Amistad Dual Language School
MANHATTAN NY 10034 Map
Amistad Dual Language School
Amistad Dual Language School has a warm sense of community and a commitment to making children fluent speakers and readers of both Spanish and English. Children seem happy and relaxed as they work together on engaging classroom projects. The curriculum is filled with music, dance, and visual and theater arts.
Class size is capped at 25 and there are at least two adults in every classroom. All teachers are bilingual. Kindergartners are taught 3 full days in Spanish and 2 in English. By 3rd grade, students spend 2 full weeks learning in Spanish, before alternating to English for the next 2 weeks. Reading instruction follows the "whole language" approach, which encourages students to recognize whole words and focus on the meaning of what they read and write, rather than decoding letters and sounds.
The PTA organizes events such as family movie night, field day, performances, and a large carnival. During our visit a group of parents were on hand to chaperone a field trip and a grandparent taught an ESL class to other parents in the school's large parent lounge. The school shares a rather cramped building with Muscota New School.
Amistad is not without its challenges. Test scores are below average. The city's new enrollment system admits students by lottery, making it difficult for the administration to control the level of language proficiency of incoming students. As a result, the kindergarten class has recently skewed to more English-dominant speakers, while the goal is to have an even mix of English and Spanish speakers. "One of the biggest strengths of language acquisition is that kids learn from each other side-by-side, but if everyone speaking English it's difficult to learn Spanish," said Principal Zoraida Hernandez.
SPECIAL EDUCATION: The school has a literacy specialist, two reading teachers, and a SETSS teacher. In addition the school provides speech, occupational therapy and physical therapy with shared service providers.
ADMISSIONS: Open to all District 6 students. The goal is to have half the incoming kindergartners English dominant and half Spanish dominant. Once accepted, the administration invites children in for screening for placement in classrooms to achieve the 50-50 split. About 300 applied for 30 spots in 2015. Roughly 30-40 applied for about six 1st grade seats. (Mahalia Watson, November 2015; updated August 2016)
At a glance
Number of Students 431
Average Daily Attendance 96%
Safety & vibe
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?70% 75% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
ARE CLASSES BIG?
Number of students in an average kindergarten classNA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Number of students in an average fifth grade classNA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Number of students in an average middle school english classNA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE
DO TEACHERS LIKE THE SCHOOL?
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?44% 79% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
How many teachers would recommend this school to other parents?NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE
How many students are chronically absent?7% 22% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of students in grades 3-8 who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam
Percent of students in grades 3-8 who scored 3 or 4 on the state ela exam
Percent of 4th graders who scored 3 or 4 on the state science exam
Percent of 8th graders who scored 3 or 4 on the state science exam
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?
This school offers self-contained classes.
Percent of self-contained students who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam:0% 6% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of self-contained students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:0% 2% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
This school offers team teaching (ict).
Percent of ICT students who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam:0% 14% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of ICT students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:0% 8% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of SETSS students who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam:0% 15% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of SETSS students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:0% 9% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
How many parents say students with disabilities are included in all activities?
How many teachers say students with special needs are educated in the least restrictive environment appropriate?
How many parents of students with ieps say this school offers a wide enough variety of services and activities for their children’s needs?