M.S. 267 Math, Science & Technology
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Award winning debate team
High levels of absenteeism
MS 267, also known as the Math, Science and Technology Institute, takes pride in ensuring that some of the city’s neediest children get a quality education. Children who are overage, who are chronically absent, or who have been asked to leave other schools for poor behavior are welcome here.
“We can get any child to be successful,” says Parent Coordinator Shashana Gooding, adding that this tiny school in the heart of Bedford Stuyvesant admits children other schools shun—such as a boy just released from juvenile detention. “We like to take the troublesome children because we like to see the outcomes.”
Indeed, MS 267 has much higher test scores than school serving similar populations, according to Department of Education data. The atmosphere is calm; students are engaged; and teachers are happy to come to work.
The secret of success, long-time Principal Patricia King says, is a laser focus on instruction, a range of kid-friendly clubs and activities, and a “mentor” system that matches each student with staff member. The mentor can often find a way to engage a child who is alienated—such as the boy who misbehaved at his previous school but who learned to love an afterschool program in which he sang at a senior center.
Clubs include cooking, art and drama. Students make their own videogames in a technology club and learn how to style hair in the cosmetology club. MS 267 has an unusual after-school and summer camp called Children of Promise NYC for children whose parents are incarcerated.
The school takes part in the Middle School Quality Initiative (MSQI), the city program designed to boost reading levels with a longer school day and special activities such as a debate team. The MS 267 team has won trophies at the MSQI debate tournament. The debate coach, whom everyone calls Mr. E., says the debate club gives students a structure that forces them to focus their thoughts and to support an argument, important skills for writing and other academic work.
A program organized by the South Korean consulate introduces children to Korean language and culture, including music and the Korean martial arts Tae Kwon Do.
Teachers give top marks to MS 267: Most responding to annual surveys say they would recommend the school to parents and they wouldn’t want to teacher anywhere else. All agreed the principal is an effective manager and said the administration and staff collaborate to make the school run well.
The school shares a building with La Cima Charter School and the Bedford Stuyvesant Collegiate Uncommon Charter High School. Relations among the schools are good, King said, and teachers visit one another’s classes to learn from one another.
MS 267 has seen its enrollment shrink substantially in recent years as the neighborhood has gentrified and charters have grown. Chronic absenteeism is high: nearly half the students miss more than a month of school each year.
Graduates attend Benjamin Banneker High School, Bedford Academy, Transit Tech and Nelson Mandela High School, a small school with a social justice theme on the campus of Boys and Girls High School. One recent graduate was admitted to Stuyvesant High School and one to Brooklyn Tech, according to the school’s website.
SPECIAL EDUCATION: One-third of the pupils receive special education services and the school has both self-contained classes and team-teaching classes. King says the school works to identify students’ strengths as well as their challenges. “If we had Einstein here right now I’m sure he would be labeled ‘special needs,’” says King.
ADMISSIONS: Open to District 16. The school generally has room for any child who wants to attend. (Clara Hemphill, November 2017)Read more