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Bronx NY 10460
Teachers make innovative use of the city museums.
Rapid turnover in leadership, low academic achievement.
In 2005, IS 191 closed, and IS 129 became students' zoned school. Kappa III, a choice school is also located in the building. The school opened in 2002 when the large middle school in which it was housed, IS 129, was divided into two programs in an attempt to bring order and boost academic achievements of its students. (Kappa III, was added to the building in 2003). IS 191 was not successful in its first year. "The children were running the school, hanging out in bathrooms, running through halls, you name it," one administrator told us. A new principal, Evelyn Hey, took over mid-year, in February 2003. According to teachers, she made the school beautiful with plants, sofas, throw pillows, and an antique dollhouse, and she helped restore order. However, she left the school in the summer of 2004, and the school was closed a year later.
When we visited the school in May 2004, many students are still learning academic basics. The written work we saw posted on bulletin boards had mistakes in spelling and grammar, such as 'letir' instead of letter. On the positive side, teachers seemed excited about instruction and maintained a good rapport with the kids. The literacy coach inspired several children who usually shy away from reading and writing to create comic books with academic themes like "Dark Math."
IS 191 used museum visits as a hook to grab the kids. Every class adopts a local museum ranging from the Metropolitan Museum of Art to the Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum and makes it the focal point of topic studies and visits during the school year. (Jacqueline Wayans,Vaness Witenko)Read more
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