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:

Nurturing environment; innovative field studies program.

The downside:

Struggling to boost academic achievement

InsideSchools Review

Our review:

Lyons Community School is a small school where teachers and administrators know every student. They seek to engage them by exposing them to experiences beyond the classroom walls. While the dedicated staff and administration have created a lively, nurturing school, their good work and progressive approach have not yet paid off in higher academic achievement. Middle school test scores, and the high school graduation rate, lag below city averages.

Taeko Onishi and Jody Madell, Lyon's co-founders, previously taught at various progressive schools. That influence is reflected at Lyons, with its informal atmosphere and emphasis on projects and class discussions. All 6th through 9th graders and many kids in higher grades take a course called Field Studies. In that class, trips and other experiences help students consider a topic in depth, such as native Americans or colonial America. Students studying world religions have visited both the Metropolitan Museum of Art and a Buddhist temple.

Lyons is designed for students looking for "something new. You have to believe you can learn from exploring," Madell says. Many students at Lyons have not been academically successful in the past and are from families unfamiliar with this style of education. "We used to hear, 'when are we going to do the real work?" Ondo says.

Onishi and Madell had hoped the fieldwork and projects would produce good results on Regents tests and other state measures. But when scores proved disappointing, Lyons altered its program to give students more core academics. Math is no longer included in the fieldwork units but taught separately, with 6th graders taking 10 hours of math a week. One grade 9-10 class is focused on kids who did not complete their 9th grade requirements.

Students told us teachers go the extra mile to guide them through classes. Staff members send text messages to absent students reminding them to come to school and sometimes even pick students up. "Where we've been most successful as a school is working with kids who need extra help," kids who might otherwise have dropped out, Onishi says.

An 11th grader told us that she thought she learned more at Lyons than she would have at "a boring school". "This school is a new experience. It's unusual," she said.

Classes we visited offered lots of discussion and give and take between students and teachers. Seniors studying immigration worked to create a first person narrative for a 20th century immigrant based on data and photographs. In an English honors class -- a new addition -- student read "The Grapes of Wrath." Several told us they found it difficult, largely because of the dialect.

There are no AP classes and only one year of Spanish offered as foreign language. Some students take classes at Long Island University.

There is a college counselor who makes sure that all students apply to CUNY. Many go to the two-year colleges and most need to take remedial courses.

Lyons shares the IS 49 junior high school building with the Green School, and Young Women's Leadership School of Brooklyn. (For 2013-14, the Department of Education plans to relocate Young Women's Leadership and move the Brooklyn Latin School to the building.) It does not have its own PSAL sports teams but students may play on some Benjamin Banneker Academy teams.

Special education: The school devotes a lot of time to students' social and emotional development. On the day we visited, much attention was focused on a boy who was adjusting to Lyons after years of being in a self contained special ed program. Lyons has team-teaching and resource teachers, but no self-contained classes.

Admissions: The middle school is open to District 14 students. Continuing 8th graders get priority for high school and about two-thirds of them opt to stay. For the remaining seats, admission is limited unscreened - open to all New York City residents with preference given to those who attend an information session. (Gail Robinson, October, 2012)

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: 2.55 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?

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?

48% 24% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Academics

Percent of students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2014 math exam

3% 25% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2014 ela exam

4% 22% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2014 science exam

35% 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:

0% 21% 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:

76% 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 2014 math exam:

0% 2% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of self-contained students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2014 ELA exam:

0% 1% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of ICT students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2014 math exam:

0% 5% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of ICT students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2014 ELA exam:

0% 4% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of SETSS students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2014 math exam:

0% 7% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of SETSS students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2014 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 2014 ELA exam:

0% 2% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of former ell students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2014 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 former IS 49 Building

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: 2.50 2.80 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% 25% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Middle school students doing math at grade level:

1% 24% 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?

66% 63% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO TEACHERS LIKE THE PRINCIPAL?

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?

83% 78% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

IS THIS SCHOOL SAFE?

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

77% 82% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

 
 

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

66% 77% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

HOW IS
ATTENDANCE?

How Many Students are Chronically Absent?

48% 38% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Who graduates

Class of 2013

How many 2009 freshmen graduated within 4 years?

60% 70% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many 2007 freshmen graduated within 6 years?

73% 78% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Previous Years

How many 2008 freshmen graduated within 4 years?

64% 66% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many 2008 freshmen earned an advanced regents diploma within 4 years?

0% 12% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many 2006 freshmen graduated within 6 years?

NA 75% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many 2008 freshmen dropped out within 4 years?

22% 11% 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?

10%

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

1%

Are students ready for college?

How many 2009 freshmen graduated in four years with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?

3% 27% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

SAT reading scores

355
414 CITYWIDE AVERAGE 496 NATIONWIDE AVERAGE

How many 2009 freshmen graduated in four years and enrolled in college?

56%

SAT math scores

345
425 CITYWIDE AVERAGE 514 NATIONWIDE AVERAGE

Is the guidance counseling helpful?

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

70% 76% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Special ed & ELL

How well does this school serve students with disabilities?

How many special ed students starting school in 2008 graduated within 4 years?

27% 45% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many special ed students starting school in 2006 graduated within 6 years?

NA 53% 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 starting school in 2008 graduated within 4 years?

40% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many English language learners starting school in 2006 graduated within 6 years?

58% 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

AP COURCES: N/A

Online: N/A

Language classes: Spanish

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: Baseball, Basketball & JV Basketball, Fencing, Soccer

GIRLS PSAL SPORTS: Basketball & JV Basketball, Fencing, Soccer, Softball, Tennis, Volleyball

Other schools sports: Cheerleading, Fitness, Flag Football, Floor Hockey, North Brooklyn League Basketball, Soccer, Table Tennis

Source: High school directory

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