M.S. 35 Stephen Decatur

272 MACDONOUGH STREET
BROOKLYN NY 11233 Map
Phone: (718) 574-2345
Admissions: Neighborhood school
Principal: Jacklyn Charles-Marcus
Neighborhood: Bedford-Stuyvesant
District: 16
Grade range: 06 thru 08
Parent Coordinator: MICHELE MALCOLM

What's special:

Warm staff and administration have turned school around

The downside:

Test scores, while steadily climbing, are still below average

InsideSchools Review

Our review:

MS 35 has made remarkable progress in recent years: test scores, attendance and teacher and student morale have all improved. Suspensions have decreased dramatically.

Students are well-behaved and sharply dressed in their required uniforms-–blue button-down shirts with ties and khaki pants (girls may wear khaki skirts). The shirt features the school slogan: “Miracle on McDonough,” a nickname representing the school’s transformation. On our visit, we found it hard to believe that the state once listed MS 35 as “persistently dangerous.”

Students are encouraged to think about college. They go on field trips to Harvard, Yale as well as New York University and The New School. Eighth graders also take a trip to Williamsburg, Virginia.

The staff at MS 35 is warm and welcoming. The principal, Jacklyn Charles-Marcus, attributes their success to her brand of tough love: she knows all the students by name and checks attendance every day. Violence is not tolerated and results in automatic suspension. Her management style seems to be working. When we asked students and teachers to tell us their favorite thing about MS 35, many, like 7th-grader Alex, responded: “the principal.”

The building is shared with the Brooklyn Brownstone Elementary School and P141, a district 75 school. MS 35 students have their own entrance and the first and second floor of the building.

While the school’s test scores are still below city averages, they have increased significantly and Charles-Marcus believes they will keep improving. Students who need extra help now get it in small groups before lunch rather than after school sessions that students often missed. A math teacher told us she is now able to give more attention to students who struggle. MS 35 also offers Saturday School for students who want extra academic help, and 87 kids attended the Saturday before our visit.

All 35 8th graders take the Regents exam in math, as does one class of 7thgraders. 

Students said they had one to two hours of homework every night. Graduates have gone on to Murry Bergtram, Bedford Academy and Marta Valle High School.

MS 35 students have drama once a week and 90 minutes of gym per week. One downside is that the school does not offer any foreign languages.

During lunch, students sit in assigned seats, with boys and girls at alternate tables. Sixth and 8th graders eat lunch together around noon, but, since MS 35 shares the cafeteria with other schools in the building, 7th graders must eat lunch at 10:30 am, something they told us they did not like. The cafeteria always provides vegetables and fruit with every meal, and no soda. Students have recess after lunch, outside on a blacktop playground with basketball hoops when it’s nice and inside in the gym when it’s raining.

After school: SCO, formerly St. Christopher-Ottlie, a family and children's services agency, runs an after-school program as does the Beacon program, a city-run youth services organization. Activities include dance, basketball and art.

Special education: There is one self-contained class (special needs children only) in each grade. Some of those students attend mainstream classes for reading and math.

Admissions: District 16 is a middle school choice district. Students may apply from out of district but most students come from surrounding areas. Students are interviewed. The principal said she looks for students, “who want to succeed.” There is one open house a month. Call the school for dates. (Anna Schneider, October 2011)

 

InsideStats

Click tabs above to see school stats

At a glance

Shared campus? Yes

This school shares its building

Number of Students 206

Average Daily Attendance 92%

Uniforms? Yes

Students at this school

Asian

  
0%

Black

  
89%

Hispanic

  
9%

White

  
1%

Free Lunch

  
87%

Special ed

  
28%

English Language Learners

  
2%

INCOMING STUDENTS' PROFICIENCY: 2.70 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?

92% 66% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

96% 75% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

ARE KIDS NICE?

How many students complain about bullying?

41% 71% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

85% 56% 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?

95% 80% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

ARE CLASSES BIG?

Number of students in an average english class

29 26 CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many students are chronically absent?

22% 25% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Academics

Percent of students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2013 math exam

7% 27% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2013 ela exam

8% 25% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2013 science exam

33% 51% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

HS Prep

How many 8th graders pass high school regents exams?

Percent of 8th graders who take and pass the algebra regents:

27% 19% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

0% 13% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How do graduates do in 9th grade?

Percent who pass all their classes freshman year:

69% 84% 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 2013 math exam:

3% 2% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of self-contained students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2013 ELA exam:

0% 1% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of ICT students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2013 math exam:

0% 5% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of ICT students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2013 ELA exam:

0% 4% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of SETSS students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2013 math exam:

7% 7% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of SETSS students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2013 ELA exam:

7% 6% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How well does this school serve English language learners?

Percent of ell students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2013 ELA exam:

NA 1% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of former ell students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2013 ELA exam:

NA 11% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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