M.S. 72 Catherine & Count Basie

QUEENS NY 11434 Map
Phone: (718) 723-6200
Website: Click here
Admissions: Neighborhood school
Principal: Omotayo Cineus
Neighborhood: Springfield Gardens
District: 28
Grade range: 06 thru 08
Parent coordinator: ADWOA AWUKU

What's special:

Foreign trips for students and Zumba classes for parents

The downside:

Bullying in the school and safety issues outside

The InsideStats



Our review

MS 72 has long struggled with discipline problems and low levels of student achievement, but Omatayo Cineus, who became principal in 2012, has taken steps to turn the school around.

She and students met with the local police precinct to discuss ways to improve safety in the neighborhood, according to the Queens Chronicle. Teachers report that communication has improved since Cineus became principal and that academic expectations are higher, according to the Learning Environment Survey. The school enrollment is creeping up, a possible sign that parents have more confidence in the school.

The staff produced a promotional video that highlights positive aspects of the school—such college trips, an accelerated curriculum for honors students and class in music, dance and art. (See the video posted on this page.) Students have taken trips to Spain, England, France and Italy. The school offers classes for parents ranging from English as a Second Language and preparation for the GED exam to Zumba and aerobics.

Significant problems remain. Students complain of bullying and teachers say there are problems with order and discipline, according to the 2012-13 Learning Environment Survey. Students’ scores on standardized tests are well below the citywide average.

Admissions: Neighborhood school. Students from outside the zone may also apply. (Clara Hemphill, DOE statistics and web reports, February 2014)


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