P.S. 154 Jonathan D. Hyatt
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A lot of supportive services for students and parents
Attendance is climbing but there’s room for improvement
PS 154 is a small school on the upswing thanks to steady leadership and solid instruction that strikes a balance between covering basic skills and making room for exploration. The school also offers dental, vision, mental health and other services. .
The school uses Columbia University's Teachers College Reading and Writing Program where students read books of interest in a range of topics and write and revise multiple drafts of work. Teachers also weave in explicit instruction in phonics and other structured supports for reading, according to the schools’ annual Comprehensive Educational Plan (CEP).
Alison Coviello has been principal since May 2012. A former elementary school teacher in the South Bronx, Coviello received her doctorate in Curriculum and Teaching from Teachers College.
Students in all grades study the environment through nature-based trips and related classroom lessons. Each grade focuses on a theme for the year such as plants and trees (kindergarten) or birds (third grade).
Teachers work with coaches from Metamorphosis, a math think-tank that emphasizes kids talking about math, and learning by doing.
Classes in grades 3 through 5 are departmentalized—essentially a modified middle school format. The idea is that students may learn better when taught by a teacher who spends most or all of the day honing his or her expertise in one subject, according to the CEP. Students have separate teachers for math, fiction and non-fiction studies. Social studies and science lessons are incorporated into the fiction and non-fiction classes.
Data shows that children of all levels are gaining ground in math and English and there’s been a large drop in the percent of students who are chronically absent, meaning they miss more than 18 days of school.
PS 154 offers a wide array of services for students and families according to the CEP. Onsite, the school has a mental health clinic and food pantry. It offers dental and vision services. In addition to weekly workshops on how to support their children and family, parents can study English and work towards a high school diploma by taking classes at the school in the evenings and over the summer.
The building is shared with the South Bronx Classical Charter School II, which opened in 2013.
SPECIAL EDUCATION: PS 154 has team-teaching classrooms called ICT (integrated co-teaching) that mix up to twelve students with disabilities into general education classrooms. It also has small self-contained classes and SETSS (special education teacher support services), designed to provide more support to students in need.
ADMISSIONS: Priority to students living in the southern portion of District 7. (Laura Zingmond, DOE data and reports, January 2020; photo from school's Facebook page)