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P.S./I.S. 218 Rafael Hernandez Dual Language Magnet School

Grades: K-8
1220 Gerard Avenue
Bronx NY 10452
Phone: 718-410-7230
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Our Insights

What’s Special

Cheery and welcoming dual language school

The Downside

Few seats available in the middle school

PS/MS 218 has a welcoming environment, from the security guard who greets everyone with a cheery “Good morning!” to the principal, Sergio Caceres, who exchanges high-fives and has breakfast with the students (and wears the same uniform they do). Classes are offered in both English and Spanish and children have homework in both languages, beginning in kindergarten.

As the children get older, they have more instruction in English and less in Spanish to better prepare them for state tests, given in English. Still, the school’s dual language program is designed to ensure that children become fluent readers, writers and speakers in both languages.

There is a climate of trust, and children aren’t afraid to ask adults for help, parents say. The adults at the school genuinely care for the kids, and teachers alert parents right away of any problems such as bullying. Students, many of them new immigrants, take pride in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance along with the school mottoe in English and Spanish each morning.   

Parents appreciate using the school library, taking Zumba classes, and getting legal help from a school clinic that deals with immigration issues. Parents feel their culture is valued: for example, the school makes a point of selecting books that have characters that reflect the student population, which is overwhelmingly Latino.

Caceres says his pupils would benefit from more exposure to children who speak English at home. “We would love to offer the dual language to a larger community, especially black students,” he said. However, because of the school’s popularity, there are few spots for out-of-zone children. 

Test scores are slightly below the citywide average, but the school does a good job helping the weakest readers improve by 8th grade, according to the city’s annual Quality Guide

Seventh graders study algebra 1 and 8th graders take the Living Environment Regents. Caceres says students who are exposed to rigorous math and science are more confident in school, even if they don't pass the Regents exam.

On our visit, children in the middle school seemed at ease with one another and with their teachers. When the kids came across a difficult word, like “abolitionist,” they sounded it out without embarrassment.  In 6th grade, students were reading Lunch Money, by Andrew Clements, out loud. In 7th grade, they took a “gallery walk,” to examine photos of the Civil War posted on classroom walls. In 8th grade, teens used a computer-based reading program that adapts to their level of skill. Middle school children are allowed to use their cellphones in the cafeteria during lunch, a sign of trust in the building. 

A number of students live in shelters and the school offers practical help like giving out uniforms and book bags. It also has a psychologist on hand four times a week. The Morrisania Health Clinic offers help with issues ranging from domestic violence to nutrition. The school nurse helps children plant vegetables in the school garden and checks to make sure children who miss school because of illness catch up on their homework. 

SPECIAL EDUCATION:  Children with disabilities as well as children learning English are taught in dual language classes, just like everyone else in the school. After reading Michelle Alexander’s book The New Jim Crow, staff abandoned self-contained classes and integrated children with special needs into general education classes. 

ADMISSIONS: Neighborhood school. There are a handful of seats open in the 6th grade. (Jacqueline Wayans, September 2017)




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School Stats

Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Is this school safe and well-run?

From 2018-19 NYC School Survey

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
71% Citywide Average
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
84% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
51% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
78% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
78% Citywide Average

From 2017-18 NY State Report Card

How many students were suspended?
2% Citywide Average

From this school's most recent Quality Review Report

Are teachers effective?

From 2018-19 School Quality Guide

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
79% Citywide Average
Years of principal experience at this school

How do students perform academically?

From 2018 State ELA+Math Results Summary

How many elementary school students scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
54% Citywide Average
How many elementary school students scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
50% Citywide Average
How many middle school students scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
46% Citywide Average
How many middle school students scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
51% Citywide Average

From 2018 Middle School Directory

What high schools do most graduates attend?
Bronx Center for Science and Mathematics and A. Philip Randolph Campus High School
Accelerated courses offered for high school credit
Algebra I, Living Environment

From 2018-19 School Quality Guide

How many 8th-graders earn high school credit?
32% Citywide Average

Who does this school serve?

From 2018-19 Demographic Snapshot

Free or reduced priced lunch
Students with disabilities
English language learners

From 2018-19 School Quality Guide

Average daily attendance
93% Citywide Average
How many students miss 18 or more days of school?
23% Citywide Average

From 2018 School Directories

Uniforms required?
This school offers Dual Language classes in Spanish.

How does this school serve special populations?

From 2018 State ELA+Math Results Summary

How many students with disabilities scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
25% Citywide Average
How many students with disabilities scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
22% Citywide Average
How many English language learners scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
24% Citywide Average
How many English language learners scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
16% Citywide Average

For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data · More DOE statistics for this school

Contact & Location


Concourse (District 9)
Trains: 4 Line, B Line, D Line to 167th St
Buses: Bx1, Bx11, Bx13, Bx18, Bx2, Bx32, Bx35, BxM4


Sergio Caceres
Parent Coordinator
Zeneth Morales

Other Details

Shared campus?
This school is in its own building.
Uniforms required?
Metal detectors?

Zone for the 2019-2020 school year. Call school to confirm.

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