Lyons Community School

223 GRAHAM AVENUE
BROOKLYN NY 11206 Map
Phone: (718) 782-0918
Website: Click here
Admissions: Citywide
Principal: Taeko Onishi
Neighborhood: Williamsburg/ Greenpoint
District: 14
Grade range: 6-12
Parent Coordinator: Minerva Cantor
Humanities & Interdisciplinary
Citywide

Buses: B24, B43, B46, B48, B60, Q54, Q59

What's special:

Intense focus on students’ social and emotional well-being

The downside:

High rates of chronic absenteeism

InsideSchools Review

Our review:

Lyons Community School provides a caring, informal and engaging environment for students who might get lost in a more traditional school. The combined middle and high school offers small classes, frequent class trips and practical projects such as woodworking to keep students engaged and attending school.

Principal Taeko Onishi, who co-founded the school with program director Jody Madell in 2007, dishes out high-fives and hugs to students. Onishi's desk is in a large open office that doubles as the staffroom. Students call Onishi and all the other staff by their first names. Lyons has low staff turnover and teachers say people work together and trust each other. Most teachers look forward to work and would recommend the school to parents, according to the 2013-2014 School Survey. Lyons is a PROSE school, which means the school has flexible union contracts that support innovative programs.

Lyons is a part of the Performance Standards Consortium, which uses performance-based assessments in place of Regents exams. Students pick topics from their classes for independent research or experiments. For example, science students built a miniature model of a green roof after months of research on things like soil and the types of plants best-adapted to the local climate.

Many students come to Lyons academically behind their peers. To address this, Lyons has an intense focus on teaching kids to read difficult texts. All students have half an hour of independent reading each morning and the school has small group support for struggling students. Classroom libraries are organized according to reading level difficulty rather than topic, and students are encouraged to challenge themselves when choosing books to read.

Lyons has high rates of chronic absenteeism, but the school offers a range of programs to engage students who might be on the verge of dropping out. "We will do anything it takes to connect," Onishi said. For example, on our visit seven struggling students were participating in a program called "The Dig." Every morning they take classes with two of the school's best teachers. In the afternoons, they do Urban Workshop, completing hands-on, practical projects like building benches for a local park. After-school activities also provide some great opportunities for Lyons students. On our visit we saw a poster that students had developed exploring different perspectives on what to do with land controlled by the city public housing authority (the school is surrounded by the massive Williamsburg Houses development).

A key part of student engagement is the school's field studies program. Students in grades 6 through 9 go on weekly excursions, such as to the Brooklyn Museum to study ancient Egypt. Onishi estimated that students go to The Metropolitan Museum of Art 50 times between 6th and 9th grades. Students in 10th to 12th grades may continue these field studies or take an elective at the school, including sculpture, painting, art history, zoology, business and baking, robotics and furniture design.

To tackle discipline problems, Lyons uses Restorative Justice, which frames all student behavior in terms of community responsibility. If a student misbehaves, it is addressed through conversation circles and reflections to identify what harm has been done and who was harmed by it. Students then take actions to directly repair this harm. Discipline issues are often referred to the "justice panel," a group of students who determine the consequences of an action after questioning the offending student and other witnesses.

Lyons shares the old IS 49 building, including its gym, cafeteria and outdoor playground, with the Green School and Brooklyn Latin. Lyons students may participate in campus-wide PSAL sports. Clubs include music, chess, dance and anime. A gender-neutral bathroom is provided to ensure students questioning their sexual identities feel comfortable.

Special education: Lyons has integrated co-teaching (ICT) classes in every grade and dedicates a lot of time to students' social and emotional development through advisories and other initiatives.

Admissions: Priority to District 14 students. Continuing 8th-grade students take priority for the high school, and more than two-thirds of middle school students continue on. For the remaining seats, admission is limited, unscreened and open to all New York City residents, with preference given to those who attend an information session. Lyons accepts transfer students in 7th, 8th, 10th, 11th and 12th grades. (Ella Colley, November 2014)

Middle InsideStats

Click tabs above to see school stats

At a glance

Shared campus? Yes

This school shares the building with the Brooklyn Latin School and the Green School

Number of Students 546

Average Daily Attendance 85%

Uniforms? No

Students at this school

Asian

  
1%

Black

  
41%

Hispanic

  
55%

White

  
2%

Free Lunch

  
86%

Special ed

  
23%

English Language Learners

  
12%

INCOMING STUDENTS' PROFICIENCY: 2.29 2.60 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?

61% 64% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

71% 78% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

ARE KIDS NICE?

How many students complain about bullying?

73% 71% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

55% 57% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

75% 77% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO TEACHERS LIKE THE SCHOOL?

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?

91% 80% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers would recommend this school to other parents?

93% 79% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

ARE CLASSES BIG?

Number of students in an average english class

23 26 CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many students are chronically absent?

43% 24% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Academics

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

3% 26% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

5% 22% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

27% 45% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

HS Prep

How many 8th graders pass high school regents exams?

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

0% 18% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

0% 14% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How do graduates do in 9th grade?

Percent who pass all their classes freshman year:

83% 87% 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:

0% 7% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

0% 5% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

0% 9% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

0% 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:

0% 13% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

HS InsideStats

Click tabs above to see school stats

At a glance

Shared campus? Yes

This school shares the building with the Brooklyn Latin School and the Green School

Number of Students 546

Average Daily Attendance 85%

Uniforms? No

Metal detectors? No

Students at this school

Asian

  
1%

Black

  
41%

Hispanic

  
55%

White

  
2%

Free Lunch

  
86%

Special ed

  
23%

English Language Learners

  
12%

INCOMING STUDENTS' PROFICIENCY: 2.11 2.40 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:

5% 24% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Middle school students doing math at grade level:

3% 28% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Safety & vibe

ARE CLASSES BIG?

Number of students in an average english class

15 25 CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO STUDENTS LIKE THE TEACHERS?

How many students say their teachers inspire them to learn?

61% 63% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO TEACHERS LIKE THE PRINCIPAL?

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?

91% 78% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

IS THIS SCHOOL SAFE?

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

74% 82% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

 
 

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

75% 77% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

HOW IS
ATTENDANCE?

How Many Students are Chronically Absent?

48% 38% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Who graduates

Class of 2014

How many students graduated within 4 years?

46% 73% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many students graduated within 6 years?

72% 80% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Previous Years

How many students graduated within 4 years?

60% 65% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

0% 11% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many students graduated within 6 years?

74% 75% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many graduates dropped out within 4 years?

12% 10% 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?

0%

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

4%

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

5%

Are students ready for college?

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

10% 27% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

SAT reading scores

378
418 CITYWIDE AVERAGE 497 NATIONWIDE AVERAGE

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

46% 63% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

SAT math scores

375
426 CITYWIDE AVERAGE 513 NATIONWIDE AVERAGE

Is the guidance counseling helpful?

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

77% 76% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Special ed & ELL

How well does this school serve students with disabilities?

How many special ed students graduated within 4 years?

53% 47% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many special ed students graduated within 6 years?

53% 54% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

88% 68% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

96% 89% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How well does this school serve English language learners?

How many English language learners graduated within 4 years?

37% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many English language learners graduated within 6 years?

56% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Programs and Admissions

School admission priorities:

  1. Priority to continuing 8th graders
  2. Then to New York City residents who attend an information session
  3. Then to New York City residents

Source: High school directory

Lyons Community School

Limited Unscreened

Academics

Source: High school directory

Sports/Clubs

EXTRACURRICULAR: Chess, Community Service, Dance, Homework Help, Justice Panel, Library, Music, Newspaper, Peer Mediation, Peer Tutoring, Rush Teens (arts program), Step, Theater, Yearbook

BOYS PSAL SPORTS: Wrestling

Other schools sports: NYSAA Flag Football, NYSAA Basketball, Cheerleading, Fitness

Source: High school directory

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