Family Life Academy Charter School II
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Each student receives an iPad and learns to play violin
No outdoor playground
Opened in 2012 with a kindergarten and 1st grade, the Family Life Academy Charter School II follows in the footsteps of the original FLACS, founded in 2001. FLACS II will expand a grade level each year until it is a full K-8 school. It offers an extended day, from 8:15 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
Assistant Principal Katherine Ortiz says the school prides itself on being responsive to parents and encourages communication with them.
There are two teachers in every classroom. Like the original FLACS, the school hopes to start a summer literacy preparation course for pre-kindergarten students in 2014.
Every student receives an iPad for the school day and most of the course work and worksheets are online. The iPad allows more advanced students to work on difficult assignments. We feel strongly that kids at the top sometimes get left out, so these children use the iPad, Ortiz said. The teacher will teach lessons on the iPad and then give them a different activity. [The students] get challenged by activities and a lot more work, said Ortiz.
Students receive singing and violin lessons. Students are trained by a full time music teacher in the Suzuki method and get to keep their violins. Students take yoga and fitness classes during the day. During meals students eat fresh, locally grown, and 75 percent organic food, provided to them by Red Rabbit, a Harlem organization.
Many students come from Spanish-speaking immigrant families. The school offers has an English Second Language teacher. Students who need extra help are placed in a 6-week academic intervention group where they meet 50 minutes each day with a teacher in a class of five students or less.
The Latino Pastoral Action Center offers an after school program for FLACS students from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. that offers homework help and classes in cooking and nutrition.
Principal Lourdes Arroyo was previously the principal at PS 108 in Manhattan and before that was the head of the Bilingual Bicultural Mini-School in District 4.
The school has its own building, but it has no playground or auditorium.
Special education: The school offers SETSS but not team-teaching or self-contained classes.
Admissions: Lottery. Priority to District 7. (Annaclaire Diianni-Miller, interview, July 2013)Read more