P.S. 747 A Great Start Academy
PS 747, A Great Start Academy, originally slated to start n September 2010, has postponed its opening until September, 2011. The school plans to begin with pre-K to 3rd grade and will add grades in 2012 and 2013 until it reaches 5th grade. (The designated host school, PS 332, was on a list of schools to be phased out, but a court ruled that the schools were improperly slated for closure.
Principal Jacqueline Danvers-Coombs uses the metaphor that her school number brings to mind: "PS 747, Our Students Soar!" Her vision is to create a school that reflects the diversity of the neighborhood, where students can learn through studying their own and others' cultures, and where parents and community are welcome. She chose the name "A Great Start Academy" because of her belief that way "we start our children's education is the greatest indicator of their future success."
Coombs is a former early childhood teacher, and was a literacy and math coach. She participated in "New Leaders for New Schools" Leadership Program, which helped inform her vision of a school that "creates global thinkers." Coombs is also devoted to early childhood diagnostic assessments. With information on each child's educational development, instruction can be personalized and teachers can provide the tools to meet her high expectations, she said in a telephone interview.
Admissions: Children zoned for PS 332 are given priority but Coombs says that others will be welcome. (Judy Baum, telephone interview, March 2010)