P.S. 242 The Young Diplomats Magnet Academy

Grades Pre-K, K-5
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What’s Special

Small class size; embraces challenging children.

The Downside

Poor attendance; French no longer offered because of budget cuts.

Our Review

In 2010, PS 242 changed its name to Young Diplomats Magnet Academy and began a three-year process to become certified by the International Baccalaureate (IB) Organization, a nonprofit group that includes more than 3,158 schools in 140 countries. IBs rigorous program encourages international awareness and flexible teaching methods. Some teachers are embracing the new school name, mission statement, and direction, while others are reluctant. The sense of overwhelmingness has lessened now that training is under way, said Principal Denise Gomez.

Theschool received a federal magnet grant in June 2011 toprovide students with a global perspective for the 21st century by focusing on central principles identified by the curriculum board of the International Baccalaureate Organization based in Cardiff, Wales. Some of these principles include: Communication, Open-mindedness, Caring, Risk-taking, Balance and Reflection.\"

PS 242, formerly known as the Gwendolyn Powell Brown Computer School, shares a building with Future Leaders Institute Charter School. PS 242 is a small school, and most classes have fewer than 20 students. Because of the concentration of Haitian and African immigrants in the area, the school chose French to meet the IB programs requirement that all students study a second language.

A paraprofessional in a special education classroom for 10 years and a teacher of grades 3 and 6, Gomez later trained at the Leadership Academy, the citys training ground for principals. Given her background she is an advocate for children with special needs. The school has a cozy, informal feel with caring adults willing to work with kids with big challenges, some from nearby shelters. Go to class, you little chicken wing, the office secretary affectionately chided a morning straggler. A full-time counselor is available. The Harlem Childrens Zone provides peacemakers (an extra adult) for almost every class and offers a Saturday program from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Although PS 242 loses kids to the charter school upstairs, it also gains families who trickle down when things dont work out there. We embrace everyone here, said Assistant Principal Larisa Vail.

Gomez and Vail have promoted more individual and small-group instruction in recent years. In one room half the class worked on tiny laptops with headsets, and the other half sat on the rug for a lesson on triangles. The kids on laptops plugged into programs according to their needs: reading, vocabulary, math. One 5th-grade teacher led a brisk, focused dialogue on reducing fractions. In a 1st-grade Integrated Co-Teaching (ICT) class, two teachers worked with separate math groups, while four children sat at desks with workbooks. The workbook questionsadding quarters, dimes, nickels, and penniesquickly became too difficult, however, and those four began to clamor for help.

Bright kids are encouraged to take the eligibility test for a gifted program, and staff escort kids to interviews and tours for middle school. About five kids went to the Delta honors program in 2010.

Special Education: One special education teacher pulls kids out or works in classrooms alongside teachers. There are four ICT (Integrated Co-Teaching) classes in grades K, 1, 2 and 5, with the goal of adding one on every grade level.

Admissions: Neighborhood-zoned school. (Lydie Raschka, March 2011; updated February 2012)

About the students

Enrollment
187
Pre-K seats
18
Asian
1.1%
Black
62.6%
Hispanic
29.4%
White
3.7%
Other
3.2%
Free or reduced priced lunch
87%
Students with disabilities
27%
English language learners
4%

About the school

Shared campus?
Yes
This school shares a building with Future Leaders Institute Charter School
How crowded? (Full is 100%)
65%
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Attendance

Average daily attendance
91%
94% Citywide Average
How many students are chronically absent?
39%
21% Citywide Average

Is this school safe?

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
55%
81% Citywide Average
How many teachers say their students are safe outside around this school?
89%
85% Citywide Average

About the leadership

Years of principal experience at this school
8.5
6.6 Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
74%
80% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal has a clear vision for this school?
90%
87% Citywide Average
How many teachers trust the principal?
80%
79% Citywide Average

About the teachers

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
82%
78% Citywide Average
Teacher attendance
95%
96% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
90%
83% Citywide Average
How many teachers think the staff collaborate to make this school run effectively?
90%
87% Citywide Average

Do parents like the school?

How many parents responded to the school survey?
52%
64% Citywide Average
How many parents say they are invited to visit classrooms?
69%
85% Citywide Average
How many parents say this school offers enough courses, activities and services to keep their children interested in school?
84%
87% Citywide Average
How many parents say their child's teacher helped their child adjust to Pre-K?
100%
97% Citywide Average
How many parents say this Pre-K program helped them consider which elementary schools would meet their childrens' needs?
84%
91% Citywide Average
How many Pre-K parents say their child's teacher gave helpful ideas for how to support their child's learning?
100%
96% Citywide Average
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Test scores

How many students scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
17%
40% Citywide Average
How many students scored 3-4 on the state ELA exam?
20%
39% Citywide Average

Arts offerings

This school has 1 dedicated space for Visual arts
This school has 1 licensed arts teacher in Music
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

How does this school serve English Language Learners?

How many former English language learners score 3-4 on the State ELA exam?
0%
22% Citywide Average

How does this school serve students with disabilities?

This school offers self-contained classes
This school offers team teaching (ICT)
Average math score for ICT students
1.66
2.0 Citywide Average
Average math score for self-contained students
2.15
2.3 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for ICT students
1.68
1.9 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for self-contained students
1.99
2.2 Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
78%
86% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school works to achive the goals of their students' IEPs?
89%
91% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say they are satisfied with the IEP development process at this school?
83%
89% Citywide Average
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data
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