program, students from the G&T program at PS 166 are given priority. Other district students are admitted to the G&T program based a combination of factors that make up a "composite score"—the final 4th grade report card counts for 35 percent, state tests 35 percent, student performance indicators 20 percent and attendance ten percent. See the school's website for more information. (Laura Zingmond, March 2012; admissions updated January 2015)

InsideStats

Click tabs above to see school stats

At a glance

Shared campus? No

This school is in its own building.

Number of Students 581

Average Daily Attendance 94%

Uniforms? NA

Students at this school

Asian

  
25%

Black

  
15%

Hispanic

  
49%

White

  
10%

Free Lunch

  
90%

Special ed

  
20%

English Language Learners

  
12%

INCOMING STUDENTS' PROFICIENCY: NA 2.59 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?

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

ARE KIDS NICE?

How many students complain about bullying?

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

55% 49% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

94% 77% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO TEACHERS LIKE THE SCHOOL?

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?

97% 80% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers would recommend this school to other parents?

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

ARE CLASSES BIG?

Number of students in an average english class

NA 26 CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many students are chronically absent?

17% 23% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Academics

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

29% 29% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

39% hi 32% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

HS Prep

How many 8th graders pass high school regents exams?

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

11% 12% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

15% 17% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How do graduates do in 9th grade?

Percent who pass all their classes freshman year:

NA NA 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% 3% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

0% 2% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

2% 9% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

2% 7% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

11% 13% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

6% 9% 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:

1% 2% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

30% 18% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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