P.S. 42 Claremont
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Positive and supportive school tone
PS 42 is a safe, nurturing and family-friendly school that has made good strides in recent years in most areas. It has a well kept, 100-year-old red brick building. Outdoors, there is a small playing field with artificial turf and a playground with a tiny oval running track.
Teachers manage their classrooms well and create a warm, positive and trusting environment. We saw students read their own stories aloud, confidently, receiving support from peers and teachers so they didn't feel intimidated. Students meet in homerooms for ten minutes every morning where teachers welcome them and check in with them. Social workers and guidance counselors provide extra support. Staff has trained in the use of restorative practices and classroom management strategies. Restorative practices give kids words and techniques to solve conflicts and prevent harm.
Teachers encourage more student discussion and hands-on projects than in the past. Instead of the teacher lecturing from the front of the room, tables are pushed together for group work in some classrooms. In math and other subjects, teachers encourage students to talk, in part by asking questions, so kids feel interested and engaged. As a result of these and other efforts, the school was removed from a list of poorly performing schools in 2018.
PS 42 began a partnership with BronxWorks in 2014. As part of this collaboration, students have been recipients of winter coats, eye wear, sneakers, dental services, a full-time asthma case manager, a full-time social worker, and other physical and mental health services. It has resulted in better attendance. The school also gives families food donations at a subsidized cost each month, according to the Comprehensive Educational Plan (CEP).
Enrollment is not as robust as it used to be. Children living in homeless shelters tend to move, and some families choose other options, for example, the Carl C. Icahn Charter School, is just a block away. Some children leave to attend charter schools in 4th grade.
That said, middle schools, such as Urban Assembly School for Math and Science, are beginning to take an interest in graduates from PS 42 because of the school's improved academic performance.
SPECIAL EDUCATION: Close to one-third of the children receive special education services, some in one of three small "self-contained" classes and some integrated into general education classes with extra support. About one-fourth of the children live in shelters nearby.
ADMISSIONS: Zoned neighborhood school. (Jacquie Wayans, October 2019)