Theater Arts Production Company School (TAPCo)

Grades 6-12
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What’s Special

Creative arts focus, caring staff and comfortable environment

The Downside

While some academic classes are engaging, others are uninspiring

Our Review

Theatre Arts Production Company (TAPCo), a combined middle and high school, offers a supportive, family-like environment for aspiring artists, musicians, singers, dancers and actors. Ron Link, named principal in 2012, has quickly gained the trust of both staff and students by listening to everyones concerns, improving discipline and developing a plan to strengthen academics.

My favorite things about this school are the arts and the principal. He is mad cool, a 7th grader remarked on the day of our visit. Link, former assistant principal the Academy for Scholarship and Entrepreneurship, sang and played saxophone in a band that warmed up for RunDMC, the Dazz Band and the Jets. These skills allow him to bring the academic and artistic discipline that TAPCo needs.

The school is housed in the same building as MS 391. Stage sets from past productions add color and visual interest throughout the school. There is a homey feel as students transition from class to class to Bob Marleys, Dont Worry About a Thing. The school has a lounge area, a theater, black box, green room, choir room, a dance studio, and many art studios. Bud Thorpe, an actor who previously worked under famed playwright and director Samuel Beckett, heads a full production shop where students work on set design, set construction, light design, and costume design.

Staff members make time for students after school and even lead weekend clubs. Assistant Principal Monika Fisher has been long known as the surrogate mom to all TAPCo students. On any given day you can find her counseling students in distress and providing the guidance they need to make it through the day and year successfully. The school has a longstanding tradition of acceptance and respect for individual expression. Whether kids have a trendy urban appearance or a gothic look, they are all treated equally.

Links predecessor, founding principal Lynn Passarella, was removed in March, 2012, after a DOE report found that the staff had falsified student transcripts and given credit for courses not taken. "To her credit, [under her leadership] there was real art integration in all classes which was true to the school's mission statement," Link said.

Links first step was to listen to the school community, and as a result the school now has appropriate supervision with deans in hallways, defined staff roles, a student discipline handbook and a new thriving PTA just to name a few changes. While TAPCo is not a violent or dangerous school, the freedom previously afforded to its students created an atmosphere of disruptive behavior. A PTA parent explained, Sometimes the kids limit the teachers due to discipline issues. They [the teachers] could do some much more with them. Initially Links changes led to a rise in suspensions, but as students began to understand that there were consequences to poor behavior, the number of suspensions declined.

TAPCos next challenge is to bring its arts program to a higher level with a stronger focus on technique. Students are eager to throw themselves into performance but still need to master the self-discipline and fundamental skills of their chosen craft before they can compete on a citywide level.

To better focus on academics, Link scheduled all arts classes for the last period of the day for the 2012-13 school year. There are Advanced Placement, Regents prep and College Now courses. Students may choose among many electives, such as acting, visual arts, video, dance, glee, playwriting and GenX, which teaches everything from body awareness to financial literacy.

In middle school, academic classes incorporate many small group projects and hands on activities. In high school, the classes tend to be more traditional with desks in rows and larger class sizes. We saw some excellent teaching and engaged students who were on task. We also saw a class in which most students didnt even bother to take their books and looked truly uninspired. Link, completely aware of the challenge, has identified the strong teachers as a core group to train and mentor the others.

There are 19 after-school clubs in academics, the arts and sports, all led by teachers.Sports are available through connection with PSAL & Childrens Aid Society.

Special education: The school offers collaborative-team-teaching classes (CTT) and busing for special education students.

College: TAPCo has an affiliation with Lehman College where some students take college courses. Most students go on to CUNY or SUNY schools.

Admissions: Prospective 6th graders should contact the school or their guidance counselor for an application. Students must attend a tour, schedule an interview, and bring a letter of recommendation. Students applying for the 9th grade have fewer seats available since many current students choose to stay. Acting students should prepare a monologue but are given a "cold read" and are placed in a mock-acting class. Dancers and vocalists are to bring their own music. Visual art students must bring a portfolio and will be asked to draw their hand and another image. (Jacquie Wayans, October 2012)

About the students

Enrollment
615
Asian
1.1%
Black
28.6%
Hispanic
66.2%
White
2.3%
Other
1.8%
Free or reduced priced lunch
100%
Students with disabilities
25%
English language learners
6%

About the school

Shared campus?
Yes
This school shares a building with the Angelo Patri Middle School
Uniforms required?
No
Metal detectors?
No
How crowded? (Full is 100%)
82%
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Attendance

Average daily attendance
87%
90% Citywide Average
How many students are chronically absent?
37%
27% Citywide Average

Is this school safe?

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
46%
75% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
59%
45% Citywide Average
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
83%
84% Citywide Average
How many students say most students treat each other with respect?
36%
49% Citywide Average

About the leadership

Years of principal experience at this school
4.3
5.8 Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
71%
79% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal has a clear vision for this school?
80%
85% Citywide Average
How many teachers trust the principal?
71%
78% Citywide Average

About the teachers

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
82%
70% Citywide Average
Teacher attendance
96%
97% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
63%
82% Citywide Average
How many teachers think the staff collaborate to make this school run effectively?
76%
84% Citywide Average
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Test scores

How many students scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
24%
29% Citywide Average
How many students scored 3-4 on the state ELA exam?
33%
38% Citywide Average

Arts offerings

This school has 5 dedicated spaces for Dance, Music, Theater, Visual arts, and Media arts
This school has 6 licensed arts teacher in Music (part-time), Theater (part-time), Visual arts (part-time), Dance, and Music

Engaging curriculum?

How many students say this school offers enough programs, classes and activities to keep them interested?
60%
68% Citywide Average
How many students say they are challenged in most or all of their classes?
51%
56% Citywide Average
How many students say the programs, classes and activities here encourage them to develop talent outside academics?
65%
69% Citywide Average

Are students prepared for high school?

Accelerated courses offered for high school credit
Living Environment
How many 8th graders earn high school credit?
44%
38% Citywide Average
How many graduates of this school pass all their classes in 9th grade?
80%
87% Citywide Average
What high schools do most graduates attend?
Theatre Arts Production Company School
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

How many graduate?

How many students graduate in 4 years?
80%
83% Citywide Average
How many graduates earn Advanced Regents diplomas?
0%
13% Citywide Average
How many students drop out?
2%
4% Citywide Average

Are students prepared for college?

How many students graduate with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?
19%
38% Citywide Average
How many students take a college-level course or earn a professional certificate?
32%
48% Citywide Average
How many graduate and enter college within 18 months?
71%
71% Citywide Average
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

How does this school serve English Language Learners?

How many English language learners score 3-4 on the State ELA exam?
0%
3% Citywide Average
How many former English language learners score 3-4 on the State ELA exam?
35%
43% Citywide Average
How many English language learners graduate in 4 years?
100%
65% Citywide Average

How does this school serve students with disabilities?

This school offers self-contained classes
This school offers team teaching (ICT)
Average math score for ICT students
1.9
1.9 Citywide Average
Average math score for self-contained students
1.98
2.1 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for ICT students
1.93
1.9 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for self-contained students
2.01
2.2 Citywide Average
Average math score for SETSS students
2.03
2.2 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for SETSS students
1.95
2.3 Citywide Average
How many students say that students with disabilities are included in all activities?
63%
67% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
79%
86% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school works to achive the goals of their students' IEPs?
85%
90% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say they are satisfied with the IEP development process at this school?
83%
89% Citywide Average
How many special ed students graduate in 4 years?
56%
67% Citywide Average
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data

Programs and Admissions

Jazz Band/Piano
Admissions Method: Audition
Program Description

Small group instruction in traditional Band Instruments. Jazz Band, Latin Band, Music Theory, Music History, Improvisation, Sight Singing, and Piano. On- or off-site private lessons by audition.

Chorus
Admissions Method: Audition
Program Description

General Choir, Show Choir, Jazz Choir, and Women's Choir. Music Theory, Music History, Improvisation, Sight Singing, Piano; On- or off-site private lessons by audition.

Dance
Admissions Method: Audition
Program Description

Students learn modern dance, ballet, composition technology, and principles of dance. Pedagogy is blended to help students develop their own unique voice and gain competitive skills needed to succeed after high school.

Drama
Admissions Method: Audition
Program Description

Students learn acting technique, scene study, voice and diction, movement, singing, theater history, audition preparation, digital resume building, script analysis, directing, lighting design, and stagecraft. Students perform in full stage and small studio classical, modern, and musical theater productions.

Visual Arts & Technology
Admissions Method: Audition
Program Description

Still Image: Students develop their artistic skills as they progress through classroom assignments using a variety of drawing, painting, and digital design media. Students have the opportunity to apply to the Fred Dolan Art Academy, a Saturday professional artist-led program that helps students develop their portfolios and secure scholarships for college. Moving Image: Students learn valuable artistic, literacy, and technical skills in photography and video production as well as team-building.

Academics

Language Courses

Italian

Advanced Placement (AP) courses

AP English Literature and Composition

Read about admissions, academics, and more at this school on the NYCDOE’s School Finder
NYC Department of Education: School Finder

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Location

2225 Webster Avenue
Bronx NY 10457
Fordham (District 10)
Trains: 4 to 183rd St; B, D to 182nd-183rd Sts
Buses: Bx1, Bx15, Bx17, Bx2, Bx32, Bx36, Bx40, Bx41, Bx41-SBS, Bx42, BxM4

Contact

Phone
718-584-0832
Principal
Ron Link
Parent Coordinator
Salvatore Romano

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