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Elementary School Middle School High School

I.S. 281 Joseph B Cavallaro

Grades: 6-8
8787 24th Avenue
Brooklyn NY 11214
Phone: 718-996-6706

Our Insights

What’s Special

Focus on marine biology and oceanography

The Downside

Teachers working to improve student discussion in class

IS 281 in Gravesend is a zoned neighborhood school with screened “talent” programs in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) open to children from across District 21. It also has dual language programs in Mandarin and Spanish that admit children from across Brooklyn. 

The school is part of Brooklyn Marine STEM Education Alliance (BMSEA), a group of more than 30 schools (elementary through high school) seeking to give students skills to support studies in marine biology and oceanography. These topics are especially relevant to a school like IS 281, located not far from the waterfront in Coney Island. The schools collaborate to raise trout, horseshoe crabs and oysters. They participate in coastal cleanups and the Underwater Robotics-US Navy Sea Perch Competition, according to the BMSEA website.

Academics at IS 281 work in harmony with this project by strengthening STEM skills in the talent programs: STEM Computer (APP Design, Computer Game Design, Programming); STEM Math (ASME Engineering, Geometer’s Sketchpad, Virtual Enterprise); and STEM Science (Lego Robotics, Hydroponics, 3-D Printing, Aeronautics). 

The school also offers dance, music (vocal and instrumental) and art. The large, well-kept building has an attractive auditorium, high-quality science labs, a TV studio and a renovated dance studio. 

Enrollment is up at IS 281 and the school has seen an improvement in instruction, culture and tone in recent years.  Teachers visit other middle schools and visit each other’s classrooms to strengthen their practice. 

One area that still needs work, according to the city’s report called the Quality Review, and NYC school surveys, is class discussions. Some teachers say students don’t build on each other’s ideas. The Quality Review says students don’t take ownership of discussions in most classrooms. 

IS 281 shares a building with Coney Island Prep Charter Elementary School

Admissions: Students may take the District 21 talent test or enter the school as zoned students. The dual language programs give priority to students who speak Spanish or Mandarin. (Lydie Raschka, web reports, May 2019)

 

 

 

 

 

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School Stats

Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Is this school safe and well-run?

From 2018-19 NYC School Survey

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
63%
75% Citywide Average
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
83%
82% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
52%
52% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
52%
82% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
73%
81% Citywide Average

From 2017-18 NY State Report Card

How many students were suspended?
2%
3% Citywide Average

From this school's most recent Quality Review Report

Are teachers effective?

From 2018-19 School Quality Guide

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
72%
75% Citywide Average
Years of principal experience at this school
7.1

How do students perform academically?

From 2018 State ELA+Math Results Summary

How many middle school students scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
61%
37% Citywide Average
How many middle school students scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
53%
42% Citywide Average

From 2018 Middle School Directory

What high schools do most graduates attend?
New Utrecht High School, John Dewey High School, and Midwood High School
Accelerated courses offered for high school credit
Algebra I, Living Environment, Spanish

From 2018-19 School Quality Guide

How many 8th-graders earn high school credit?
24%
32% Citywide Average

Who does this school serve?

From 2018-19 Demographic Snapshot

Enrollment
1346
Asian
41%
Black
6%
Hispanic
24%
White
28%
Other
1%
Free or reduced priced lunch
83%
Students with disabilities
17%
English language learners
17%

From 2018-19 School Quality Guide

Average daily attendance
94%
93% Citywide Average
How many students miss 18 or more days of school?
18%
23% Citywide Average

From 2018 School Directories

Uniforms required?
No
This school offers Dual Language classes in Chinese and Spanish.

How does this school serve special populations?

From 2018 State ELA+Math Results Summary

How many students with disabilities scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
15%
14% Citywide Average
How many students with disabilities scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
13%
15% Citywide Average
How many English language learners scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
40%
14% Citywide Average
How many English language learners scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
5%
6% Citywide Average


For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data · More DOE statistics for this school

Contact & Location

Location

Gravesend (District 21)
Trains: D Line to 25th Ave
Buses: B1, B3, B4, B6, B64, B82, X28, X38

Contact

Principal
Maria Bender
Parent Coordinator
Maria Bender

Other Details

Shared campus?
Yes
This school shares a building with Coney Island Prep Charter Elementary School
Uniforms required?
No
Metal detectors?
No

Zone for the 2019-2020 school year. Call school to confirm.

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