Lower Manhattan Community Middle School

Phone: (646) 826-8100
Website: Click here
Admissions: District 2
Neighborhood: Lower East Side
District: 2
Grade range: 06 thru 08
Parent coordinator: CYNTHIA SAVINO

What's special:

A small, nurturing, racially diverse school.

The downside:

The school is still growing into its new space, and the hallways are a little bare.

The InsideStats



Our review

Lower Manhattan Community Middle School is a friendly, racially diverse school with pleasant facilities that include a music studio, a dance studio, an art room and a science lab. Formerly known as the Greenwich Village Middle School, the school changed its name and expanded its enrollment when it moved in 2010 to its new location in a converted office building shared with the Urban Assembly School of Business for Young Women.

The school has a pleasant library with comfy bean bag chairs; new computers in every classroom, and 120 new laptops for the students to use. Classrooms, well-stocked with books, are cozy and bright, and students seem to be happy and engaged in their lessons. Samples of student work, from essays to art projects, are posted in the hallways, and show a range of artistic and academic ability. We visited just a few months after the school moved into the new building and some hallways felt a little bare.

To help make the transition to middle school, incoming sixth graders are invited to meet their teachers and get a copy of their schedule in the spring. The school helps kids organize their time and provides everyone with school supplies and a planner. Sixth graders have two teachers – one for English and social studies, and the other for math and science. That way, children get some of the benefits of having teachers who are specialists, but don’t have to get used to lots of teachers with different homework assignments and expectations. The school accepts students of different academic levels. Students are not tracked into separate classrooms according to their ability, though gifted students sometimes work in smaller activity groups within the classroom. Some students take Regents-level algebra in the eighth grade.

On our visit, there was some chit-chat in class, but teachers were usually able to redirect students’ attention. Teachers responding to a 2009-10 survey suggested that order and discipline were an issue, but Principal Kelly McGuire says the move to a new building has helped, because they are no longer in cramped quarters. Three times a week, students meet in groups with eight to 10 with a teacher to talk about the school’s values: be kind, be safe, work hard. McGuire says that these “morning meetings” have helped to reduce bullying and build friendships.

The school’s guidance counselor gives one-on-one advice on high school choice to eighth graders and their parents. McGuire says Baruch, Millennium, and Beacon high schools are popular choices for his graduates.

Special education: The school offers collaborative team teaching (CTT).

Admissions: District 2. Students have an interview and submit a portfolio of work, report cards and a teacher recommendation. (Tom Jacobs, November 2010)


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