P.S. 274 The New American Academy at Roberto Clemente State Park
Share this school
Hands-on, discovery-based projects in an innovative teaching model
Struggles with chronic absenteeism and classroom order and discipline
The New American Academy at Roberto Clemente State Park, PS 274, is based on a unique educational model where groups of 60 students learn in large, open classrooms taught by four teachers, including one certified in special education. Teachers stay with students as they move from grade to grade in a process known as "looping,” which nurtures deep relationships throughout the school community.
Despite the school’s innovative approach, standardized test scores have lagged behind other schools in District 9, though they have been inching up in recent years. More than half of all the students are chronically absent, meaning they miss at least 18 days of school, which is likely contributing to both the low test scores and the low number of teachers who report that order and discipline are maintained in their classrooms on the Annual School Survey.
Principal Pepe Gutierrez was originally a teacher at the first New American Academy, PS 770 in Brooklyn, before founding PS 274 in 2013. The school offers a dual language program in Spanish and English as well as a Spanish bilingual transitional program, and mostly serves students whose families live within the school’s attendance zone in the Morris Heights neighborhood of the Bronx.
The school’s most recent Quality Review celebrated the teachers’ high expectations for their students and their collaborative approach to instruction and professional development. Key parts of the New American Academy model are that "master teachers" in each grade mentor younger faculty with varying levels of experience and new hires get a five-week training session in the summer.
Teachers design their lessons together, organized around six themes a year with plenty of hands-on, discovery-based projects. The school also has music and visual art teachers serving all grades, and partnerships with the Bronx Children's Museum, New Victory Theater and the Rubin Museum of Art according to the most recent Annual Arts in Schools report.
P.S. 274 shares a building with middle school IS 229. Students enjoy nearby Roberto Clemente State Park, which sits along the Harlem River waterfront, for PE classes and after school programming run by SCAN NY. They can also participate in the school’s Saturday STEAM program, where they learn engineering and tech skills through fun activities like making fireworks in a jar, glowing slime, and coding Lego robots, according to the school’s Comprehensive Educational Plan.
Admissions: PS 274 is a zoned school. (Nicole Mader, web reports, April 2020)Read more