Hunter's Point Community Middle School

An Insideschools pick
1-50 51ST AVENUE
QUEENS NY 11101 Map
Phone: (718) 609-3300
Website: Click here
Admissions: District 30, limited unscreened
Principal: Sarah Goodman
Neighborhood: Astoria/ LI City
District: 30
Grade range: 6 & 7
Parent Coordinator: John Rodriguez
Unzoned
Wheelchair Accessible
New School

What's special:

Strong leadership, innovative science, debate and meditation

The downside:

No art or drama yet

InsideSchools Review

Our review:

A waterfront location with stunning views of the East River and Midtown Manhattan is not the only draw at Hunter's Point Community Middle School. Opened in 2013, the school also has an award-winning debate team, oyster beds in the front yard, instrumental music and four brief periods of student-led meditation a day.

Science has relevance for these city kids attending school at the water's edge: On our visit they were in the lab gathering data on the oysters they had planted in the East River. "No one's going to eat them," a boy advised. "They are filter cleaners for the river." Their data is sent to the Harbor School on Governor's Island, which also farms oysters.

Children are gentle and kind to one another here, maybe because it is in the school's mission to be inclusive of children with special needs. Children of all races play chess together and chat at lunch, and kids who receive one-on-one help from an adult shoot hoops alongside their general education peers in the gym. Like most middle school kids, they separate themselves by gender, but we saw one or two mixed-gender groups in the lunchroom and in gym class, too.

"If you want to find kids who represent the whole city, you'll find them here," said Principal Sarah Goodman, a former math coach, teacher and alumna of Brown University. Posted in the hallways are profiles of her diverse staff including pictures of what they looked like as middle school students themselves.

All teachers are literacy teachers here, following the Middle School Quality Initiative (MSQI), a school-wide approach to literacy from Harvard. In this program the entire community focuses on one big question each week, for example, Should handguns be illegal? Students read articles and do tasks related to the question in every class, even math and science. They use the same list of vocabulary words, which are posted in every room, and write an essay. At the end of the week, advisors—including music, gym, science and math teachers—all grade student essays.

The school uses the project-based Expeditionary Learning curriculum for English language arts and Connected Math, a program that emphasizes solving real-world problems. Kids also take a position and debate the question of the week. Goodman credits this program in part for her students' excellent debating skills: Her 6th-graders have won many trophies, even in competition with older students.

As the school expands, children in 7th and 8th grade will be separated into math groups according to ability so top students can take the algebra Regents. Those who need extra help meet three times a week in small groups and work independently on computer programs.

A cozy feature of Hunter's Point is four brief periods of daily meditation. "It's nice to exhale all the energy," said 6th-grader Emani. "When I'm not on track it helps me get back on track." There are interesting choice classes like mindful drawing or cultural explorers, and every student learns to play an instrument. There is no other art or drama program yet.

Hunter's Point is located on the third floor of a building shared with Academy for Television and Film High School and the Riverview School, a 6–12 District 75 program for children with severe learning differences. (About eight of these children are dual-enrolled in Hunter's Point.) The high school students help out in the middle school film class and the leaders of the three schools share a Google doc so they can easily communicate with each other.

Special education: About 30 percent of the students have special needs including those who are dual-enrolled—which is not included in our InsideStats data. Services include a self-contained class, team-taught classes and a SETSS teacher. Wheelchairs can navigate the wide hallways and there are elevators. Paraprofessionals are chosen for their skills and diversity: One was a math teacher in Bangladesh, another an economist there, and a third did biology research in the Dominican Republic.

Admissions: There are more than 400 applications for four 6th-grade classes, and 40 spots are opening in 2014 for the expanding 7th grade. Priority goes to families who attend an open house. (Lydie Raschka, May 2014)

InsideStats

Click tabs above to see school stats

At a glance

Shared campus? Yes

This school shares a building with Academy for Careers In Television and Film

Number of Students 98

Average Daily Attendance 94%

Uniforms? Yes

Students at this school

Asian

  
17%

Black

  
19%

Hispanic

  
49%

White

  
12%

Free Lunch

  
76%

Special ed

  
20%

English Language Learners

  
8%

INCOMING STUDENTS' PROFICIENCY: NA 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?

73% 64% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

86% 78% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

ARE KIDS NICE?

How many students complain about bullying?

53% 71% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

73% 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

22 26 CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many students are chronically absent?

NA 24% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Academics

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

38% 25% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

36% 22% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

NA 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:

NA 21% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

NA 14% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How do graduates do in 9th grade?

Percent who pass all their classes freshman year:

NA 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 state math exam:

0% 2% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

0% 1% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

0% 5% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

0% 4% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

0% 7% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

0% 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:

NA 2% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

33% 13% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Comments

Please post comments

  • Give specific examples. Tell us why this school rocks (or doesn't)
  • No profanity. No racial or ethnic slurs. No personal attacks
  • Criticism is fine but don't be nasty.
  • Flag inappropriate comments. (Hover your cursor over comments to see flag)