I.S. 73 – The Frank Sansivieri Intermediate School
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Strong arts program; Spanish dual language instruction
Massive school may not be right for some
I.S. 73 is a large middle school with a nice array of arts classes. It has a small dual language Spanish program that helps Spanish-speakers become more proficient in English while perfecting their native language; it also provides English speakers the opportunity to become fluent in Spanish. A small program admits students with strong grades and test scores.
To help downsize the middle school experience, IS 73 is organized into five academies that function as mini schools. Each academy is assigned its own assistant principal, guidance counselor and dean, and incorporates students across all three grades; all offer advanced classes and supports for students with special needs.
The structure seems to be helpful. The school has excellent attendance and students are rarely suspended.
IS 73’s size allows it to offer instruction in range of arts including visual art, band, chorus, dance and drama. In 6th grade, students gain exposure to the offerings by rotating through the different areas. In 7th grade they choose one area of art to focus on for the remaining two years at the school.
The school has partnerships with a variety of arts organizations such as the New Victory Theater, Shakespeare to Go, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Metropolitan Opera, the American Ballet Theatre and the New York City Ballet.
High school-level courses are offered in algebra and earth science and by the time students finish 8th grade, many earn high school credit. Struggling students get extra help after-school and through small group instruction on Saturdays.
Through a partnership with Maspeth Town Hall, students may participate in a range of after-school activities such as robotics, music instruction, sports and homework help.
All 8th-graders are offered the opportunity to take the Specialized High School Admissions Test (SHSAT) at school during the school day, rather than having to travel to a testing site on the weekend. Free test prep from for the SHSAT is provided to all students.
SPECIAL EDUCATION: There are self-contained and ICT (integrated co-teaching) classes and a range of special education support services.
ADMISSIONS: The small dual language program accepts students from across Queens with preference to those who attend elementary school Spanish dual language or bilingual programs, are learning English or are proficient in both Spanish and English. The Beacon Middle School program is open to District 24 students and admits students based on a review of their test scores, grades and attendance record. All other seats are open to students zoned for IS 73, IS 61 and IS 31 as well as students from PS 16, PS 19 and PS 143. (Laura Zingmond, web reports, October 2018)