P.S. 65 Mother Hale Academy
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Nice range of arts and after-school activities; lots of small group work
Attendance needs to improve
At PS 65, the Mother Hale School, students in all grades enjoy dance, music and arts instruction. Located in the South Bronx, PS 65 has partnerships with organizations such as A House on Beekman, which helps provide services and engaging activities for students both during the school day and after school.
Teachers and parents give the school high marks for being a welcoming and orderly place, based on their responses to the NYC School Survey. There are monthly workshops for parents to help them support their children’s studies and family events, where parents read books and write essays with their children and engage in fun activities together such as painting murals in the school’s hallways, according to the annual Comprehensive Educational Plan (CEP) and Facebook page.
In the upper grades, students cap off a long day of learning with a period of enrichment activities, as noted in the Quality Review. In addition to art, music and dance, pre-k students take theater, according to the Annual Arts in Schools Report. After school, students enjoy activities such as robotics, basketball, cheer leading, soccer, Afro-Latin dance, African drums, swimming and boxing, the school reports in the CEP.
PS 65 received top marks in its most recent Quality Review for how teachers work together to develop lessons and strategies to support students. They meet several times each week in teams to work on a range of issues such as literacy, math, student behavior and support for English language learners.
Their efforts are starting to pay off. Overall, the school does a good job of helping students of all skill levels gain ground, according to city data.
Small group work drives instruction in many classes—a point highlighted in the Quality Review. To meet the needs of a broad range of students, teachers often break them up into groups—sometimes according to skill level so students with similar strengths work on lessons together. Other times, teachers group students with a range of abilities so they can learn from each other and build independence.
One on-going challenge at PS 65 is supporting the many students living in temporary housing. They comprise roughly one-third of the student body and teachers’ use of small group instruction is key to serving them, the school noted in the CEP. Overall attendance needs to improve as many students miss at least a month of school.
ADMISSIONS: Lottery. Open to District 7 students with priority to students residing in the southern portion of the district. (Laura Zingmond, DOE reports, September 2019)Read more