I.S. 096 Seth Low
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Zoology lab; orchestra, band and drum corps
Working to improve academic achievement of new immigrants
IS 96 is a zoned neighborhood middle school that draws children from Bensonhurst, Gravesend and Coney Island. Once an Italian community, Bensonhurst has attracted immigrant families from Asian and Middle Eastern countries in recent years. About one-third of the students at IS 96 are still learning English; they speak 15 languages at home. Some have had interrupted education in their home country.
Social studies and science teachers have been specially trained to help new immigrants learn English, according to the Comprehensive Educational Plan. Hands-on learning—such as a zoology class in which students care for tortoises, rabbits and snakes—is fun for all students and helps newcomers develop English skills. Seth Low is part of the Middle School Quality Initiative, designed to offer struggling readers instruction in small groups. Despite these efforts, the school would like to further boost academic achievement of students learning English, according to the CEP.
The school engages children with classes in art, theater, music, dance, and culinary arts. It has an orchestra and drum corps. Each year, students produce a musical such as Annie or Shrek.
After a period of decline, the school’s enrollment has been steadily increasing in recent years.
Special education: The school offers a wide range of special education services including self-contained classes, team-taught classes, and ASD Nest classes, as integrated classes for students on the autism spectrum are called.
Admissions: Zoned neighborhood school. Students outside the zone may apply through the District 21 “talent” program, according to the middle school directory. (Clara Hemphill, web reports, February 2019)Read more