Tag Archives: P.S. 140

DOE: Students can transfer out of failing schools

| mchan@queenscourier.com

File photo

Students in failing city schools will be allowed to transfer, the Department of Education said.

The city is in the process of phasing out 39 struggling schools. The Panel for Educational Policy will vote in March on whether to phase out another 22, including three in Queens.

The transfer option will give students a chance to succeed at better schools. This is the first year all students at phase-out schools have been given the choice.

“We believe in providing good school choices for all students and families, and this new transfer option will enable families in low performing schools to gain access to higher performing ones across the city,” said DOE spokesperson Devon Puglia.

Transfer applications with a list of high-ranking schools will be sent to about 16,000 eligible students in March, the department said. Priority will be given to students with the lowest scores and “greatest need.”

Students who are granted the transfer would be able to start at their new school in September.

The three Queens schools proposed for phase out this year are P.S. 140 in Jamaica; Law, Government and Community Service High School in Jamaica; and the Business, Computer Applications & Entrepreneurship High School in St. Albans.

P.S. 156 in Laurelton faces a possible truncation, which will eliminate its middle school.

One grade would be eliminated at a time from the troubled schools under the phase-out process.



Star of Queens: Shani Faure, P.S. 140 PTA president

| mhayes@queenscourier.com

star of queens

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: Shani Faure became the PTA president of P.S. 140 only a year ago, but her community advocacy dates all the way back to her teenage years. Faure is one of the project managers at Life Camp Incorporated, a nonprofit organization aiming to save teens from gun violence, and is also a life coach for single mothers. As PTA President, Faure focuses on fundraising through social events and school sales and also on increasing parent involvement in the school. “I try to think about creative and unique ways to get the parents out there,” she said. “Not only just to know what’s going on in the school, but also different wa ys to build better relationships between parents and students.”

PERSONAL BACKGROUND: Faure is a native New Yorker, born in Brooklyn, but moved around as a child. However, despite her location, one thing remained constant – her advocacy for the community. She began as a Girl Scout, and said she worked in hospitality ever since she was 14 years old. During her college years, she worked with children in low-income neighborhoods. “I always spent my time volunteering and mentoring those less fortunate,” she said.

FAVORITE MEMORY: In her position, Faure said her favorite memories involve “just seeing the smiles on the kids’ faces, because they really do appreciate the little things.” All of the P.S. 140 students and parents have come to know her friendly face, and they enjoy seeing her in the school every day. “It’s a very family-oriented school, and I think that’s what I love,” she said. “Everybody pitches in and does their part.”

INSPIRATION: Through all of Faure’s volunteer work, she has encountered many different people, mainly children. In college, she recalled seeing kids that go home to negligent parents, and it made her want to be there for them “Some kids just don’t have anybody at home,” she said. “So at least they now know that at school they have other people to talk to, and I think that makes the difference.” Faure said that a lot of students in the area are at a “disadvantage,” and she wants to be there, along with others, to help them.

BIGGEST CHALLENGE: Getting parents more involved is a perpetual problem for Faure, but aside from that, she wants upgraded technology in the school. Currently, the school has very few storyboards, which can help individual students do anything from lay out a storyline in English or break apart a word equation in math. Faure would like to get a storyboard for every student, and also update their computer center with Apple equipment.



Four schools in Queens on the chopping block

| mhayes@queenscourier.com


Four Queens schools are on the chopping block after receiving poor marks on the Department of Education’s (DOE) progress reports.

The four — I.S. 59, J.H.S 8, P.S. 140 and P.S./M.S. 156 — are from a list of roughly 40 borough schools that received low grades. Their fate was finalized after the department reviewed grades; past performance; quality reviews; plans already underway to improve the school; leadership performance and district and community needs. The four are part of a group of 36 schools citywide.

“We have begun conversations with 36 schools that we have identified as struggling. These are difficult conversations, but it’s important to have this dialogue and hold our schools to the highest of standards,” said DOE Deputy Chancellor Marc Sternberg. “The goal of these discussions is to gain a better understanding of what’s happening at these schools and give them the opportunity to talk about the challenges they face, the strategies and interventions already underway, and what strategies or interventions will be most meaningful to the school as they move forward.”

Conversations between the struggling schools and the DOE will continue, and within the coming weeks will be set for closure, or given a chance at redemption.

41 Queens schools could face closure

| mhayes@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Maggie Hayes

It could be final bell for 217 city schools whose progress reports showed dismal grades.

The progress reports include “A” through “F” grades of 1,193 elementary and middle schools. The schools who scored a “D” or an “F,” or no higher than a “C” for three years, could be on the chopping block, with this year’s citywide number up from last year’s report of 116.

Among those in Queens could be the 31 schools who have scored three consecutive “Cs” or below, nine schools with a “D,” and the one Jamaica school with an “F,” P.S. 140 Edward K. Ellington.

“It’s the staff,” said Nikieva Millian, mother of two students at the elementary school, who shook her head when she heard the grade.

Out of a total score of 100, the school scored a 21 based on the Department of Education (DOE) standards.

According to a DOE statistical breakdown, grades are based on a compilation of student progress, performance and school environment. Progress and performance mainly come from standardized test scores, and English and Math scores at P.S. 140 are down.

“The teacher [my son] had wasn’t teaching him anything. They like to argue with the kids,” said Millian. “Call the parents, don’t argue with students.”

Since 2010, a study indicates that performance at the school, that recently added a pre-kindergarten, has decreased.

Principal David Norment did not return calls or emails for comment.

“The principal doesn’t like to talk to anybody,” said Millian. “If you have a complaint, you have to deal with the people in the office.”

It is not yet confirmed whether P.S. 140, among other schools with bad marks, will indeed face closure. The DOE will be releasing a list of schools on notice within the week, though they did not respond to repeated calls for comment.

This year, school standards have expanded and coursework has become more demanding so as to build a more solid foundation for students who continue to higher education.

“Our elementary and middle schools build on the foundation of early learning to set our students on a path for college and career readiness,” said DOE Chancellor Dennis Walcott.

Elementary and middle school curriculum now has higher standards, including good performance in critical thinking, defending arguments and executing experiments.

In Queens, which is home to school districts 24 through 30, school progress reports overall surpassed those of any other borough. District 26 came out as the highest performing district.

Millian, a concerned parent, does not wish for P.S. 140 to close, but believes there is a need for a more adequate staff.

“They should have more monitors,” she said. “As an adult, you’re supposed to take care of the kids.”