Esperanza Preparatory Academy

An Insideschools pick for Special Education
240 EAST 109 STREET
MANHATTAN NY 10029 Map
Phone: (212) 722-6507
Website: Click here
Admissions: District 4; priority to those who attend info session
Principal: Luisa Morales
Neighborhood: East Harlem
District: 4
Grade range: 6-12
Parent Coordinator: HELEN LARA
Science & Math
Dual Language
ESL Focus

Buses: M1, M101, M102, M103, M106, M116, M15, M15-SBS, M2, M3, M4, M96, M98

What's special:

Small school offers dual language program and welcomes special education students; expanding to include high school grades

The downside:

Many new, untried teachers; dim lighting and low ceilings in some classrooms.

InsideSchools Review

Our review:

Tiny Esperanza Preparatory Academy, founded in 2008, has a dual language program and welcomes special needs students. At Esperanza ("hope" in Spanish), college and university pennants hang on walls, and staff says the school mission is to make sure that students know that college is an option. In September 2012, the school expanded, growing a grade per year beginning with 9th grade to become a 6–12. The high school focuses on science, math and Spanish language proficiency. Attendance is high.

Esperanza Prep is one of several schools in the Tito Puente Educational Complex in Spanish Harlem. Located on a quiet block, it is surrounded by a large park. Esperanza classes are on the bottom floor; half of the classrooms have plenty of sunlight while the other half are below ground and have no natural light and low ceilings. The school has its own library and shares a cafeteria, gym, and auditorium with Global Neighborhood School and TAG Young Scholars, a citywide school for gifted students.

Students wear a white collared shirt with the school emblem, khaki pants, black shoes, and belt. They earn "kudos" or praise, for acts displaying P.R.I.D.E.: Perseverance, Responsibility, Integrity, Discipline, and Enthusiasm. High school students are required to complete 50 hours of community service per semester. In the fall of 2013, Principal Alexandra Estrella left and was replaced by Wendy Mercedes, formerly a 6th- and 7th-grade English teacher at the school.

School begins when students arrive for breakfast at 7:30 a.m. Each student is assigned a news article to read, and must answer comprehension questions as part of the social studies curriculum. All students participate in Socratic circles, small-group discussion forums designed to improve their speaking skills. Teachers meet frequently with one another and collaborate on lessons. They are mostly young and some lack experience in classroom management. There were no major disruptions, although some students talked amongst themselves during class time or called out. Test scores remain low.

Esperanza offers a dual language program with students receiving equal amounts of Spanish and English instruction daily. Native Spanish-speakers go to "Native Language Arts" and English speakers go to Spanish as a foreign language class. One-third of the students are English Language Learners (ELLs). Students practice Drop Everything and Read as part of a daily D.E.A.R. program. Esperanza offers instrumental and vocal music, art, and Spanish, for native and non-native speakers and has a special focus on technology.

Thanks to a $250,000 grant from Hewlett Packard, classrooms have SMART boards and carts of laptop computers. Students create their own wikis and write their own blogs, integrating English with other subjects. The Carmel Hill Fund provides accelerated reading and math programs and has donated 1,600 books to the school library. Students are bused to Randalls Island to play rugby and soccer once a week. 

After school academic programs are offered Tuesdays and Thursdays. The school has a debate team, drama club, science club, a journalism club, a computer class, and a travelers club where students learn about cultures and nations around the world. Esperanza has rugby and track and field teams with matches held at Columbia University's Baker Fields.

Special education: Special education is a strength at Esperanza Prep where 40 percent of students have Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) and outperformed general education students on standardized tests in 2009, the principal said. There is one self-contained class on each grade and four team-teaching (ICT) classes across the grades. Students are transitioned from self-contained classes to ICT classes whenever possible she said. The school offers physical and occupational therapy, speech therapy, counselors, and a social worker.

Admissions: District 4. Priority given to students who attend information sessions. Priority to continuing 8th graders for the high school and then to Manhattan residents. (Seth Lemerman, November 2009; update from interviews at the new high school fair, Lydie Raschka, March 2012)

Middle InsideStats

Click tabs above to see school stats

At a glance

Shared campus? Yes

This school shares the building with TAG Young Scholars

Number of Students 574

Average Daily Attendance 90%

Uniforms? NA

Students at this school

Asian

  
1%

Black

  
15%

Hispanic

  
82%

White

  
2%

Free Lunch

  
91%

Special ed

  
26%

English Language Learners

  
28%

INCOMING STUDENTS' PROFICIENCY: 2.15 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?

52% 49% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

84% 77% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO TEACHERS LIKE THE SCHOOL?

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?

100% 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?

38% 23% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Academics

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

12% 29% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

18% 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:

0% 12% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

11% 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:

0% 9% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

0% 7% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

0% 13% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

0% 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:

0% 2% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

6% 18% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

HS InsideStats

Click tabs above to see school stats

At a glance

Shared campus? Yes

This school shares the building with TAG Young Scholars

Number of Students 574

Average Daily Attendance 90%

Uniforms? Yes

Metal detectors? No

Students at this school

Asian

  
1%

Black

  
15%

Hispanic

  
82%

White

  
2%

Free Lunch

  
91%

Special ed

  
26%

English Language Learners

  
28%

INCOMING STUDENTS' PROFICIENCY: 2.15 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?

100% 77% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

IS THIS SCHOOL SAFE?

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

87% 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?

38% 41% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Who graduates

Class of 2015

How many students graduated within 4 years?

NA 69% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

NA 11% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many students graduated within 6 years?

NA 77% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many graduates dropped out within 4 years?

NA 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?

NA

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

NA

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

NA

Are students ready for college?

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

NA 32% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

SAT reading scores

NA
424 CITYWIDE AVERAGE 495 NATIONWIDE AVERAGE

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

NA 64% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

SAT math scores

NA
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

Esperanza Preparatory Academy

Screened: Language

Academics

AP COURSES: AP English, AP Spanish, AP Studio Art, AP US History

Source: High school directory 2015-2016

Sports/Clubs

EXTRACURRICULAR: Art, Community Service, Dance, Music, Student Government, Theater, Electronic Music Production, Technology, Soccer, Basketball, Pencil Project

BOYS PSAL SPORTS: Baseball, Soccer

GIRLS PSAL SPORTS: Softball, Volleyball

Other schools sports: Baseball, Basketball, Soccer

Source: High school directory 2015-2016

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