VOICE Charter School of New York

Grades K-8

Location

36-24 12th Street
Queens NY 11106
Long Island City (District 30)
Trains: N, W to 36th Ave
Buses: Q66, Q69, Q102, Q103

Contact

Phone
718-786-6213
Principal
Frank Headley

What’s Special

Lots of music

The Downside

Some kids find long school day tiring

Our Review

Every day starts with music at Voice Charter School. At 8 a.m. sharp, students cluster in the front hallway for an all-school sing led by one of the schools four music teachers. The songs allow us to start the day with some serenity and joy, said Principal Franklin Headley, who founded the school in 2008 with kindergarten and 1st-grade classes. He plans to add a grade each year until the school serves K-8. Class size is 25 or 26.

Every student gets three music classes a day. Beginning in kindergarten, they learn singing skills, and by 3rd grade they are expected to read music and play the piano and recorder. The day is also packed with music instruction. Teachers are trained in the Kodly and Orff methods, European approaches specially designed to appeal to children.

The school uses a mix of charter-minted classroom-management techniques (Eyes on me was a frequent refrain) often laced with music references (Show me how a good audience member sits). The teaching methods are progressive, and the school relies on the Teachers College Reading and Writing Projects to help children write creative, imaginative essays.

Many students arrive by 7:30 a.m. and finish at 4:30 p.m. The long school day can be tiring for younger children, particularly because Voice Charter students must eat lunch very early to accommodate students at PS 111, a K-8 school, with whom it shares a cafeteria Headley says the two schools have a good relationshipalso sharing a playground, gym, and other facilities. There is not enough space in the PS 111 building for the growing school, however, so grades 2, 4 and 5 moved into the vacant St. Rita's Catholic school two blocks away in 2011. That building is shared with the Academy of the City Charter School.

Strict attention is also paid to academic progress. Parents are quickly told if their students are falling behind. We issue a lot of promotion in doubt in 1st grade, Headley says. He emphasized that parents get these letters in January, so students have plenty of time to improve. It would be a betrayal if in June I told you this. He added that the school arranges for in-school and after-school help, such as LaGuardias College for Children Camps, with the result that few children are held back. Discipline issues are also handled carefully, he said. I have never expelled anyone. Its not part of what we do.

The parents at Voice Charter seem to be enthusiastic. A mid-morning PTA meeting brought out more than 45 parents of varying backgrounds. Most serve on at least one of the PTAs 14 committees. Many said the rich music and art programs were the big attraction. But they were also appreciative of the schools attitude toward parents. _nica, (unique) said Carmen Armijos, in Spanish. Her children used to go to a nearby school, she said through a translator. The attention as a parent was very different. There was a line. You cannot cross that line. Principal Headley, she added, pays attention to every detail. We can count on him. He never says no.

Special Education: Headley says 17-18 percent of the school is receiving special education services, depending on the grade level. They use Collaborative Team Teaching. It was hard to tell which teacher was the special education teacher because the two worked so well together.

Admissions: Lottery, with preference to District 30. (Kim Nauer, April 2011; location updated October 2012)

About the students

Enrollment
657
Asian
15.1%
Black
13.2%
Hispanic
59.2%
White
9.1%
Other
3.4%
Free or reduced priced lunch
78%
Students with disabilities
15%
English language learners
16%

About the school

Shared campus?
No
This school is in its own building.
Metal detectors?
No
How crowded? (Full is 100%)
540%
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?
8%
19% Citywide Average

Is this school safe?

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
68%
76% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
45%
50% Citywide Average
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
74%
84% Citywide Average
How many teachers say their students are safe outside around this school?
90%
88% Citywide Average
How many students say most students treat each other with respect?
54%
45% Citywide Average

About the leadership

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
93%
81% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal has a clear vision for this school?
98%
87% Citywide Average
How many teachers trust the principal?
86%
81% Citywide Average

About the teachers

How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
86%
82% Citywide Average
How many teachers think the staff collaborate to make this school run effectively?
96%
86% Citywide Average

Do parents like the school?

How many parents responded to the school survey?
51%
60% Citywide Average
How many parents say they are invited to visit classrooms?
71%
78% Citywide Average
How many parents say this school offers enough courses, activities and services to keep their children interested in school?
82%
82% 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?
56%
39% Citywide Average
How many students scored 3-4 on the state ELA exam?
46%
42% Citywide Average

Engaging curriculum?

How many students say this school offers enough programs, classes and activities to keep them interested?
74%
71% Citywide Average
How many students say they are challenged in most or all of their classes?
56%
59% Citywide Average
How many students say the programs, classes and activities here encourage them to develop talent outside academics?
74%
68% Citywide Average

Are students prepared for high school?

How many 8th graders earn high school credit?
0%
28% Citywide Average
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

How does this school serve students with disabilities?

Average math score for self-contained students
2.36
2.2 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for self-contained students
2.25
2.2 Citywide Average
Average math score for SETSS students
2.45
2.3 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for SETSS students
2.28
2.3 Citywide Average
How many students say that students with disabilities are included in all activities?
52%
69% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
90%
85% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school works to achive the goals of their students' IEPs?
94%
90% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say they are satisfied with the IEP development process at this school?
90%
88% Citywide Average
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data
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