Mott Hall III
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Challenging academics for strong students plus support for special education
No visual arts
Mott Hall III, based on the successful model of the original Mott Hall in upper Manhattan, offers students the opportunity to do hands-on projects, with an emphasis on math, science and technology. The school shares a building with PS 110 across the street from Crotona Park. Both male and female students wear gray pants, blue shirts and ties.
Mott Hall III has an accelerated class, beginning in 7th grade, to prepare students for Regents exams in algebra and Living Environment by the end of 8th grade. The same teacher leads both the 7th grade and 8th grade accelerated classes.
On a typical day, you will find rooms filled with healthy chatter. You might see 6th graders snap their fingers in agreement when classmates provide feedback from their finding on the study of energy. You may hear the teacher read aloud from the Lightning Thief, a fantasy-adventure based on Greek mythology, and then watch as the students take over the reading and discussion. You can find students writing essays about geography and searching synonyms for a creative title.
In the 7th grade, the curriculum challenges students to think and not merely to repeat factual information. Students read The Slave Dancer, a novel about a boy who is kidnapped and held on a slave boat, and grappled with the question: “Why did the British wanted to stop the slave trade?" In a team-taught science class, students plotted the possible epicenter of an earthquake based on reported experiences of people in various locations.
By the 8th grade, students are focused. In one class, you could hear a pin drop as students wrote an analysis on the closing statement of the character Atticus from To Kill a Mockingbird. In math, they are able to verbally explain and visually demonstrate their understanding of algebraic processes.
Weekly progress reports now incorporate the three C’s of Citizenships, Caring and Conviction for each student. Parents must sign off on the document that also provides grades, attendance and announcements. This method allows students to regulate their behavior and self-correct quickly.
Though the school does not have traditional art or music offerings during the school day, compensation is made with well organized "talent periods." These are teacher-led classes in chess, baking, chorus, Lego robotics, dance, creative writing, coding, yoga, Double Dutch and more. Afterschool does offer some art.
Top graduates attend Bard, Bronx Science, High School of American Studies, Brooklyn Latin and other specialized high schools. Other popular choices include parochial schools and Bronx Center for Science and Math.
SPECIAL EDUCATION: Each grade has both team-taught and self-contained special education classes. Principal Jorisis Stupart emphasized that the special education program is very flexible. Children in "self-contained" classes who need more challenge in a subject, such as math or English, may join team-taught classes that mix children with special needs and general ed students. Stupart said students with special needs are expected to reach for "independence, responsibility and high-standards," just like everyone else.
ADMISSIONS: Students are chosen based on an interview, writing sample, behavior, attendance and 4th grade citywide test scores. There is a week-long summer orientation for incoming 6th graders from a range of 20 different elementary schools. Districts 9 and 10 students get priority. (Jacqueline Wayans, November 2017)