Amistad Dual Language School

Grades K-8
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What’s Special

Engaged parents, small class size

The Downside

Crowded building shared with another school

Our Review

Amistad Dual Language School has a warm sense of community and a commitment to making children fluent speakers and readers of both Spanish and English. Children seem happy and relaxed as they work together on engaging classroom projects. The curriculum is filled with music, dance, and visual and theater arts.

Class size is capped at 25 and there are at least two adults in every classroom. All teachers are bilingual. Kindergartners are taught 3 full days in Spanish and 2 in English. By 3rd grade, students spend 2 full weeks learning in Spanish, before alternating to English for the next 2 weeks. Reading instruction follows the "whole language" approach, which encourages students to recognize whole words and focus on the meaning of what they read and write, rather than decoding letters and sounds.

The PTA organizes events such as family movie night, field day, performances, and a large carnival. During our visit a group of parents were on hand to chaperone a field trip and a grandparent taught an ESL class to other parents in the school's large parent lounge. The school shares a rather cramped building with Muscota New School.

Amistad is not without its challenges. Test scores are below average. The city's new enrollment system admits students by lottery, making it difficult for the administration to control the level of language proficiency of incoming students. As a result, the kindergarten class has recently skewed to more English-dominant speakers, while the goal is to have an even mix of English and Spanish speakers. "One of the biggest strengths of language acquisition is that kids learn from each other side-by-side, but if everyone speaking English it's difficult to learn Spanish," said Principal Zoraida Hernandez.

SPECIAL EDUCATION:The school has a literacy specialist, two reading teachers, and a SETSS teacher. In addition the school provides speech, occupational therapy and physical therapy with shared service providers.

ADMISSIONS: Open to all District 6 students. The goal is to have half the incoming kindergartners English dominant and half Spanish dominant. Once accepted, the administration invites children in for screening for placement in classrooms to achieve the 50-50 split. About 300 applied for 30 spots in 2015. Roughly 30-40 applied for about six 1st grade seats. (Mahalia Watson, November 2015; updated August 2016)

About the students

Enrollment
423
Asian
1.4%
Black
1.2%
Hispanic
92.0%
White
4.7%
Other
0.7%
Free or reduced priced lunch
79%
Students with disabilities
13%
English language learners
24%

About the school

Shared campus?
Yes
This school shares the building with PS 314
Uniforms required?
No
Metal detectors?
No
How crowded? (Full is 100%)
129%
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Attendance

Average daily attendance
96%
94% Citywide Average
How many students are chronically absent?
7%
19% Citywide Average

Is this school safe?

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
70%
75% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
23%
25% Citywide Average
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
87%
85% Citywide Average
How many teachers say their students are safe outside around this school?
100%
84% Citywide Average
How many students say most students treat each other with respect?
44%
46% Citywide Average

About the leadership

Years of principal experience at this school
2.8
6.4 Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
45%
79% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal has a clear vision for this school?
48%
86% Citywide Average
How many teachers trust the principal?
59%
79% Citywide Average

About the teachers

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
74%
78% Citywide Average
Teacher attendance
96%
96% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
63%
79% Citywide Average
How many teachers think the staff collaborate to make this school run effectively?
59%
85% Citywide Average

Do parents like the school?

How many parents responded to the school survey?
67%
59% Citywide Average
How many parents say they are invited to visit classrooms?
76%
79% Citywide Average
How many parents say this school offers enough courses, activities and services to keep their children interested in school?
87%
84% 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?
21%
39% Citywide Average
How many students scored 3-4 on the state ELA exam?
30%
40% Citywide Average

Arts offerings

This school has 2 dedicated spaces for Music and Visual arts
This school has 2 licensed arts teachers in Music and Theater

Engaging curriculum?

How many students say this school offers enough programs, classes and activities to keep them interested?
67%
72% Citywide Average
How many students say they are challenged in most or all of their classes?
57%
55% Citywide Average
How many students say the programs, classes and activities here encourage them to develop talent outside academics?
73%
70% Citywide Average

Are students prepared for high school?

How many 8th graders earn high school credit?
98%
28% Citywide Average
How many graduates of this school pass all their classes in 9th grade?
92%
87% Citywide Average
What high schools do most graduates attend?
NYC iSchool
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

How does this school serve English Language Learners?

This school offers Dual Language classes in Spanish.
How many former English language learners score 3-4 on the State ELA exam?
11%
18% 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
1.76
1.9 Citywide Average
Average math score for self-contained students
2.08
2.2 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for ICT students
1.92
1.9 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for self-contained students
2.31
2.2 Citywide Average
Average math score for SETSS students
2.12
2.3 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for SETSS students
2.27
2.3 Citywide Average
How many students say that students with disabilities are included in all activities?
77%
69% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
87%
84% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school works to achive the goals of their students' IEPs?
78%
89% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say they are satisfied with the IEP development process at this school?
96%
87% Citywide Average
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data
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