M.S. 72 Catherine & Count Basie
Foreign trips for students and Zumba classes for parents
Bullying in the school and safety issues outside
MS 72 has long struggled with discipline problems and low levels of student achievement, but Omatayo Cineus, who became principal in 2012, has taken steps to turn the school around.
She and students met with the local police precinct to discuss ways to improve safety in the neighborhood, according to the Queens Chronicle. Teachers report that communication has improved since Cineus became principal and that academic expectations are higher, according to the Learning Environment Survey. The school enrollment is creeping up, a possible sign that parents have more confidence in the school.
The staff produced a promotional video that highlights positive aspects of the schoolsuch college trips, an accelerated curriculum for honors students and class in music, dance and art. (See the video posted on this page.) Students have taken trips to Spain, England, France and Italy. The school offers classes for parents ranging from English as a Second Language and preparation for the GED exam to Zumba and aerobics.
Significant problems remain. Students complain of bullying and teachers say there are problems with order and discipline, according to the 2012-13 Learning Environment Survey. Students scores on standardized tests are well below the citywide average.
The school was awarded federal funds in 2015 to begin a Haitian Creole dual language program.
Admissions: Neighborhood school. Students from outside the zone may also apply. (Clara Hemphill, DOE statistics and web reports, February 2014; updated February 2015 with dual language)
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Queens NY 11434