Pelham Academy of Academics and Community Engagement
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Students feel respected and inspired to learn
Not enough parent involvement
Pelham Academy of Academic and Community Engagement is a small, popular middle school where students say they feel noticed, and teachers inspire them to learn. On school surveys, most students say teachers are respectful of their culture or background, and make lessons relevant to their everyday lives.
The school has interesting and well-organized lessons, according to the city’s Quality Review, and test scores continue to rise. Students write persuasive essays, for example, comparing and contrasting Paleolithic and Neolithic Eras, according to the Comprehensive Educational Plan. In math, students design their dream home: they draw up a floor plan following specific parameters, and figure out how to incorporate appliances and furniture. Students choose how to present their project to the class, which has to indicate their understanding of mathematical concepts.
Students may prepare for the specialized high schools exam in school, according to the middle school directory. They may also create art or music portfolios for performing arts high schools. The school offers visual arts and a band. Some students participate in high school-level algebra. Students take college trips.
Through a partnership with Bronx House, students may stay after school every day until 5:30 pm. The school also has its own after school program with recreation, leadership and character development opportunities.
Family participation is inconsistent, according to the yearly plan. Monthly activities have not been well attended so the school is planning more events that celebrate students, train and educate parents, and allow families to have fun and socialize.
Admissions: Priority to students in the zone, then open to District 11. There have been roughly a dozen applicants per seat in recent years. (Lydie Raschka, web reports, June 2019)