I.S. 061 William A Morris
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Performing arts, Spanish-English dual language
Academics have a ways to go
Located on the north shore of Staten Island, IS 61 is a zoned school that admits children from outside the neighborhood to a performing arts program and to a dual language program designed to make children fluent in both Spanish and English.
Students may take band, orchestra, choir, drama, dance, visual arts, photography, filmmaking and journalism. The dual language program is open to children who speak Spanish at home as well as graduates of dual language elementary schools.
While some IS 61 teachers and students complain about discipline problems, others praise what they call the school’s warm and inclusive culture.
“I used to be shy but through dance I am able to command a room,” a Department of Education evaluation called the Quality Review quoted a child as saying. Another student said: “I came out of my shell because of band.”
Many students enter with weak academic skills and test scores are below average for the city. However, some students score “Level 4,” the highest level on state tests.
Admissions: Zoned school. Students are admitted at random to the performing arts program. (Clara Hemphill, web reports, April 2019)Read more