Mount Eden Children's Academy
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Beautiful building with a pool and dance studio
Waitlist for seats
Founded in 2012, Mount Eden Children's Academy is one of the most sought-after schools in District 9. It is housed in the New Settlement Community Campus on Jerome Avenue, which features a dance studio, a rooftop garden and a five-lane swimming pool.
Mount Eden has a nurturing and consistent tone. Students are welcomed by name as they walk into the building daily, according to the Comprehensive Educational Plan (CEP). Leaders set clear expectations for teachers and students. Small group instruction is common in all classes, as are hands-on, project-based activities.
Children study dance with Alvin Ailey and theater with Marquis Studios. New Settlement helps run the after-school programming in grades 1-5. Activities include drawing, musical theater, dance, chorus and theater arts. Asphalt Green provides swimming lessons and recess activities.
Families are welcome. Time is set aside every week for parents to learn more about what their children are studying in school. Parents and caregivers may visit classrooms throughout the year, and they are encouraged to pick up their kids at the classroom door, to “see their child’s teacher face-to-face,” according to the CEP. Parents may also contact teachers via email.
Children study science four times a week, and math twice a day. Children read four or five books as a class, each year, in addition to books they choose. They also study phonics, grammar and vocabulary. Teachers say communication is clear and they get help designing challenging academic tasks for students, according to the Quality Review. On NYC School Surveys, teachers overwhelmingly approve of the school’s principal, Jacqueline Radoslovich, who took the helm in 2017.
While state tests scores are solid in math, they are lower in reading. Roughly one-quarter of the students are learning English and this may account for the lower reading scores. A goal on the yearly plan is to increase student-led discussions in class and to spend more time on vocabulary, reading and writing.
Children are divided into ability groups for reading lessons to make sure they get the help they need. Almost every classroom has two adults. The school hires assistants to work in larger classes and there are paraprofessionals who work one-on-one with a student with a disability.
The campus also houses the Comprehensive Model School Project, which serves grades 6-12. The two schools occupy a portion of the building that is managed independently from the community center.
Montefiore runs a health clinic on campus, staffed by a doctor, a nurse, and mental health staff. The building also has dental services.
SPECIAL EDUCATION: Unlike most schools, which offer an ICT (integrated co-teaching) model, Mount Eden offers small "self-contained" classrooms for kids with special needs. "Some kids with special needs can function in the big classrooms with counseling, physical therapy, occupational therapy and/or speech services," explained founding principal Jessica Torres Maheia, a Bank Street graduate who shaped the school’s curriculum. "Others need a small setting.” Placements are based on need. The school is barrier free.
ADMISSIONS: Unzoned. Opened to District 9. There are far more applicants than seats available. Very few spots open in the upper grades. (Lydie Raschka, web reports, March 2020)