Brooklyn NY 11238
Small school integrates special needs kids from a District 75 program
School is closing
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. In 2012, the Department of Education said it considered Satelitte III a failing school and announced it would be closed by 2014. A new middle school, the Urban Assembly Unison School replaced Satellite III beginning with a 6th grade in 2012.
Satellite III was located on the third floor of a pleasant elementary school in Clinton Hill, PS 56. Both schools integrated special needs students from a District 75 program also housed in the building. That arrangement is continuing at the Unison middle school.
Student performance at Satellite III declined in its last few years as did 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 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; updated August 2014)