P.S. 127 Aerospace Science Academy
Strong music program.
Friction between principal and some teachers.
A traditional neighborhood school serving large numbers of new immigrants, PS 127 has a rich art program and a chorus that has performed at the New York Islanders hockey game. Students wear uniformsblue pants and white shirts for the younger children and khaki pants and white shirts for the older ones.
The school seemed orderly on our brief visit. During class changes, children walked in straight lines with their books in front of them. Children were polite and paid attention in class--even in the overheated middle school classes with no air-conditioning. The schools population has steadily increased in recent years, and the classrooms we visited seemed packed, with 30 or more children.
The school is particularly proud of its music program, led by songwriter-composer Shanan Esteicher. [See photo of the middle school chorus at left.] The school has also encouraged children to attend classical music concerts as part of a program called Bach to School.
Evita Sanabria, formerly a teacher of English as a Second Language, has focused on improving education for the schools many English language learners since she became principal in 2008. Nearly one-third of the children are English language learners, including children who speak Spanish, Bengali and Arabic at home. In addition to traditional ESL classes, Sanabria has developed a dual-language program that allows children to perfect their English without losing their native Spanish.
However, her no-nonsense approach has ruffled feathers among the faculty. More than 80 percent of teachers responding to the Learning Environment Survey said the principal does not have confidence in the expertise of the staff; 85 percent said she was an ineffective manager. In every school there are some angry teachers, Sanabria told Insideschools, pointing out that only 60 percent of teachers responded to the survey.
Special education: The school offers both ICT (Integrated Collaborative Teaching) and self-contained special education classes. The ICT classes each have two teachers, some of whom are certified in special education and some in English as a Second Language.
Admissions: neighborhood school. (Anna Schneider, May 2012)