Fannie Lou Hamer Middle School

1001 JENNINGS STREET
BRONX NY 10460 Map
Phone: (718) 860-2707
Admissions: District 12
Principal: LORRAINE CHANON
Neighborhood: South Bronx
District:12
Grade range: 6-8
Parent Coordinator: RAUL RODRIGUEZ
Unzoned

What's special:

Warm and nurturing with clear strategies for learning

The downside:

Struggles with low test scores

InsideSchools Review

Our review:

Fannie Lou Hamer Middle School is a nurturing school, located on the brightly colored fifth floor of the CS 66 elementary school building. Like its sister school, Fannie Lou Hamer High School, Fannie Lou Middle is a haven of safety and thoughtful academics in an otherwise troubled district.

While students still take state exams, the school uses portfolios to judge students by the work they perform and assemble over the school year in the four major subjects. Teachers emphasize real world scenarios to improve analytical thinking, rather than rote memorization.

The school has built its reputation by working well with children who enter 6th grade with weak academic skills. Most students come into 6th grade on a 3rd- or 4th-grade academic level, says Principal Lorraine Chanon. The school assesses students three times a year and has success in moving them forward two grade levels per year with strong supports in place. Many classes have two teachers, all of whom receive training to implement the high level group work that has become a hallmark of the school. Despite the gains students make, however, test scores remain low. 

In a 7th-grade English class, students during our visit completed a literary exercise using characters from Charlie and The Chocolate Factory. Students selected which character they wanted to study in depth and discuss. Then all of the students grouped according to character (all Charlie’s in one group) to share notes and discuss using their six-inch (or “quiet”) voices. Rather than grouping students by ability level, teachers group students by task, making sure that everyone is exposed to projects that they can do confidently and other projects that are more challenging.

After a two-minute transition of built-in talk-time (one of the many special interventions the school has implemented to increase focus), a 6th-grade class we observed took out their books, started their “Do Now” task and stayed on task. The social studies class was studying the structure of Ancient Egyptian society, and the teacher asked, “What was special about Ramses?” Engaged students raised their hands and one young lady noted that he was mentioned in both religion and history as a god.

By 8th-grade, students have timed Do Now assignments with a clock on the SMART Board counting down. On our visit, the teacher read an excerpt from the book Sold about human trafficking. Students had to select the part of the main character’s life in which they believe she was happiest—before, during or after sex slavery. Each group listened to the other’s point of view, written or oral under timed response. All of these exercises create a diverse portfolio of student knowledge. An 8th-grade teacher shared, “Students get to be creative [in response to lessons] instead of just feeding [teachers] answers. When I was a student, if I had a test on Monday, the information was gone by Thursday. These kids remember longer.”

In order to encourage higher learning, the 7th- and 8th-grade classrooms are named after universities that teachers attended, and the 6th-grade classes are named after high schools. The 6th- and 7th-graders transition by class in guided lines, but 8th-graders are free to transition to class independently and have lockers in preparation for high school. There are small libraries in every class, and the school has its own gym on the floor.

One student told us, “I like it here, it’s safe.” That impression is fueled by a supportive staff and a strong mediation process that empowers students to voice their emotions in a healthy way. When a student has a problem he can write it down, take it to an advisor and say he wants it mediated. It doesn’t matter how small or large the infraction; the adults are very responsive. Students who first came to the school expecting to resolve issues with their fists, quickly adapt to these tactics because they know both sides will be heard and the mediation is a “no blame” environment.

Special education: The school is very welcoming of special education students with nearly 24 percent receiving services. Nearly 18 percent of students are English language learners, and most classes are co-teaching classes. SETSS is also offered.

After school: Middle school students and high school students can partake in an array of activities including archery, cooking and fitness. Doors stay open until 6 pm.

Admissions: District 12 choice school. About 25 percent of new students come from CS 66.(Jacquie Wayans, February 2013)

InsideStats

Click tabs above to see school stats

At a glance

Shared campus? Yes

This school shares a building with PS 66

Number of Students 251

Average Daily Attendance 91%

Uniforms? No

Students at this school

Asian

  
1%

Black

  
29%

Hispanic

  
68%

White

  
0%

Free Lunch

  
100%

Special ed

  
23%

English Language Learners

  
15%

INCOMING STUDENTS' PROFICIENCY: 2.59 2.80 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?

69% 64% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

79% 78% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

ARE KIDS NICE?

How many students complain about bullying?

74% 71% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

49% 57% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

100% 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?

100% 79% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

ARE CLASSES BIG?

Number of students in an average english class

26 26 CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many students are chronically absent?

35% 24% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Academics

Percent of students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2014 math exam

10% 25% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2014 ela exam

8% 22% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2014 science exam

17% 53% 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% 21% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

0% 14% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How do graduates do in 9th grade?

Percent who pass all their classes freshman year:

83% 85% 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 2014 math exam:

0% 2% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of self-contained students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2014 ELA exam:

0% 1% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of ICT students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2014 math exam:

0% 5% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of ICT students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2014 ELA exam:

4% 4% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of SETSS students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2014 math exam:

NA 7% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of SETSS students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2014 ELA exam:

NA 6% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How well does this school serve English language learners?

Percent of ell students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2014 ELA exam:

0% 2% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of former ell students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2014 ELA exam:

6% 13% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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