M.S. 246 Walt Whitman

Grades 6-8

What’s Special

Television studio with sophisticated equipment.

The Downside

Low test scores.

Our Review

SEPTEMBER 2009 UPDATE: Fahari Academy Charter School has opened in the building that houses MS 246.

MARCH 2006 REVIEW: Catch them at the wrong time of day, and a visitor might get the impression that the students of MS 246 have too much sugar in their diet. Take the day of our visit, for example, a snowy day when the children could not go out for recess; kids with pent up energy were running around and behaving boisterously in the hallways during lunch. But there were serious moments during the day, too, and for the most part, students were attentive and engaged in class, benefiting from teachers who were devoted to their occupation and the children.

This is a school that has faced considerable struggles in recent years, including poor scores on state and city standardized tests, discipline problems, and a revolving door of principals. In 2005, Principal Bentley Warrington came on board, just in time to help plan the school\'s reorganization. With funding from a federal education-reform grant, MS 246 is to be re-structured into three small academies beginning in fall 2006. One or more of the academies may emphasize a particular topicart, for exampleto build on the school\'s current strengths. Teachers remain hopeful, despite anxiety about the standardized tests, and indicate that scores are improving gradually. Warrington said his first challenge in his new job was getting everyone to trust that he would stick around. He added that he has had some initial success in bringing a quieter tone to the building.

Some kids choose to take advantage of the school\'s special offerings, such as a band that participates in music festivals and an impressive sound-proof television studio where students may produce and edit footage with professional cameras and equipment. These students are also entrusted with such responsibilities as running the lighting and sound booth in the auditorium and taping school events including talent shows.

Technology is important to the life of the school, especially to the arts curriculum. Students may learn how to play keyboards connected to computers that track their progress. The school is upgrading its older computer labs and purchasing laptops. Arts teachers who have been at the school for a while say they are provided with the materials and supplies they need.

In academic subjects, a traditional tone pervades classrooms; students wear uniforms, and teachers raise their voices when kids get too loud. Sixth and 7th graders remain in the same classrooms, rather than traveling for different subjects; the teachers come to them. There school also offers a special track for students who have achieve high scores3s or 4son city and state exams.

There are many immigrant children at the school, which provides both English language instruction and bilingual classes in Haitian Creole and Spanish.

Special education: The school has both \"self-contained\" (children with special needs only) and \"inclusion\" classes, where special education and general education students learn together.

After school: Two community organizations, Brooklyn Bureau Community Services and Vacamas, run programs in the building. MS 246 also offers sports, arts, and tutoring. (Catherine Man, March 2006)

About the students

Enrollment
442
Asian
0.9%
Black
75.3%
Hispanic
20.4%
White
2.5%
Other
0.9%
Free or reduced priced lunch
64%
Students with disabilities
24%
English language learners
26%

About the school

Shared campus?
No
This school is in its own building.
Uniforms required?
Yes
Metal detectors?
No
How crowded? (Full is 100%)
55%
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Attendance

Average daily attendance
92%
93% Citywide Average
How many students are chronically absent?
26%
20% Citywide Average

Is this school safe?

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
59%
77% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
49%
28% Citywide Average
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
71%
82% Citywide Average
How many students say most students treat each other with respect?
22%
43% Citywide Average

About the leadership

Years of principal experience at this school
10.9
6.0 Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
69%
82% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal has a clear vision for this school?
80%
88% Citywide Average
How many teachers trust the principal?
61%
82% Citywide Average

About the teachers

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
79%
72% Citywide Average
Teacher attendance
96%
96% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
69%
81% Citywide Average
How many teachers think the staff collaborate to make this school run effectively?
71%
86% 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?
10%
27% Citywide Average
How many students scored 3-4 on the state ELA exam?
16%
30% 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?
71%
75% Citywide Average
How many students say they are challenged in most or all of their classes?
52%
56% Citywide Average
How many students say the programs, classes and activities here encourage them to develop talent outside academics?
72%
72% Citywide Average

Are students prepared for high school?

Accelerated courses offered for high school credit
Spanish, US History, Algebra I, Living Environment
How many 8th graders earn high school credit?
23%
26% Citywide Average
How many graduates of this school pass all their classes in 9th grade?
78%
84% Citywide Average
What high schools do most graduates attend?
Abraham Lincoln HS, Clara Barton HS, and John Dewey HS
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

How does this school serve English Language Learners?

This school offers Transitional Bilingual Education in Haitian Creole.
How many English language learners score 3-4 on the State ELA exam?
2%
5% Citywide Average
How many former English language learners score 3-4 on the State ELA exam?
15%
14% 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
1.77
1.9 Citywide Average
Average math score for self-contained students
1.86
2.1 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for ICT students
1.87
1.9 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for self-contained students
2.19
2.2 Citywide Average
Average math score for SETSS students
2.1
2.3 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for SETSS students
2.19
2.3 Citywide Average
How many students say that students with disabilities are included in all activities?
65%
67% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
97%
88% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school works to achive the goals of their students' IEPs?
97%
91% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say they are satisfied with the IEP development process at this school?
100%
90% Citywide Average
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data
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