BROOKLYN NY 11238 Map
Satellite III MS 103 began in 1997 as a program at a failing middle school to give low-achieving students additional support and resources. It became a school in 2004, with MS 117 former math teacher Kenyatte Reid as principal. Reid left in 2010 to start the Eagle Academy, an all male school in Queens. An interim principal came in for less than a year before Beatrice Thompson was appointed in March 2011. Now Satelitte III is considered failing by the Department of Education and will close by 2014. Parents who attended a hearing on the closing blamed the new administration and asked for more time to turn the school around. (see photo at left) A new middle school, MS 351, will replace Satellite III beginning with a 6th grade in 2012. The new school will be affiliated with the Urban Assembly and the principal is to be Jennifer Ostrow, who formerly worked at the Urban Assembly New York Harbor School.
Satellite III is located on the third floor of a pleasant elementary school in Clinton Hill, PS 56. Both schools integrate special needs students from a District 75 program also housed in the building. That arrangement will continue at the new middle school.
Student performance at Satellite III has declined in the past few years as has its grade on the city's Progress Report. Parent participation dropped and teachers expressed concerns about safety and discipline in the 2011 Learning Environment Survey.
At hearings about the school's proposed closing in December 2011, parents defended the Satellite III and asked the DOE to give the new principal a chance to turn it around. The principal, while acknowledging the challenges, asked for the opportunity "to make the school a strong one again." For its part, the DOE said it would phase out the school because of the "persistent trend" of low student performance, an attendance rate below the city's average and too few students choosing to apply to Satellite III. (Pamela Wheaton, web reports, February 2012)