Our World Neighborhood Charter School

An Insideschools pick
36-12 35 AVENUE
QUEENS NY 11106 Map
Phone: (718) 392-3405
Website: Click here
Admissions: Lottery/District 30 priority
Principal: Brian Ferguson
Neighborhood: Astoria
District: 30
Grade range: K-8
Unzoned
Charter School

What's special:

Welcoming environment, great art program

The downside:

School housed in two different locations

InsideSchools Review

Our review:

At Our World Neighborhood Charter School, teachers balance a structured curriculum and traditional academics with the arts and hands-on projects. Children speak many different languages and come from different ethnic groups and the staff works hard to make everyone feel welcome and valued.

“Kids here feel that they can be themselves and that they can come as they are,” said middle school principal Lisa Edmiston.

The elementary and middle schools are housed in two different buildings a few blocks apart in a gentrifying section of Astoria. The elementary school building is directly across the street from the Museum of the Moving Image, a popular field trip destination, and the Kaufman Astoria Studios. The middle school, located at 31-20 37th Street, is hosted in a former religious school building. Space is an issue in both buildings: the elementary school lacks a gym and the middle school uses a walled-off section of the cafeteria for the ESL and art rooms. While having separate locations is less than ideal, Our World Neighborhood maintains a consistently welcoming and supportive atmosphere in both buildings.

As its name suggests, Our World Neighborhood strives to promote a culture that celebrates diversity and global citizenship. The school values are expressed through the “Pillars of Positive Community,” which identify a different value for each month of the school year ranging from kindness to friendship to citizenship. “The Pillars encourage students to talk about who we are as a community, what are our responsibilities to each other and to the local and global communities,” explains Executive Director Brian Ferguson. On our visit, the students seemed happy and engaged. Teachers and other staff seem dedicated to the students and to the school. They lead clubs, seem to know students on a personal level, and sometimes come in on weekends to make improvements to the school buildings.

Both elementary and middle school students do lots of hands-on projects in the classroom, and teachers often use small group work to accommodate students with different levels of ability. A 2nd grade class we visited had recently finished a project where they made drawings of a fictional character named Flat Stanley, wrote their own stories about the character, and mailed their drawings and stories to pen pals all over the world. Another class that was studying animal diversity was eagerly awaiting a visit from some animals to their classroom. A 7th grader reported that in her science class, they were preparing to dissect frogs. The middle school is part of the Urban Advantage program, which connects schools to scientific and cultural resources in the city to promote an increased understanding of scientific inquiry.

“We see ourselves as a liberal arts program,” said Ferguson. “We want to educate the whole child.” Social studies, science, ELA, math, and Spanish are taught in grades K-8, and Mandarin Chinese is offered in grades 5-8. Art and culture are integrated into classes across the curriculum, and the school offers classes in the visual arts, music, and film. Eighth grade students may take Regents courses in living environment and math, and of the students who took Regents exams in 2011, over 80 percent passed. 

The school offers a wide variety of extracurricular activities. In the middle school, Friday afternoon is dedicated to enrichment classes including chess, yearbook, salsa dancing, and ballet. After-school activities include basketball, soccer, flag football, and volleyball. Thanks to a partnership with the New York Junior Tennis League, students may also play tennis after school. The school also provides after school activities including African drumming club, student government, and a homework help program. Students may also participate in an annual ice skating trip and visits to Clearpool, New York for field trips in 6th and 8th grade.

The vast majority of students stay for both elementary and middle school. Many students attend the nearby Frank Sinatra High School and the Baccalaureate School for Global EducationBronx High School of Science, the High School of Environmental Studies and the High School of Art & Design are other popular high school options.

Special education: There are no self-contained classes. The school offers Special Education Teacher Support Services (SETTS) through a pull-out and push-in model where students receive extra support both in and out of the classroom. Additionally, the school has an occupational therapist, a speech and language teacher, a social worker, and a guidance counselor on staff in addition to three reading teachers. The 1stt grade students who need the most help participate in the Reading Recovery Program, which strives to help them improve their reading skills through early intervention. Participating students work one-on-one with the Reading Recovery teacher five times a week for thirty minutes over the course of twenty weeks.

Admissions: By lottery, and preference is given to students from District 30 and siblings of current students. New students are accepted each year K-7. In 2012, there were about 450 applications for 75 seats. (Pauline Zaldonis, March 2013)

InsideStats

Click tabs above to see school stats

At a glance

Shared campus? No

This school is in its own building.

Number of Students 708

Average Daily Attendance 95%

Students at this school

Asian

  
17%

Black

  
7%

Hispanic

  
44%

White

  
30%

Free Lunch

  
67%

Special ed

  
8%

English Language Learners

  
7%

Safety & vibe

ARE KIDS
NICE?

How many teachers say bullying is a problem at school?

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

91% 75% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

ARE CLASSES BIG?

Number of students in an average kindergarten class

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Number of students in an average fifth grade class

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Number of students in an average middle school english class

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO TEACHERS LIKE THE SCHOOL?

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?

96% 79% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers would recommend this school to other parents?

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Attendance

How many students are chronically absent?

NA 22% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Academics

How many teachers say this school offers enough programs, classes and activities to keep students engaged?

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers say this school does a good job teaching social-emotional skills?

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers say this school does a good job teaching organizational and study skills?

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of students in grades 3-8 who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam

49% 40% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of students in grades 3-8 who scored 3 or 4 on the state ela exam

48% 41% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of 8th graders who scored 3 or 4 on the state science exam

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many 8th grades pass high school regents exams?

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

13% 14% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

19% 17% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Parents

Are parents involved?

How many parents responded to the school survey?

45% 59% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many parents say they attended at least one pta meeting in the last school year?

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Does the school encourage family involvement?

How many parents say they were invited to an event at the school at least 3 times in the last school year?

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Do parents like the school?

How many parents would recommend this school to other parents?

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:

NA 6% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

NA 2% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

11% 14% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

30% 8% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

4% 15% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

3% 9% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many parents say students with disabilities are included in all activities?

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers say students with special needs are educated in the least restrictive environment appropriate?

93% 91% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many parents of students with ieps say this school offers a wide enough variety of services and activities for their children’s needs?

80% 84% 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% 3% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

0% 19% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers say this school ensures that ells receive the same curriculum as non-ells with appropriate suppports?

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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