P.S. 47 John Randolph
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Swimming, tennis and ballet
Overcrowding is a challenge
PS 47 John Randolph offers an unusual array of extras, including swimming and tennis lessons for all, and free ballet lessons for a select few based on auditions. Through a partnership with the New York Botanical Garden, 4th graders plant vegetables and herbs in wooden planters on school grounds.
Trips are part of the school experience. Students may visit the Cloisters (the outpost of the Metropolitan Museum in upper Manhattan), the Bronx Zoo or the New York Botanical Garden, among other destinations. Parents are invited to join their children in cooking nutritional meals in the Cook Shop program, and families receive free passes to visit up to 30 NYC museums.
Academic progress as shown on test scores has inched up but remains below the citywide average. The Quality Review indicates that tracking student progress and developing a coherent vision school-wide are some of the challenges the school faces. This may be a result of the fact that the school has long been seriously overcrowded, with more than 1,000 students in a building designed for roughly 800. PS 47 is also adapting to a rise in the numbers of students learning to speak English, who are served in bilingual and English as a New Language (ENL) classes, according to the CEP.
The school’s administration has made an effort to lower the teacher-student ratio so students get more individual and small group help. During a 90-minute reading block, for example, new teachers are paired with seasoned teachers, and they divide students into two groups, one for independent reading, and the other for small group lessons. New teachers also work with mentors. Two literacy coaches and two math coaches are on hand to assist teachers and students, according to the CEP.
Every available space, including the gym, storage spaces and hallways, has been put to use. When the weather is nice, children go out to play at recess, but in poor weather they stay in the auditorium.
The school has a renovated library courtesy of the Robin Hood Foundation, staffed by a librarian with a Master’s degree in Library Science, according to the CEP. The Police Athletic League runs an after school program five days a week until 6 pm.
Admissions: Neighborhood school. (Lydie Raschka, web reports, September 2019)