P.S. 53 Basheer Quisim
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Strong emphasis on reading and math skills
Struggles with discipline and chronic absenteeism
P.S. 53 Basheer Quisim is a large zoned elementary school in the Concourse Village section of the Bronx. Their Dual Language program in Spanish integrates students who speak English and Spanish at home into the same classrooms with the goal of helping all students in the program become bilingual.
Test scores in reading and math have increased in recent years and now hover near the citywide averages and far above the District 9 averages. Chronic absenteeism, though, is far worse than the citywide and district averages, as are the number of students who go on to pass all their classes in middle school, according to the School Quality Snapshot. Extra learning time is made available during the Early Morning English Language Learner Academy, after school, and Saturday programs.
Almost all P.S. 53 teachers have more than three years of experience, and Dr. Collin Wolfe has served as principal there since 2001. Survey results indicate some struggles with order, discipline and trust in the principal. The school’s educational plan emphasizes rewarding students for demonstrating the school’s core values, but doesn’t specify ways that school staff are helping support students who are acting out beyond suspension.
The school serves a large portion of students in temporary housing, who receive individual counseling and health services. Other community partnerships include Boy Scouts of America and Music and the Brain. Parents can participate in cooking classes with City Harvest and Wellness in the Schools, and are invited into the school for many parent workshops and meetings throughout the year.
ADMISSIONS: Zoned neighborhood school. (Nicole Mader, web reports, April 2020)