Grant Avenue Elementary School

Grades Pre-K, K-5
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Our Review

Located on a quiet street in Morrisania, not far from Yankee Stadium, Grant Avenue Elementary is a new school off to a promising start. Founding Principal Kristin Erat opened the school in 2009, in the building that used to house now-closed CIS 166. The school is a welcoming place where all children enjoy special activities like art, theatre and dance.

Lots of colorful artwork hangs on the walls in Grant Avenue's corner of the building, showcasing students' creative art projects, like clay monster creations made by kindergartners. In core subject classes, children sit with their desks in clusters of four and quietly focus on their work while the teachers cycle through the small groups to give the children instruction and guidance. We also saw kids huddled together on their classroom rugs, attentively listening to their teachers read aloud or explain a lesson.

The school is co-located with Bronx Early College Academy for Teaching and Learning, a 6-12 school, and Science and Technology Academy: A Mott Hall School. Grant Avenue does have separate classrooms for art, dance, social studies and theatre and some time in the shared gym for P.E. class. But, unfortunately, the school does not have a schoolyard, so recess is always indoors. Half the school has recess before lunch; the other half plays in classrooms that double as playrooms after they eat. Since her students are indoors all day, Erat says she tries to make sure they are physically active during the day. For example, Erat says, some teachers practice yoga with their students. On the day of our visit, the third graders were on a field trip to a wolf conservatory.

Erat, a former 5th-grade teacher, says she founded Grant Avenue Elementary because she "loved teaching" and wanted to extend the lessons she learned in the classroom to create a school (read more about her philosophy in this SchoolBook interview). One of her goals is to bring the whole family together to enable academic success. She wants students' parents or guardians to visit the school at least four times a year. As of January 2012, Erat says, more than one in five families had already met her goal of four visits during the school year. Parents get ID cards from the school and swipe in at the main office so Erat can keep track of visits. Parents and teachers gave the school extremely high marks on the 2011 Learning Envrionment Survey.

Students we saw in Grant Avenue's dual language Spanish program were engaged, but the school is struggling to find the right mix of students. In 2012, four out of five children in the program were native Spanish speakers. Ideally, half the children in the program would speak English at home and the other half Spanish.

At the time of our visit, Grant Avenue had kindergarten through 3rd grade. The school will continue to add a grade to both dual language and general education each year until in 2014.

Special education/ESL: At the time of our visit, the school offered both self-contained and SETTS classes. The principal says the school may offer collaboratively taught classes - a mixed class with special education and general education students - in the future, instead of SETTS, depending on enrollment. English as a Second Language students may receive language services in class or outside the classroom.

Admissions: Neighborhood school. Students zoned for PS 35 or PS 90 (now closed) can choose to attend the Grant Avenue Elementary School. (Anna Schneider, March 2012)

About the students

Enrollment
444
Pre-K seats
18
Asian
4.5%
Black
28.4%
Hispanic
62.2%
White
2.0%
Other
2.9%
Free or reduced priced lunch
99%
Students with disabilities
27%
English language learners
23%

About the school

Shared campus?
Yes
This school shares the building with Science and Technology Academy and the Bronx Early College Academy for Teaching & Learning
How crowded? (Full is 100%)
74%
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Attendance

Average daily attendance
93%
94% Citywide Average
How many students are chronically absent?
25%
21% Citywide Average

Is this school safe?

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
94%
81% Citywide Average
How many teachers say their students are safe outside around this school?
67%
85% Citywide Average

About the leadership

Years of principal experience at this school
7.0
6.6 Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
95%
80% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal has a clear vision for this school?
94%
87% Citywide Average
How many teachers trust the principal?
96%
79% Citywide Average

About the teachers

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
68%
78% Citywide Average
Teacher attendance
96%
96% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
89%
83% Citywide Average
How many teachers think the staff collaborate to make this school run effectively?
95%
87% Citywide Average

Do parents like the school?

How many parents responded to the school survey?
93%
64% Citywide Average
How many parents say they are invited to visit classrooms?
93%
85% Citywide Average
How many parents say this school offers enough courses, activities and services to keep their children interested in school?
88%
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?
100%
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?
11%
40% Citywide Average
How many students scored 3-4 on the state ELA exam?
14%
39% Citywide Average

Arts offerings

This school has 3 dedicated spaces for Dance, Music and Visual arts
This school has 3 licensed arts teachers in Dance, Music, and Theater
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 English language learners score 3-4 on the State ELA exam?
3%
10% Citywide Average
How many former English language learners score 3-4 on the State ELA exam?
25%
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
1.76
2.0 Citywide Average
Average math score for self-contained students
2.2
2.3 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for ICT students
1.79
1.9 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for self-contained students
2.2
2.2 Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
94%
86% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school works to achive the goals of their students' IEPs?
100%
91% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say they are satisfied with the IEP development process at this school?
99%
89% Citywide Average
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data
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