Theatre Arts Production Company School

2225 WEBSTER AVENUE
BRONX NY 10457 Map
Phone: (718) 584-0832
Website: Click here
Admissions: Audition,citywide
Principal: Ron Link
Neighborhood: Tremont/ East Tremont
District: 10
Grade range: 6-12
Parent Coordinator: Lissette Mendoza
Performing Arts/Visual Art & Design
Citywide

Buses: Bx1, Bx15, Bx17, Bx2, Bx32, Bx36, Bx40, Bx41, Bx41-SBS, Bx42

What's special:

Creative arts focus, caring staff and comfortable environment

The downside:

While some academic classes are engaging, others are uninspiring

InsideSchools Review

Our review:

Theatre Arts Production Company (TAPCo), a combined middle and high school, offers a supportive, family-like environment for aspiring artists, musicians, singers, dancers and actors. Ron Link, named principal in 2012, has quickly gained the trust of both staff and students by listening to everyone’s concerns, improving discipline and developing a plan to strengthen academics.

“My favorite things about this school are the arts and the principal. He is mad cool,” a 7th grader remarked on the day of our visit. Link, former assistant principal the Academy for Scholarship and Entrepreneurship, sang and played saxophone in a band that warmed up for RunDMC, the Dazz Band and the Jets. These skills allow him to bring the academic and artistic discipline that TAPCo needs.

The school is housed in the same building as MS 391. Stage sets from past productions add color and visual interest throughout the school. There is a homey feel as students transition from class to class to Bob Marley’s, “Don’t Worry About a Thing.” The school has a lounge area, a theater, black box, green room, choir room, a dance studio, and many art studios. Bud Thorpe, an actor who previously worked under famed playwright and director Samuel Beckett, heads a full production shop where students work on set design, set construction, light design, and costume design.  

Staff members make time for students after school and even lead weekend clubs. Assistant Principal Monika Fisher has been long known as the “surrogate mom” to all TAPCo students. On any given day you can find her counseling students in distress and providing the guidance they need to make it through the day and year successfully. The school has a longstanding tradition of acceptance and respect for individual expression. Whether kids have a trendy urban appearance or a gothic look, they are all treated equally.  

Link’s predecessor, founding principal Lynn Passarella, was removed in March, 2012, after a DOE report found that the staff had falsified student transcripts and given credit for courses not taken. "To her credit, [under her leadership] there was real art integration in all classes which was true to the school's mission statement," Link said.

Link’s first step was to listen to the school community, and as a result the school now has appropriate supervision with deans in hallways, defined staff roles, a student discipline handbook and a new thriving PTA — just to name a few changes. While TAPCo is not a violent or dangerous school, the freedom previously afforded to its students created an atmosphere of disruptive behavior. A PTA parent explained, “Sometimes the kids limit the teachers due to discipline issues. They [the teachers] could do some much more with them.” Initially Link’s changes led to a rise in suspensions, but as students began to understand that there were consequences to poor behavior, the number of suspensions declined.

TAPCo’s next challenge is to bring its arts program to a higher level with a stronger focus on technique. Students are eager to throw themselves into performance but still need to master the self-discipline and fundamental skills of their chosen craft before they can compete on a citywide level.

To better focus on academics, Link scheduled all arts classes for the last period of the day for the 2012-13 school year. There are Advanced Placement, Regents prep and College Now courses. Students may choose among many electives, such as acting, visual arts, video, dance, glee, playwriting and GenX, which teaches everything from body awareness to financial literacy.

In middle school, academic classes incorporate many small group projects and hands on activities. In high school, the classes tend to be more traditional with desks in rows and larger class sizes. We saw some excellent teaching and engaged students who were on task. We also saw a class in which most students didn’t even bother to take their books and looked truly uninspired. Link, completely aware of the challenge, has identified the strong teachers as a core group to train and mentor the others.

There are 19 after-school clubs in academics, the arts and sports, all led by teachers. Sports are available through connection with PSAL & Children’s Aid Society.

Special education: The school offers collaborative-team-teaching classes (CTT) and busing for special education students.

College: TAPCo has an affiliation with Lehman College where some students take college courses. Most students go on to CUNY or SUNY schools.

Admissions: Prospective 6th graders should contact the school or their guidance counselor for an application. Students must attend a tour, schedule an interview, and bring a letter of recommendation. Students applying for the 9th grade have fewer seats available since many current students choose to stay. Acting students should prepare a monologue but are given a "cold read" and are placed in a mock-acting class. Dancers and vocalists are to bring their own music. Visual art students must bring a portfolio and will be asked to draw their hand and another image. (Jacquie Wayans, October 2012)

 

Middle InsideStats

Click tabs above to see school stats

At a glance

Shared campus? Yes

This school shares a building with the Angelo Patri Middle School

Number of Students 581

Average Daily Attendance 90%

Uniforms? Yes

Students at this school

Asian

  
1%

Black

  
28%

Hispanic

  
68%

White

  
1%

Free Lunch

  
100%

Special ed

  
23%

English Language Learners

  
6%

INCOMING STUDENTS' PROFICIENCY: 2.56 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?

52% 64% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

74% 78% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

ARE KIDS NICE?

How many students complain about bullying?

64% 71% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

51% 57% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

88% 77% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO TEACHERS LIKE THE SCHOOL?

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?

95% 80% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers would recommend this school to other parents?

85% 79% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

ARE CLASSES BIG?

Number of students in an average english class

28 26 CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many students are chronically absent?

36% 24% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Academics

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

16% 26% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

18% 22% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

52% 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:

33% 14% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How do graduates do in 9th grade?

Percent who pass all their classes freshman year:

84% 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:

NA 2% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

NA 1% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

3% 7% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

7% 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:

4% 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:

7% 2% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

10% 13% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

HS InsideStats

Click tabs above to see school stats

At a glance

Shared campus? Yes

This school shares a building with the Angelo Patri Middle School

Number of Students 581

Average Daily Attendance 90%

Uniforms? No

Metal detectors? No

Students at this school

Asian

  
1%

Black

  
28%

Hispanic

  
68%

White

  
1%

Free Lunch

  
100%

Special ed

  
23%

English Language Learners

  
6%

INCOMING STUDENTS' PROFICIENCY: 2.34 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:

18% 24% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Middle school students doing math at grade level:

16% 28% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Safety & vibe

ARE CLASSES BIG?

Number of students in an average english class

22 25 CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO STUDENTS LIKE THE TEACHERS?

How many students say their teachers inspire them to learn?

52% 63% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO TEACHERS LIKE THE PRINCIPAL?

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?

95% 78% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

IS THIS SCHOOL SAFE?

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

78% 82% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

 
 

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

88% 77% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

HOW IS
ATTENDANCE?

How Many Students are Chronically Absent?

32% 38% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Who graduates

Class of 2014

How many students graduated within 4 years?

76% 73% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many students graduated within 6 years?

87% 80% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Previous Years

How many students graduated within 4 years?

83% 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?

91% 75% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many graduates dropped out within 4 years?

7% 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?

6%

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

33%

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

3%

Are students ready for college?

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

17% 27% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

SAT reading scores

414
418 CITYWIDE AVERAGE 497 NATIONWIDE AVERAGE

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

70% 63% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

SAT math scores

396
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?

66% 76% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Special ed & ELL

How well does this school serve students with disabilities?

How many special ed students graduated within 4 years?

62% 47% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many special ed students graduated within 6 years?

75% 54% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

100% 68% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

100% 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 Bronx students or residents
  3. Then to New York City residents

Source: High school directory

Dance

Audition

Students develop their creativity, strength, alignment and teaching skills as they learn Modern Dance, Ballet, Composition Technology and Principles of Dance. Pedagogy is blended to help students develop their own unique voice as creators with competitive skills to succeed in the real world.

Drama

Audition

Students learn acting technique, scene study, voice and diction, movement, singing, theatre history, audition preparation, digital resume building, script analysis, directing, lighting design, and stagecraft. In addition, students explore performance and acting techniques for full stage classical, modern, and musical theatre productions as well as smaller studio settings.

Visual Arts & Technology

Audition

Non Moving Image: Students develop their artistic skills as they progress through classroom assignments such as still life drawing, perspective drawing, portraiture, figure drawing, and abstract compositions using a variety of drawing, painting, and digital design media. TAPCo students have the opportunity to apply to the Fred Dolan Art Academy, a Saturday professional artist-led program that helps students develop their portfolios and secure scholarships for college. Moving Image: Students develop self-confidence in their creative, critical thinking and expressive process of the student as they build valuable artistic, literacy and technical skills in photography and video production with the added benefit of team building skills for application in college and work place. Students participate in the planning, production and presentation of multi-media projects for actual clients, which include individuals and organizations in and out of school.

Academics

AP COURSES: Calculus AB, English Literature and Composition

Online: Calculus AB, English Language and Composition, Environmental Science, Music Theory, United States History, World History

Language classes: Spanish

Source: High school directory

Sports/Clubs

EXTRACURRICULAR: Acting, High School Dance, Ragtime Piano, Shakespeare, Chorus, Vocal & Piano Jam, Roadrunners, Step Team, Weightlifting, School Website, Student Council, Insight 182 Online Magazine, Documentary, Radio Station, Technology Squad, Video Film & Editing, Theatre Tech Crew, Chess, Art Appreciation, TAPCo Prefect Community Associates, National Honor Society, ESL, Middle School Math and Literacy, NYSESLAT, Regents, SAT Prep

Other schools sports: Boys Basketball, Boys Soccer, Girls Soccer, Volleyball, Boys Baseball, Girls Softball.

Source: High school directory

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