Strong principal with high teacher and parent satisfaction
No track record
PS 280 opened in District 30 in September, 2010. For its first year, PS 280 admitted students zoned for several overcrowded schools spread across Corona, East Elmhurst and Jackson Heights, Queens. Beginning in 2011, the school began serving students in a newly established zone, expanding by a grade each year until it reached its capacity serving grades kindergarten through 5.
Located in Jackson Heights, the city's most diverse neighborhood, the school is housed in the former Blessed Sacrament School building. The school's founding principal, Lenia Matias worked at PS 24 as a principal intern as part of her training at the New York City Leadership Academy, the Department of Education's training program for new principals.
In a telephone interview with Insideschools, Matias said that in developing the school she drew inspiration from the work of Brazilian educator, Paulo Freire, who believed that learning should lead to action. "Students need to be given the opportunity to use their knowledge and the curriculum should reflect the students' values," said Matias.
A partnership with the Jackson Heights Beautification Group helps students apply their knowledge in the real world, said Matias. Students participate in activities sponsored by the organization including parades, publishing books of children's writing, and green initiatives to improve the local environment. College Board provides instructional support through an online program that teachers can access to develop lessons.
Special education: PS 280 offers self-contained classes and other services, including counseling, physical therapy and occupational therapy.
Admissions: Zoned school.(Laura Zingmond, telephone interview, March 2010).
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Queens NY 11372