I.S. 141 The Steinway
QUEENS NY 11105 Map
I.S. 141 The Steinway
NOVEMBER 2007 UPDATE: PS 141 has a new principal, Miranda Pavlou. Pavlou, who was formerly assistant principal, took up her new position in Feb. 2007. Anthony B. Aldorasi has been reassigned to the Queens Integrated Service Center.
APRIL 2005 REVIEW: The students at JHS 141 reflect the diversity of the surrounding Astoria community, home to immigrants from far-flung corners of the world, including Eastern Europe, South Asia, and South America. While there are dozens of languages spoken in the building, according to Philip Quinci, the school's math coach, almost 70 percent of the school's students speak Spanish at home. "Pick a country in South America," says Quinci. "We probably have a student from there."
The school's test scores have been improving in recent years. Forty-one percent of students were reading at or above grade level in 2004, compared to only 33 percent in 2002. In math, the numbers jumped to 47 percent from 35 percent during the same period. The school was recently "restructured" into three separate academies, in order to allow for more individual attention for students and to help improve scores. Each academy has two honors classes, as well as an English as a Second Language class for students learning English.
Anthony Aldorasi, who became principal in 2001, says that as JHS 141's test scores have improved, more and more parents who might have sent their children to private or parochial schools in the past are considering the school. "There's a good feeling in the building. There's good attendance. Children enjoy being here," he said. "We want kids to really want to come here, not just to be pushed in."
On the day of our visit, several classes were involved in test preparation, because the citywide standardized test was scheduled for the following week. But in other classrooms, lessons were more interesting. A group of 7th grade special education students were being asked by their teacher to imagine a fictional place called "La La Land," write an essay about it, and read it to the class. We were particularly impressed by another special education teacher; he had set up an Internet "chat room" for his students, so they could ask him homework questions in the evening, well after he had gone home for the day.
The school is working to beef up its technology instruction and already has some good programs up and running. Students use portable laptops to do research in class. After school, kids can participate in a robotics class, which Quinci describes as "the old shop class with a new technological twist." Quinci sees the technological focus as an essential tool in shaping the future of JHS 141's students. "We want kids to leave here motivated to pursue math and science careers," he says.
The school's hallways are a bit noisy during class changes, but are controlled. The school is pleasant, and busy. While there is a music program at JHS 141, there is no separate art class for students.
Special education: There are 10 "self-contained" classrooms (only special education students) and one "inclusive" classroom, where special education and general education students learn side by side with two teachers.
Admissions: Some children are admitted from outside the neighborhood through a magnet grant program, which has a theme of "humanities." (Deborah Apsel, April 2005)