James Weldon Johnson
Share this school
Nice building, spacious classrooms
Revolving door of principals
PS/MS 57 has had a revolving door of leaders in recent years, with three administrative changes, and some students complain of safety concerns on school surveys. Attendance is below the citywide average; almost one-third of the children miss a month or more of school.
Principal Yaira Jimenez took the helm in 2018, replacing a very short-lived principal, who took over when Lorraine Hasty retired in 2017. Jimenez is working with all-new assistant principals and it is too soon to say if she will be able to earn the trust of the teachers, some of whom have been at the school for many years. Parent coordinator Liz Rivera said, “We’re getting our school back in place.”
On the positive side, PS/MS 57 has spacious classrooms, a large gymnasium and a well-equipped library. An interior courtyard has been transformed into an environmental conservation laboratory called the "Garden of Dreams." The garden features a cedar-planked deck with a tin roof designed to catch and filter water used in the student-maintained garden. Families are welcome. The school hosts a Grandparents Day, when grandparents are invited into the classrooms to share a snack and activity.
The school offers an English-Spanish dual language program, as well as 3K and pre-K programs. It has an on-site health clinic that many students use as their primary source of medical care.
Admissions: The elementary school admits zoned students. Admission to the middle school is open to all District 4 students. The school accepts about fifteen children in 6th grade when some elementary school students leave to attend charter schools or other public middle schools, the parent coordinator said. (Lydie Raschka, web reports and interview, October 2018)