P.S./I.S. 218 Rafael Hernandez Dual Language Magnet School
Share this school
Spanish-English dual language; freshly cooked lunches
Few open seats available in the middle school
PS/MS 218 is a popular school that continues to grow in size. Classes are offered in both English and Spanish in a dual language program designed to make children fluent in both languages. Students, many of them new immigrants, wear uniforms and recite the Pledge of Allegiance in Spanish and English each morning.
Two teachers work with each class: one for English instruction, the other for Spanish. Students of grades 3 to 5 receive extra language help as needed, according to the Comprehensive Educational Plan (CEP). In kindergarten through second grade, students receive instruction in English and Spanish on alternative days from a certified bilingual teacher
In grades 3-5 instruction shifts to slightly more lessons in English. In grades 6-8, gym, reading/writing, music, health and advisory groups are all taught in English, while math, social studies and science are taught in a mix of the two languages. The school offers a high school-level (Regents) Living Environment course in English and Spanish, as well as high school-level Algebra 1.
Test scores are below the citywide average, especially for children with special needs. To improve, the school is focused on boosting reading in the early grades. Teachers work with coaches from Early Reading Matters, a program that arms teachers with step-by-step methods to improve reading for little kids. They also work with a coach from the Universal Literacy initiative, which aims to help kids catch up by 2nd grade.
The school is one of a few pilot schools in the Bronx transforming school lunch, as part of the “one chef, one school” scratch cooking model. A chef from Chef’s Brigaid works with each school’s kitchen staff to cook meals from scratch every day, such as BBQ chicken, cornbread and fresh cut watermelon.
The school has a psychologist on staff and the Morrisania Health Clinic offers help with issues ranging from domestic violence to nutrition, according to the CEP.
ADMISSIONS: Neighborhood school. There are a handful of seats open in the 6th grade. (Lydie Raschka, web reports, June 2020)