M.S. 582 - The Upper Academy
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Urban planning, a greenhouse, multi-media projects
Some students miss at least a month of school
MS 582, also known as the Upper Academy, is a safe, well-established and growing middle school where students do heart dissections, make bruschetta with tomatoes and basil grown in a hydroponic greenhouse, and build models of earthquake-resistant buildings. The school’s experienced teachers overwhelmingly recommend MS 582 to new families.
Each year students tackle different projects as part of thematic units. Sixth graders take digital cameras into the neighborhood and edit results into photo essays using iPhoto. Seventh graders design and build a Boombox as they study the musical revolution generated by its creation. Eighth graders create Morse code devices to study the use of propaganda during World War II. The school also offers non-tech-focused activities, such as chess, clay and woodworking, according to the school website.
Many community partners lend support to MS 582’s work, for example, artists from the BEAM Center, a Brooklyn non-profit, guide young creators in programs in technology. Urban Arts, BRIC Media Arts and Pratt Institute are other partners.
The city’s report called the Quality Review praises the school for its supportive culture, but says teachers have a ways to go to set higher academic expectations for students. Most incoming students arrive at the school a year or more behind in reading and math. Some students miss a month or more of school. Around one-third of the population has special needs.
The yearly plan (Comprehensive Educational Plan) shows teachers work in teams to improve instruction. One focus is on reading and building vocabulary; another is taking a closer look at assessments and student progress while planning lessons.
The school shares a building with PS 196. It received a magnet grant in 2016 and is open to children from four districts in Brooklyn and Queens.
Admissions: Open to districts 14 and 32 in Brooklyn and districts 24 and 30 in Queens. (Lydie Raschka, web reports, May 2019)