IS 78 Roy H. Mann
Three bands, drama, cooking
Working to improve school culture
At Roy H. Mann students can learn to cook or play an instrument in one of three school bands. High achievers find challenging academics in one of three gifted programs. This school struggles with disrespect, bullying and low test scores, but the environment is improving under new leadership and hopefully test scores will follow.
Anthony Cusumano, formerly a social studies teacher and assistant principal at the school, became principal in December 2012. School surveys show that teachers respect his management. Although students report friction among peers, attendance is improving and parent workshops address themes like peer pressure. The school website is informative and full of spirit, sprinkled with photos and lists of academic goals in every subject area.
About half the students are enrolled in the mainstream "Gateway" program, where 6th graders remain in the classroom of one teacher for most academic courses, giving the teacher more time to get to know the kids. Math classes are divided by skill level.
The rest of the students are enrolled in one of three programs for high academic achievers based on test scores. The Center for the Intellectually Gifted (CIG) is the most accelerated, followed by the Excelsior, and the Center for Advanced Placement (CAP). CIG students participate in all Regents level courses and must maintain a 90% average in all classes.
According to the school's quality review, teachers are working on better reaching their speediest and slowest learners. Afterschool programs are offered for living environment, algebra and earth science Regents preparation, and a French class meets for 90 minutes once a week. Students who have fallen behind can get help afterschool and on Saturdays.
For fun, the website urges even students with no experience to try the 6th grade Mustang Band and work their way up to the more select Jazz Ensemble. In 2013 Roy Mann students played at Symphony Space Performing Arts Center at the 7th Annual Children's Festival of Russian Culture.
Facilities include a dance studio, a kitchen, computer labs, science labs, a gym, library and auditorium. Success Academy Bergen Beach charter school will share the building and some of these common areas beginning Fall 2014.
Special education: Every grade has a Integrated Co-Teaching class, in which special needs and general education children learn side-by-side. The school also has self-contained classes for special education children only.
Admissions:Admission to the Center for the Intellectually Gifted is determined by a combination of factors making up a "composite score"the final 4th grade report card counts for 40 percent, state tests 40 percent, attendance ten percent and student performance measures ten percent.; the other honors programs require teacher recommendations and students' transcripts. (Lydie Raschka, DOE data, school website, April 2014; admissions updated January 2015)