Goldie Maple Academy

Grades Pre-K, K-8
Staff Pick
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What’s Special

Longer school day, rich curriculum

The Downside

Too soon to tell if school-wide departmentalization works well

Our Review

At Goldie Maple Academy (GMA) students have a longer school day and, starting in pre-k, change classes for select subjects. The school is a model site for Core Knowledge instruction and hosts visitors from schools across the state. Based on the work of Dr. E.D. Hirsch, author of Cultural Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know, Core Knowledge is designed to expose students to a broad range of historical, scientific and cultural topics from an early age. For instance, all students, including pre-k, study Shakespeare with teachers using age-appropriate adaptations for the young grades.

Students tackle sophisticated work early on. In the younger grades they learn world geography, and can explain literary devices such as personification; we saw lengthy written explanations of math problems by 2nd-graders, and 5th-graders researching the Renaissance in the computer lab. By 8th grade, students read challenging literature such as Inherit the Wind and The Good Earth and some take high school level courses in algebra and living environment.

During our visit we saw a mix of teaching styles. In the elementary school grades, children sit in groups, working independently or together on a task and gather on the rug for class-wide lessons. In the upper grades, instruction is more traditional with students sitting in rows and the teacher talking at the head of the classroom.

Phonics and grammar are incorporated into English instruction. Students learn cursive writing early on; we observed that most students wrote in cursive starting in the 4th grade.

Spanish is taught in grades k to 8. Students also learn American Sign Language, which is taught in music classes.

In September 2015, GMA departmentalized instruction in all grades, meaning that students travel to different classrooms for different subjects essentially a modified middle school format. The idea is that students learn better when taught by a teacher who spends most or all of her day focusing on one subject. In the elementary school, students typically have one teacher for English and social studies and another for math and science, though it can vary a bit by grade. In prior years, departmentalized learning started in 2nd grade.

Since we visited GMA during its first year under the new structure it was unclear whether school-wide departmentalization offered any benefit in the younger grades, especially pre-k and k when children need ample time for learning through play. Longtime principal Angela Logan-Smith said that GMA could not offer extended school days unless all grades followed the same scheduling format.

Students attend school from 8 am to 4:35 pm, Monday to Fridays and classes run 53 minutes, longer than the typical school period. To accommodate the extended schedule, teachers work longer days, but only come in four days each week. The combination of longer days and staggered work schedules allows the school to offer academic support classes, art, music and dance to all students.

Attendance is excellent and to ensure kids show up every day wearing their school uniform, GMA purchased a washer and dryer toprovide clean uniforms for students who are unable to wash them elsewhere.

GMA is located amid a number of large housing projects and low-rise apartment complexes. Its housed in the former JHS 198 building, which was closed due to poor performance.

Most students stay at GMA through 8th grade, though some leave after 5th grade to attend a selective program such as Scholars Academy. After graduation, most students attend nearby high schools such as Rockaway Collegiate and Scholars Academy, but some take on a longer commute to attend a specialized high school or a themed one such as Transit Tech.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: The school serves a small population of students with special needs. In addition to SETSS, there are ICT and self-contained classes on select grades.

ADMISSIONS: The school is unzoned. For elementary school, top priority goes to District 27 residents with a sibling in the school. Typically, the school has spots for D 27 residents without a sibling in the school. For Grades 6-8, top priority goes to continuing 5th-graders, and then to District 27 students. The school also considers applicants attendance and academic record for admission to the middle school. Contact the school directly for more information. (Laura Zingmond, November 2015)

About the students

Enrollment
478
Pre-K seats
53
Asian
3.1%
Black
71.6%
Hispanic
18.2%
White
2.5%
Other
4.6%
Free or reduced priced lunch
84%
Students with disabilities
6%
English language learners
0%

About the school

Shared campus?
No
This school is in its own building.
Uniforms required?
No
Metal detectors?
No
How crowded? (Full is 100%)
57%
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Attendance

Average daily attendance
96%
94% Citywide Average
How many students are chronically absent?
9%
19% Citywide Average

Is this school safe?

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
41%
75% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
42%
25% Citywide Average
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
78%
85% Citywide Average
How many teachers say their students are safe outside around this school?
41%
84% Citywide Average
How many students say most students treat each other with respect?
32%
46% Citywide Average

About the leadership

Years of principal experience at this school
9.7
6.4 Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
34%
79% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal has a clear vision for this school?
36%
86% Citywide Average
How many teachers trust the principal?
42%
79% Citywide Average

About the teachers

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
73%
78% Citywide Average
Teacher attendance
95%
96% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
42%
79% Citywide Average
How many teachers think the staff collaborate to make this school run effectively?
41%
85% Citywide Average

Do parents like the school?

How many parents responded to the school survey?
40%
59% Citywide Average
How many parents say they are invited to visit classrooms?
80%
79% Citywide Average
How many parents say this school offers enough courses, activities and services to keep their children interested in school?
80%
84% 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?
81%
88% Citywide Average
How many Pre-K parents say their child's teacher gave helpful ideas for how to support their child's learning?
78%
95% 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?
13%
39% Citywide Average
How many students scored 3-4 on the state ELA exam?
34%
40% Citywide Average

Arts offerings

This school has 3 dedicated spaces for Music, Visual arts, and an Auditorium
This school has 1 licensed arts teacher in Theater

Engaging curriculum?

How many students say this school offers enough programs, classes and activities to keep them interested?
63%
72% Citywide Average
How many students say they are challenged in most or all of their classes?
38%
55% Citywide Average
How many students say the programs, classes and activities here encourage them to develop talent outside academics?
70%
70% Citywide Average

Are students prepared for high school?

Accelerated courses offered for high school credit
Global History, Algebra I, Earth Science, Living Environment
How many 8th graders earn high school credit?
54%
28% Citywide Average
How many graduates of this school pass all their classes in 9th grade?
86%
87% Citywide Average
What high schools do most graduates attend?
Rockaway Collegiate HS and Channel View School for Research
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the 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 SETSS students
1.87
2.3 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for SETSS students
2.18
2.3 Citywide Average
How many students say that students with disabilities are included in all activities?
60%
69% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
100%
84% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school works to achive the goals of their students' IEPs?
100%
89% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say they are satisfied with the IEP development process at this school?
100%
87% Citywide Average
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data
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