P.S. 071 Rose E. Scala
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Lots of sports, arts and clubs
Some in middle school say they don't feel safe in hallways and bathrooms
PS 71 is a large K-8 neighborhood school with experienced teachers and many sports teams, arts offerings and clubs. It has about 60 classrooms and some class sizes are large, yet teachers continue to hone instruction and try new approaches in an effort to ensure all students’ needs are met. One of the perks of a large school is its ability to offer extras. This includes an after school program for grades K-5 with options ranging from sports to arts and crafts. Third-through 8th-graders may help design and produce a Broadway-style show; grades 6 to 8 take free science field trips to museums and zoos and overnight trips, depending on the year, to upstate New York, Boston and Washington D.C. Wrestling, soccer and basketball are just a few of the sports teams offered. Clubs include art, drama, dance, Spanish and debate. Dances, donuts with dad, a kindergarten ice cream social, café and conversation with the Spanish department—the list goes on.
Academic performance is improving, state test scores show. Teachers have worked with Teacher’s College Reading and Writing Project in recent years, an approach that aims to get kids excited about reading and writing while building skills. Children choose books on topics of interest, and write about things they know and love: even little kids learn to edit their own writing. The school partners with Yale in a program designed to build social and emotional resilience in students.
By middle school almost half the students earn high school credits, well above the citywide average. PS 71 offers math and English Regents classes and preparation for the specialized high school exam, according to the Comprehensive Educational Plan.
However, students with disabilities still lag behind the citywide average, test score data shows. Another downside: On school surveys some middle school students say they don't feel safe in hallways and bathrooms.
The school makes an effort to bring parents into the building with events like coffee meet-ups and family math and reading nights. Parents may volunteer to be a “mystery reader” in classrooms. New English speakers may take English classes on Saturdays.
SPECIAL EDUCATION: The school has several small self-contained classes, and ICT (integrated-co-teaching) classes that mix up to twelve students with disabilities into general classes on every grade.
ADMISSIONS: Neighborhood school. (Lydie Raschka, web reports, February 2020; photo from @ps_ms71)