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Schools March 24, 2011  RSS feed

With School Underperforming, CEC 32 Eyes Grading Process

Parent Of Student With ADHD Seeks Help
by Sam Goldman


CEC 32 honored students from P.S. 299 and P.S. 86 at its Mar. 17 meeting in Bushwick. In the photo at left, P.S. 299 students Jasmine Diaz, Alexandrya Laury and Tane Davis (shown in photo from left to right holding plaques) are joined by principal Wilma Kirk (left) and CEC 32’s Lewis Tillman. In the photo at right, P.S. 86 students Ambar Ramirez, Dayana Freire and Jordy Pena are shown from left to right holding their awards, and are flanked by P.S. 86 Principal Mabel Sarduy on the left and CEC 32 President Victorina Lugo on the right. P.S. 299’s Giovany Moranchel, who was not in attendance, was also honored. CEC 32 honored students from P.S. 299 and P.S. 86 at its Mar. 17 meeting in Bushwick. In the photo at left, P.S. 299 students Jasmine Diaz, Alexandrya Laury and Tane Davis (shown in photo from left to right holding plaques) are joined by principal Wilma Kirk (left) and CEC 32’s Lewis Tillman. In the photo at right, P.S. 86 students Ambar Ramirez, Dayana Freire and Jordy Pena are shown from left to right holding their awards, and are flanked by P.S. 86 Principal Mabel Sarduy on the left and CEC 32 President Victorina Lugo on the right. P.S. 299’s Giovany Moranchel, who was not in attendance, was also honored. With a school in Bushwick labeled aspersistently underperforming,” an explanation of how schools are graded was the big topic at the District 32 Community Education Council (CEC 32) meeting last Thursday, Mar. 17 at P.S. 299.


(photos: Sam Goldman) (photos: Sam Goldman) The school to be given that designation, District 32 Superintendent Lillian Druck reported, is J.H.S. 296, located at 125 Covert St. A special meeting has been convened on Wednesday, Mar. 30 at 6 p.m. for parents and faculty to try and address issues at the school.

In the meantime, the school is working with DOE officials to “make sure that the school does not struggle.”

Gilbert Cox of the Department of Education (DOE) delivered a slideshow presentation on the “differential accountability” model that the agency uses to evaluate schools.

This model, which was adopted as part of the No Child Left Behind Act, gives more latitude to the agency to work with troubled schools, according to Cox, and streamlines accountability.

Each school is measured on their ability to meet general Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) benchmarks, as well as AYP benchmarks in English and math, and their AYP in subgroups (such as certain grade levels). Depending on how many or which subgroups fail to make progress for two consecutive years, a school may be put into the Improvement phase, giving the school a chance to improve.

If, after a year in the Improvement phase, the school fails to make progress for two consecutive years, it is placed in the Corrective Action phase, an a joint city/state team is dispatched to run an External School Curriculum Audit to see what moves can be made to increase student performance.

If, after two more years in the Corrective Action phase, the school still cannot meet the required progress, it is placed in the Restructuring phase. A Joint Intervention Team—consisting of city and state education representatives and an employee of Cambridge Associates, an independent consulting firm hired by the state—will examine possibilities for restructuring and/or closing the school.

Each phase contains multiple categories based on the severity of its condition.

Druck noted that while 16 Bushwick schools are in good standing, 10 schools are struggling among certain segments of their population.

“We need to move these particular groups forward,” she told the audience; “the question is, ‘what are we doing for those particular groups?”

Cox did note that P.S. 299 and I.S. 383 were both taken off the list of underperforming schools due to their recent improvement.

ADHD student facing issues

During CEC’s 32 business meeting, Katarina Rodriguez, a new member of CEC 32, reported a conflict between a student and faculty members at P.S./I.S. 384.

According to Rodriguez, the student in question was recently diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and that due to his disruptive activity stemming from his condition, he has been removed from class and “constantly sent home.”

When Rodriguez spoke to school officials, they allegedly responded that they “wouldn’t tolerate” students with ADHD, and told the CEC member that unless the student stops being disruptive, the child will be sent home every day.

“That’s educational neglect,” she told CEC 32.

The parent has met with one of the school’s assistant principals but, according to Rodriguez, has yet to meet with P.S./I.S. 384 Principal Brunhilda Perez.

Rodriguez further noted that the school lacks a Collaborative Team Teaching class that is a better fit for his Individualized Education Program than a normal class due to his ADHD.

Druck and CEC 32 President Victorina Lugo stated that they would investigate the situation.

Other news

CEC 32 member Lewis Tillman noted that P.S. 299 is due to receive technical upgrades thanks to “Resolution A” funding provided by City Council Member Erik Martin Dilan.

Druck also noted that all schools are set to receive digital scales that will allow students’ fitness to be tested.

Lugo spoke of minor Schools Construction Authority projects underway at P.S. 86, including repairing the school’s roof and flooring.

Laurie Wheelock, representing Assemblyman Vito Lopez, told the crowd that “we’re trying to be creative” in finding money in the state budget for education, in an attempt to stave off severe cuts as the state level. Lugo noted that cuts to day care centers are also on the table.

“Not only does it affect working parents, but it also affects parents who are of low income,” she noted.

Jordy Pena, Dayana Freire and Ambar Ramirez of P.S. 86 joined Tane Davis, Alexandrya Laury, Jasmine Diaz and Giovany Moranche of P.S. 299 as recipients of CEC 32’s monthly awards.

Lugo reminded residents that Chancellor Cathie Black will be coming to a town hall on Thursday, Apr. 7 at P.S. 274, located at 800 Bushwick Ave.

(See the notice on Page 4 for more information.)

The District 32 Community Education Council usually meets on the third Wednesday of every month at schools throughout Bushwick.