Preparatory Academy for Writers: A College Board School

143-10 SPRINGFIELD BOULEVARD
QUEENS NY 11413 Map
Phone: (718) 949-8405
Website: Click here
Principal: Charles Anderson
Neighborhood: Springfield Gardens
District: 29
Grade range: 6-12
Parent Coordinator: TANYA GILLIARD
Communications

Buses: Q3, Q77, Q85

What's special:

Middle school has good attendance and test scores; lots of writing in all subjects

The downside:

Shared building means a lot traffic in the hallways; school's small size means fewer electives

InsideSchools Review

Our review:

At Preparatory Academy for Writers (PAW), a small school serving grades 6-12, kids keep journals and have lively discussions in class. The middle school has excellent attendance and above-average test scores. By 8th grade students are tackling high school work and taking Regents exams.

The vibe throughout the school is friendly and calm. We were particularly impressed by how relaxed and focused 6th-graders were in classes immediately after their lunchtime.

Instead of simply lecturing from the front of the room, teachers encourage students to work on their own and in small groups. In a math class, some students may be solving problems at their desk, while another group is writing in their journal about the questions they have, and observations made, while still another group works with the teacher. In English classes, many lessons follow a similar pattern of reading, taking notes and discussing with peers and the entire class.

Students in all grades write a lot and compile portfolios of their best work as well as academic goals they set for themselves. At the end of each semester, students give oral presentations, discussing their work and reflecting on how well they met their goals.

To help with students’ transition to middle school, 6th-graders have the same teacher for both English and social studies in a double-period class called “humanities.” Students study algebra for two years starting in the 7th grade; by the end of 8th grade they take Regents exams in algebra, earth science and United States history.

About one-third of the student body leaves for high school, with a few going to super-selective schools like Townsend Harris. Those who stay are joined by new 9th graders, some of whom have weak skills. The school offers them a lot of support.

Stronger students take a range of Advanced Placement classes. Struggling students take fewer classes that run at least for a double period. For instance, students needing extra help don’t take a science class freshman year so they can devote more time to English, math and history; in 10th grade they take a double period of Living Environment. The attendance rate in high school is lower than the middle school. While some students take a demanding college-prep curriculum, the majority of graduates need to take remedial classes in CUNY.

All students participate in small group advisory classes, where they focus on both academic and social-emotional skills. Incoming 6th- and 9th-graders participate in a summer bridge program, a mix of fun, team-building activities and academic assessments, so teachers know their strengths and weakness at the start of the school year.

Housed on the first floor of the large, 1960s-era Springfield Gardens Educational Campus, PAW shares the building with three small high schools: Excelsior Preparatory High School High School, George Washington Carver High School for the Sciences and Queens Preparatory Academy. Students get big school perks such as a variety of sports teams and larger facilities. The downside is that first floor gets a lot of traffic as students from other schools come and go throughout the day to use the cafeteria and gymnasium—both located on the first floor.

Though PAW was one of several schools founded with support from College Board, the organization ended its affiliation with individual schools in 2013.

There are a few elective classes such as photography. The Child Center of New York sponsors onsite after-school activities for the middle school including arts and sports. High schools students participate in campus-wide sports teams

SPECIAL EDUCATION: There are SETSS and ICT classes

ADMISSIONS: For middle school, priority to District 29 residents who attend and information session. For high school, priority to continuing 8th-graders and then to New York City residents who attend an information session. (Laura Zingmond, February 2017)

 

Middle InsideStats

Click tabs above to see school stats

At a glance

Shared campus? Yes

This school shares the Springfield Gardens Educational Campus with three other schools

Number of Students 578

Average Daily Attendance 91%

Uniforms? NA

Students at this school

Asian

  
4%

Black

  
86%

Hispanic

  
6%

White

  
2%

Free Lunch

  
72%

Special ed

  
16%

English Language Learners

  
1%

INCOMING STUDENTS' PROFICIENCY: 2.43 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?

50% 49% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

71% 77% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO TEACHERS LIKE THE SCHOOL?

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?

81% 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?

22% 23% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Academics

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

43% 29% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

41% 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:

15% 12% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

69% 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:

5% 9% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

11% 7% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

NA 13% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

NA 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:

NA 2% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

0% 18% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

HS InsideStats

Click tabs above to see school stats

At a glance

Shared campus? Yes

This school shares the Springfield Gardens Educational Campus with three other schools

Number of Students 578

Average Daily Attendance 91%

Uniforms? Yes

Metal detectors? Yes

Students at this school

Asian

  
4%

Black

  
86%

Hispanic

  
6%

White

  
2%

Free Lunch

  
72%

Special ed

  
16%

English Language Learners

  
1%

INCOMING STUDENTS' PROFICIENCY: 2.43 2.39 CITYWIDE AVERAGE


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

Middle school students reading at grade level:

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Middle school students doing math at grade level:

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Safety & vibe

ARE CLASSES BIG?

Number of students in an average english class

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO STUDENTS LIKE THE TEACHERS?

How many students say their teachers inspire them to learn?

79% 74% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO TEACHERS LIKE THE PRINCIPAL?

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?

81% 77% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

IS THIS SCHOOL SAFE?

How many students say they feel safe in hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?

81% 84% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

 
 

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

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

HOW IS
ATTENDANCE?

How Many Students are Chronically Absent?

22% 41% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Who graduates

Class of 2015

How many students graduated within 4 years?

77% 69% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many graduates earned an advanced regents diploma within 4 years?

9% 11% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many students graduated within 6 years?

83% 77% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many graduates dropped out within 4 years?

0% 9% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

College prep

Does this school offer a college preparatory curriculum?

How many students took an AP or IB class and scored at least a "3" on the AP exam or a "4" on the IB exam?

7%

How Many Students took a College Course and Got a "C" or Higher?

10%

How many students passed a Regents exam for algebra 2, physics or chemistry?

34%

Are students ready for college?

How many students graduated in four years with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?

27% 32% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

SAT reading scores

410
424 CITYWIDE AVERAGE 495 NATIONWIDE AVERAGE

How many students graduated in four years and enrolled in college?

63% 64% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

SAT math scores

398
432 CITYWIDE AVERAGE 511 NATIONWIDE AVERAGE

Is the guidance counseling helpful?

How many students say that this school provides helpful counseling on college or job-seeking?

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Special ed & ELL

How well does this school serve students with disabilities?

How many special ed students graduated within 4 years?

NA 48% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many special ed students graduated within 6 years?

NA 57% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many students with disabilities spend most of the day with non-disabled peers?

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How well does this school serve English language learners?

How many English language learners graduated within 4 years?

48% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many English language learners graduated within 6 years?

56% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Programs and Admissions

Preparatory Academy for Writers

Limited Unscreened

Academics

AP COURSES: AP Biology, AP English, AP Environmental Science, AP Statistics, AP US History, AP World History

Source: High school directory 2015-2016

Sports/Clubs

EXTRACURRICULAR: Journalism, Dance, Drama, Intramural Athletics, Literary Magazine, Student Government, Student Leadership, Digital Music Production, Video Production, Social Media

BOYS PSAL SPORTS: Baseball, Basketball, Football, Indoor Track, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Wrestling

GIRLS PSAL SPORTS: Basketball, Flag Football, Indoor Track, Soccer, Softball, Tennis, Volleyball

Source: High school directory 2015-2016

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