Thomas C. Giordano Middle School 45
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In the heart of the Bronx’s Little Italy, where cured sausages dangle from butchers' ceilings, Thomas C. Giordano Middle School has served children for more than one hundred years. Despite the Italian influences, today the school is a diverse mix of races and ethnic groups, among them Mexican, Caribbean, Puerto Rican, Dominican, and Albanian immigrants. It offers a dual language program in Spanish and English.
Over the decades, students have enjoyed trips to the nearby Bronx Zoo and the Botanical Gardens, according to the Comprehensive Educational Plan (CEP). Newer features include technology and debate. After school programs may include field hockey, gardening, photography, book clubs, soccer and homework help.
MS 45 is a zoned neighborhood school but students may also be admitted into the Giordano Prep/Aurora Academy, which screens for test scores, attendance and grades.
Good Shepherd Services helps run the after school program, and Saturday and summer programs. They also help keep track of attendance: more than one-third of students miss at least a month of school. An on-site health clinic provides free services, such as physicals, asthma support, immunizations, and mental health services.
The school has declined in enrollment from more than 1000 students in 2010 to roughly 700 in 2019. Test scores are low. Teachers participate in the Middle School Quality Initiative (MSQI) to boost reading and writing. Students read, discuss, debate and write about a weekly topic using vocabulary words that teachers reinforce in all classes, according to the CEP.
Long-time principal Annamaria Giordano commutes three hours daily roundtrip from Connecticut and is the daughter of the school's namesake, Thomas C. Giordano, who was a teacher at the school.
Admissions: Zoned neighborhood school. Students from districts 9 and 10 may be admitted to Aurora/Giordano Prep based on their 4th grade test scores and attendance records. (Lydie Raschka, web reports, May 2019)