Girls Prep Bronx Charter Elementary School

Grades Pre-K, K-5
Staff Pick
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Location

681 Kelly Street
Bronx NY 10455
Longwood (District 8)
Trains: 2, 5 to Prospect Ave; 6 to Longwood Ave
Buses: Bx4, Bx4A, Bx17, Bx19, Bx46

Contact

Phone
718-901-3855
Principal
Josie Carbone

What’s Special

All-girls school with lots of science

The Downside

Long waitlist

Our Review

In the life of a school, Girls Prep Bronx seems to have hit its stride. Teachers put thought, care, and training into their instruction rather than follow scripted lessons, and the school offers an unusual amount ofscience, plus yoga, choir and art.Girls may begin their schooling in one of three pre-kindergartens and continue through 8th grade. The best entry points are in Pre-k or kindergarten, and again in 6th grade when the middle school takes in about 30 new students.

Founded in 2009, it is modeled on Girls Prep Lower East Side, the first all-girls charter in New York City. Girls Prep differs from no-nonsense charters like Success Academy and Bronx Classical by favoring more input from teachers and a more relaxed atmosphere, according to Josie Carbone, who works for the Girls Prep network.

Teachers look for a balance in kindergarten between academics and play. Many kindergartens in the city lack blocks and dress-up areas, but Girls Prep has block-building and girls go on fieldtrips, though teachers introduce lots of writing and reading around these activities.

Children spend extra time in reading and writing lessons. The girls study phonics, vocabulary, and oral reading, but also enjoy fun-to-read books of their own choosing, as they sprawl on a rug in beanbag chairs. Fridays are reserved for handwriting and dictation. The elementary school uses CGI (cognitively guided instruction), a hands-on, problem-solving approach to math in which teachers pay attention to children's mathematical efforts and use them as a basis for instruction, rather than following by-the-book lessons.

Full-time math and literacy coaches help teachers choose a goal for math lessons or structure a reading lesson, the fine points of teaching that make a school not just safe and orderly but stimulating. Parts of 3rd grade and all of 4th and 5th grades are "departmentalized," like in middle school, where one teacher leads all the math lessons and another leads the language lessons. On the day of our visit, the 5th-grade math teachers were at a workshop on fractions and decimals at Metamorphosis, a math-coaching center. Math scores are beginning to rise. "Reading scores outperform district schools but are still not where we want them to be," said Carbone, who left her job as principal here in 2016 to work for the Girls Prep network. She was replaced by Sharon Stephens, formerly principal of Madiba Prep Middle School in Brooklyn. Stephens grew up in Bedford-Stuyvesant and taught English at Benjamin Banneker High School.

The girls have an unusual four days a week of science with a trained science teacher. Kindergartners observe, draw, and write about trees they visit in the neighborhood. Second-graders study the water cycle and simple machines with hands-on experiments and work up to lab reports based on collected data in older grades. "Science is incredibly important for girls and it's really difficult to make time for it in regular classrooms because of the preparation involved," said Carbone.

The middle school is at 890 Cauldwell Avenue.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: The school offers special education services in team-taught classes that mix children with special needs in general education classes.

ADMISSIONS: There are roughly 2,300 applications for 75 seats. In grades 2-5 fewer than ten spots open up. (Three 5th grade spots were filled in 2015.) Priority goes to siblings, NYCHA housing residents and the offspring of teachers. (Lydie Raschka, November 2015; updated by phone, August 2016)

About the students

Enrollment
806
Pre-K seats
39
Asian
0.3%
Black
32.8%
Hispanic
63.9%
White
0.6%
Other
2.5%
Free or reduced priced lunch
83%
Students with disabilities
16%
English language learners
6%

About the school

Shared campus?
Yes
This school shares the building with MS 302
Metal detectors?
No
How crowded? (Full is 100%)
90%
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Attendance

Average daily attendance
95%
94% Citywide Average
How many students are chronically absent?
11%
21% Citywide Average

Is this school safe?

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
40%
82% Citywide Average
How many students say they feel safe outside around this school?
55%
77% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
62%
44% Citywide Average
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
70%
87% Citywide Average
How many teachers say their students are safe outside around this school?
78%
88% Citywide Average
How many students say most students treat each other with respect?
25%
49% Citywide Average

About the leadership

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
52%
82% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal has a clear vision for this school?
74%
90% Citywide Average
How many teachers trust the principal?
59%
82% Citywide Average

About the teachers

How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
44%
85% Citywide Average
How many teachers think the staff collaborate to make this school run effectively?
56%
89% Citywide Average

Do parents like the school?

How many parents responded to the school survey?
37%
65% Citywide Average
How many parents say they are invited to visit classrooms?
71%
85% Citywide Average
How many parents say this school offers enough courses, activities and services to keep their children interested in school?
83%
86% Citywide Average
How many parents say their child's teacher helped their child adjust to Pre-K?
100%
98% Citywide Average
How many parents say this Pre-K program helped them consider which elementary schools would meet their childrens' needs?
100%
92% Citywide Average
How many Pre-K parents say their child's teacher gave helpful ideas for how to support their child's learning?
100%
97% 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?
38%
43% Citywide Average
How many students scored 3-4 on the state ELA exam?
49%
42% Citywide Average

Engaging curriculum?

How many students say this school offers enough programs, classes and activities to keep them interested?
72%
72% Citywide Average
How many students say they are challenged in most or all of their classes?
57%
64% Citywide Average
How many students say the programs, classes and activities here encourage them to develop talent outside academics?
67%
70% 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
1.99
2.4 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for self-contained students
2.06
2.2 Citywide Average
Average math score for SETSS students
2.28
2.8 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for SETSS students
2.24
2.2 Citywide Average
How many students say that students with disabilities are included in all activities?
70%
67% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
77%
86% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school works to achive the goals of their students' IEPs?
68%
91% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say they are satisfied with the IEP development process at this school?
75%
89% Citywide Average
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data
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