M.S. M247 Dual Language Middle School
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Students study all subjects in both English and Spanish
School may be too small for some
MS 247, the Dual Language Middle School is a tiny program dedicated to helping Spanish-speakers become more proficient in English while perfecting their native language. It also provides English speakers the opportunity to become fluent Spanish. Students learn all subjects in both languages and there’s extra emphasis on the culture and geography of Spanish speaking countries and communities throughout the world.
Dual Language gets high marks for the quality of its environment. Attendance is good. Teachers overwhelming say they would recommend the school to others and students overwhelming say they feel safe and there is little bullying, according to the annual NYC School Survey.
Kristina Jelinek has been the school’s principal since 2017. Prior to her arrival, Jelinek, a former special eduction teacher, was the assistant principal at the 30th Avenue School, a citywide gifted and talented program in Queens.
Students enjoy trips to museums, Ellis Island and the Statute of Liberty, New York University (to tour and learn about the school) and an environmental center in Massachusetts called Camp Manice,
Students arrive with a range of academic skills. To boost literacy, everyone participates in multi-grade book groups where students are matched with peers of similar reading levels. By 8th grade, nearly all students take and earn credit for a high school level course.
All grades participate in advisory groups lead by a staff member to discuss social and academic issues and tackle problems before they escalate.
In addition to art and dance instruction, there’s a range of sports and extracurricular activities such as basketball, volleyball, soccer STEM club, astronomy, dance team, step team and art club.
SPECIAL EDUCATION: Roughly 25 percent of the student body receive special education support services and a similar percentage are English language learners. The school has ICT (integrated co-teaching) classes in which special- and general education students learn together in a setting overseen by two teachers, one of whom is certified in special education. The school also offers extra individual support to students in their regular classrooms.
ADMISSIONS: Students are interviewed in both English and Spanish and the school reviews their 4th grade report card and records of behavior and attendance. The school is open to Manhattan students with priority to District 3 students and preference to those who attend elementary school Spanish dual language or bilingual programs, are learning English or are proficient in both Spanish and English. (Laura Zingmond, web reports, October 2018; photo from school's website)