M.S. 319 Maria Teresa Mirabal
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Safe school with experienced staff and Spanish dual language program
Below average test scores in reading
MS 319 shares a modern, cheery building on a quiet street with MS 324 and KIPP Academy Washington Heights. In some ways the school is formal: Students wear a uniform of pressed shirts, blazers, ties and black dress shoes. They pass silently through the halls between classes.
But the environment is also designed to make them feel relaxed. There are cozy corners and colorful walls decorated with paper trees. Classrooms have live plants, as well as benches, couches and rugs so students “feel at home—comfortable to learn and explore new and exciting opportunities,” according to the school’s Comprehensive Educational Plan.
Ysidro Abreu, principal of the school since its founding in 2004, taught math for many years. The school has a focus on math and science, and most students take at least one Regents (high school level) exam in math or science. The staff is experienced and the quality of teaching is excellent, according to the city evaluation called the Quality Review.
The school has a large number of children who are learning English, including many from the Dominican Republic. Abreu, born in New York City to Dominican parents and raised in both the United States and the Dominican Republic, has a family history that helps him relate to the children. The school has below average test scores in reading, in part because so many children are still learning the language.
There is a dual language program designed to make children fluent in both Spanish and English.
Eighth graders attend a “Dinner Dance,” in a country club or a high-end restaurant where they “dress up in suits and gowns, and sit down to a dinner party at tables covered with linen table clothes, flowers, and polished silverware,” according to the CEP. All students attend two or three Broadway shows per year.
Admissions: Neighborhood school also open to children in District 6. Dual language program gives preference to Spanish speakers. (Clara Hemphill, web reports, May 2019)Read more