Marta Valle High School
MANHATTAN NY 10002 Map
Marta Valle High School
Buses: B39, M103, M14A, M14D, M15, M15-SBS, M21, M22, M8, M9
SEPTEMBER 2007 UPDATE: The phase-out of the middle school at Marta Valle began last year, a teacher tells Insideschools. The 2007-08 school year is the last year there will be a 7th grade and there will be no more middle school after that class completes 8th grade in June 2009, he said.
MAY 2006 REVIEW: Marta Valle Secondary School, a 7th to 12th grade school, is getting a chance to reinvent itself after facing the possibility of being closed down. For years, the school has struggled with low test scores, despite efforts to attract higher achieving students by changing its name and creating an art-themed curriculum. With the arrival in 2004 of a new principal familiar with the challenges of educating children of poor and troubled families, the school started building on the list of community organizations it works with to offer experiences that reach beyond the classroom's wallsin hopes of engaging and motivating struggling students.
Principal Jayne Godlewski, who has worked for years as a teacher and administrator on the Lower East Side, lends a serious but mellow tone to the school. Her mild morning announcements over the speaker system contribute to that feeling, which is enhanced as well by the playing of classical musicrather than the shrill sounding of a bellto signal class changes. On our visit, we saw a few stragglers in the otherwise quiet hallways. But students also told us that Godlewski has a good memory for students' names and schedules, and puts that to good effect.
During our visit, we saw nuts-and-bolts Regents-prep classes as well as classes where teachers were reviewing subjects for end-of-year exams in the high school. Students who do not have to take Regents exams yet, particularly 9th graders, take finals instead. According to Godlewski, this prepares them to get into the mindset of sitting through a Regents examination.
We also saw some thoughtful lessons: 11th graders were reading a collection of provocative short stories about the war in Vietnam, Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried, while students in a global studies class discussed the marriage of Catherine of Aragon and Henry VIIIand how the king's effort to divorce her led to a church-state crisis in 16th century England.
The school's many underperforming students participate in Read 180, a program where students rotate among 20-minute activitiesworking in groups, with a teacher, and individually on computers. On the flip side, Godlewski is also trying to pay more attention to higher-achieving students by offering honors classes. Eighth graders may take the Math A and earth science Regents, while high school students may take Advanced Placement classes in U.S. history, English, and Spanish.
The school takes good advantage of its ties to neighborhood not-for-profit service organizations. Inwood House, a teen pregnancy prevention group, for example, hosts a program run by a social worker to help adolescents make smart decisions about sexual activity and peer pressure. The Educational Alliance offers classes in dance, knitting, graffiti art, and bicycle repair. A teaching artist from the Henry Street Settlement works with teachers and students on architecture projects, while student artwork is shown annually at the National Arts Club. The Grand Street Settlement runs the school's college office as well as the Beacon program, which turns the building into a community center for youth and adult after-school activities. The Foundation for Excellent Schools is involved with raising college awareness by arranging to take students on trips to colleges and setting up mentoring opportunities. For the summer of 2006, six students were scheduled to participate in a two-week writing program at Williams College.
Special education: The school provides small "self-contained" classes for students with special needs. (Catherine Man, May 2006)
At a glance
Number of Students 272
Average Daily Attendance 80%
Metal detectors? No
INCOMING STUDENTS' PROFICIENCY: 2.19 2.39 CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Safety & vibe
ARE CLASSES BIG?
Number of students in an average english classNA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE
DO STUDENTS LIKE THE TEACHERS?
How many students say their teachers inspire them to learn?51% 74% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
DO TEACHERS LIKE THE PRINCIPAL?
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?36% 77% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
IS THIS SCHOOL SAFE?
How many students say they feel safe in hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?86% 84% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained in the school?NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE
How Many Students are Chronically Absent?63% 41% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Class of 2015
How many students passed a Regents exam for algebra 2, physics or chemistry?12%
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
Programs and Admissions
Marta Valle High School
Includes course offerings in Digital Photography, Web Design; Visual, Performing and Culinary Arts, Video, Music Engineering.
EXTRACURRICULAR: Beacon & Grand Street Settlement Programs on Site, Student Ambassadors, Extended Learning Time Enrichment & Tutoring, College and Career Fair, Family Night, Art, Audio Recording Studio, Dance Studio, Video Production, Gallatin Great Works Project (NYU), SAT Prep, Cheerleading, Boxing, National Honors Society, Art Studio, Peer Conflict Resolution, Anime Club, Rugby, Chess. Students can form new clubs with a teacher and at least 10 interested students.
BOYS PSAL SPORTS: Basketball
GIRLS PSAL SPORTS: Badminton, Volleyball
Other schools sports: Volleyball