J.H.S. 278 Marine Park

Grades 6-8
Staff Pick
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What’s Special

Strong arts programs

The Downside

Large size may not be to everyones liking

Our Review

Located next to a big but slightly frayed city park, JHS 278 is a large, smoothly operating middle school that provides a diverse mix of students from the surrounding neighborhood with solid academics and extensive arts offerings.

Students choose among visual art, instrumental music, choral music and drama. The school has several bands, some of which have won national recognition, and stages two theatrical productions a yeara musical and a play. Brightly colored art, created by students working together, hang in the auditorium and some hallways.

After a period when the school suffered from declining enrollment, JHS 278 is growing, with more students applying from outside the zone, says longtime Principal Debra Garofalo. It had 16 6th grade classes in 2016-17 and plans to add classes in 7th and 8th grade as well.

High-achieving students can apply for the Center for the Intellectually Gifted (CIG) classes and are selected based on their 4th grade attendance, test scores and grades. In general, the differences between the CIG and regular classes appear slight. Eighth-graders chosen by the school take the Living Environment, American History and Algebra Regents tests, and have additional class time to prepare for the exams. These classes are also open to students who are not in CIG.

In general, the quality of instruction seems high, while not flashy. Teachers seem to engage most students and are willing to confront difficult topics, such as the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II and President Franklin Roosevelts decision not to admit Jews fleeing Nazism to the United States. In an English class, 7th-graders discussed whether they favored the poet Emma Lazaruss approach of welcoming immigrants or President Donald Trumps approach to restrict immigration. An 8th grade class preparing for the Regents adeptly analyzed a political cartoon from the 1930s about the New Deal, while a Living Environment class engaged in a detailed discussion of selective breeding, without much, if any, adolescent snickering.

To keep students from feeling lost in a school that expects to grow to 1,300 students, JHS 278 offers a meet up day before school starts in September. The grades are separated by floor. Each grade has an assistant principal and counselor who move up with the students.

The school feels orderly without being oppressive. It has a suspension rate of around 1 percent, low for a middle school, and its attendance rate is better than average. Garofalo is a stickler for details, picking up stray pieces of paper in the hall, and establishing a series of systems to keep the crowded cafeteria relatively clean and orderly. And she took up the alto sax so she can play with a school band

A former physical education teacher, Garofalo insists the children change for physical education to prepare them for high school. Boys and girls are separated in the gym. Girls are not going to play as effectively when guys are watching them, she says.

The school is in the attendance zone for James Madison High School so many students go there after 278. Edward R. Murrow and Leon Goldstein also are popular choices. JHS 278 has started a program to prepare students for the Specialized High School Admission Test, and students will be able to take the test at 278 during the school week in the hopes that this will reduce stress and enable more students to qualify for the selective schools.

Tucked away in a largely residential corner of Brooklyn, the school is not reachable by subway although there are several bus routes including some designated for JHS 278 students.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: JHS 278 offers ICT and self-contained classes. It also has an ASD NEST program aimed at high functioning students on the autism spectrum, with two NEST classes in each grade.

ADMISSIONS: JHS 278 is a zoned middle school for much of the Marine Park area. It also accepts some students from parts of District 22 outside the zone. District 22 students may apply to the schools CIG program as part of the middle school application process. (Gail Robinson, February 2017)

About the students

Enrollment
1031
Asian
9.5%
Black
44.5%
Hispanic
15.9%
White
28.9%
Other
1.2%
Free or reduced priced lunch
70%
Students with disabilities
19%
English language learners
4%

About the school

Shared campus?
No
This school is in its own building.
Uniforms required?
No
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
95%
93% Citywide Average
How many students are chronically absent?
16%
20% Citywide Average

Is this school safe?

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
97%
77% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
35%
28% Citywide Average
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
76%
82% Citywide Average
How many students say most students treat each other with respect?
32%
43% Citywide Average

About the leadership

Years of principal experience at this school
14.9
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?
95%
88% Citywide Average
How many teachers trust the principal?
93%
82% Citywide Average

About the teachers

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
86%
72% Citywide Average
Teacher attendance
97%
96% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
96%
81% Citywide Average
How many teachers think the staff collaborate to make this school run effectively?
93%
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?
37%
27% Citywide Average
How many students scored 3-4 on the state ELA exam?
47%
30% Citywide Average

Arts offerings

This school has 6 dedicated spaces for Music, Theater, and Visual arts
This school has 5 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?
78%
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?
79%
72% Citywide Average

Are students prepared for high school?

Accelerated courses offered for high school credit
Algebra I, Living Environment
How many 8th graders earn high school credit?
43%
26% Citywide Average
How many graduates of this school pass all their classes in 9th grade?
89%
84% Citywide Average
What high schools do most graduates attend?
James Madison HS, Midwood HS, and Edward R. Murrow HS
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

How does this school serve English Language Learners?

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?
27%
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
1.86
1.9 Citywide Average
Average math score for self-contained students
2.36
2.1 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for ICT students
1.91
1.9 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for self-contained students
2.43
2.2 Citywide Average
Average math score for SETSS students
2.27
2.3 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for SETSS students
2.59
2.3 Citywide Average
How many students say that students with disabilities are included in all activities?
68%
67% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
85%
88% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school works to achive the goals of their students' IEPs?
90%
91% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say they are satisfied with the IEP development process at this school?
90%
90% Citywide Average
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data
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