I.S. 171 Abraham Lincoln

Grades 6-8
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What’s Special

Multicultural population with increasing success in high school admission

The Downside

Low levels of achievement and very old facilities

Our Review

MS 171 is a friendly neighborhood middle school in the diverse Cypress Hills community. Students come from many different countries including the Caribbean, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, China and Yemen.

Principal Indira Mota arrived in January 2014, after a 10-year period during which the school went through five principals. Her immediate task, she said, was to change the tone and atmosphere in the school where students have reported problems with bullying. She prides herself on having an open door policy, she said. Kids are allowed to come in and talk to me. She has earned the trust of the faculty: 90 percent of the teachers said she was a good manager on the annual school survey.

IS 171 is home to the Student Success Center pilot program, a Department of Education project which brings in counselors to train students to assist their classmates with high school admission. The intensive program has seen good results: Rather than simply choose to go to local high schools (as in past years), more and more students are now enrolling in some of the citys top high schools, including the specialized exam schools.

In addition to advice about high school choice, the center offers counseling, high school and college fairs, college trips and youth leadership development. Ten colleges sent representatives to a college fair at the school in 2015.

Scores on state exams have been well below the city average. To help address that, teachers administer three practice exams to set a baseline before the state tests. The principal has also instituted common planning sessions for teachers and encourages them to integrate writing into most subjects.

For high-achievers there is a top class in 7th and 8th grade. There are no Regents classes but students may attend after-school prep sessions to prepare for U.S. History and Algebra Regents exams.

The 101-year-old building has some quirkssuch as a cafeteria separated by genderand could use a sprucing up and a paint-job in the stairwells. It is shared with Highland Park, a new small middle school.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: The majority of students with special needs are enrolled in self-contained classes. On the day of our visit, students in those classrooms seemed distracted, having trouble paying attention and focusing on the planned lesson. There are also ICT classrooms.

HIGH SCHOOL ADMISSIONS: Many graduates attend nearby high schools, including Hillcrest, John Adams and Transit Tech and several small schools in the Franklin K. Lane complex. That is beginning to change since the Student Success Center opened. Many more 8th-graders have been accepted to specialized schools and screened schools in other boroughs such as Frank Sinatra, Fashion Industries, Beacon and Bard.

ADMISSIONS: Neighborhood school. Most students come from within a 20 block radius. (Pamela Wheaton and Jacquie Wayans, June 2015)

About the students

Enrollment
458
Asian
5.7%
Black
10.9%
Hispanic
78.0%
White
2.0%
Other
3.5%
Free or reduced priced lunch
95%
Students with disabilities
19%
English language learners
26%

About the school

Shared campus?
Yes
This school shares the building with Highland Park Community School
Uniforms required?
Yes
Metal detectors?
No
How crowded? (Full is 100%)
76%
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Attendance

Average daily attendance
94%
93% Citywide Average
How many students are chronically absent?
18%
20% Citywide Average

Is this school safe?

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
93%
77% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
28%
28% Citywide Average
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
81%
82% Citywide Average
How many students say most students treat each other with respect?
40%
43% Citywide Average

About the leadership

Years of principal experience at this school
2.5
6.0 Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
95%
82% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal has a clear vision for this school?
98%
88% Citywide Average
How many teachers trust the principal?
95%
82% Citywide Average

About the teachers

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
95%
72% Citywide Average
Teacher attendance
96%
96% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
93%
81% Citywide Average
How many teachers think the staff collaborate to make this school run effectively?
96%
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?
18%
30% Citywide Average

Arts offerings

This school has 2 dedicated spaces for Music and Visual arts
This school has 1 licensed arts teacher in Music

Engaging curriculum?

How many students say this school offers enough programs, classes and activities to keep them interested?
76%
75% Citywide Average
How many students say they are challenged in most or all of their classes?
56%
56% Citywide Average
How many students say the programs, classes and activities here encourage them to develop talent outside academics?
73%
72% Citywide Average

Are students prepared for high school?

Accelerated courses offered for high school credit
Algebra I
How many 8th graders earn high school credit?
13%
26% Citywide Average
How many graduates of this school pass all their classes in 9th grade?
88%
84% Citywide Average
What high schools do most graduates attend?
Hillcrest HS, Brooklyn International HS, and Thomas A. Edison Career and Technical Education 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 Spanish.
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?
23%
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
1.73
1.9 Citywide Average
Average math score for self-contained students
1.77
2.1 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for ICT students
1.79
1.9 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for self-contained students
2.06
2.2 Citywide Average
Average math score for SETSS students
1.95
2.3 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for SETSS students
2.26
2.3 Citywide Average
How many students say that students with disabilities are included in all activities?
67%
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?
91%
90% Citywide Average
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data
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