School of Performing Arts
BRONX NY 10459 Map
School of Performing Arts
Many students arrive at IS 217 with low skills but staffers work hard to give them a fair chance. Programs include a reward system for behavior and attendance, a partnership with Creative School Services to boost literacy, and acting classes provided by the Stella Adler Studio.
The school is in a high poverty area and teachers face many challenges, according to posts written by former IS 217 teacher Laura Klein for WNYC's SchoolBook website: “Most of them are out for at least one day a week, and it’s not uncommon for them to disappear for a week or a month at a time. They miss class for a variety of reasons - health - their own or their families, or a lack of supervision at home... Sometimes they will miss a month or two to travel out of the country to visit family. And, at least one time a year, one or two students will stop coming to school because they ‘fear for their safety.’”
Most of the children are behind in reading and other skills, she wrote, and class size is large. Former principal Seth Litt provided stable leadership for a few years but left his position in 2012 to found ROADS Charter High School 2, a school for struggling older students. Maiysha Etienne took the helm, and, while it is too soon to say how she will fare in the long run, during her first year most teachers complained of problems with order and discipline, according to the Learning Environment Survey. Children must pass through metal detectors to enter the building.
IS 217 has several bilingual classes for the many Spanish-speaking students, and hosts workshops for parents on a variety of topics. Children with special needs learn in team-taught classes with their general education peers. In her blog, Klein praised the work of the school’s dedicated paraprofessionals who work side-by-side with children who have special needs. IS 217 is one of two mid-sized schools created when IS 116, a big, struggling middle school closed in September 2002. One of the smaller schools (IS 216) was phased out due to poor performance eight years later.
Admissions: Neighborhood school. (Lydie Raschka, web reports, October 2013)
At a glance
Number of Students 351
Average Daily Attendance 90%
INCOMING STUDENTS' PROFICIENCY: 2.24 2.60 CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Safety & vibe
DO STUDENTS LIKE THE SCHOOL?
How many students say their teachers inspire them to learn?46% 64% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
How many students say this school offers enough programs to keep them interested?60% 78% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
ARE KIDS NICE?
How many students complain about bullying?84% 71% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
How many students say students at their school respect one another?31% 57% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained in the school?42% 77% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
DO TEACHERS LIKE THE SCHOOL?
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?68% 80% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
How many teachers would recommend this school to other parents?56% 79% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
ARE CLASSES BIG?
Number of students in an average english class26 26 CITYWIDE AVERAGE
How many students are chronically absent?42% 24% CITYWIDE AVERAGE