Following Area Public Schools’ Latest Quality Reviews
District 24 schools recently underwnt an independent review process by the city. The Times Newsweekly will present an ongoing series chronicling school performance in our area.This week: P.S. 290 in Maspeth.
P.S. 290/A.C.E. Academy for Scholars, a 206-student, K-2 school co-located in Maspeth’s Geraldine Ferraro Campus, received high grades from the DOE after a quality review in April, 2013.
The school was found to be “well developed” (four on a four-point scale). The average attendance rate for the 2011-2012 school year was 95.9 percent.
In its audit, the department found that the school offers comprehensive curricula that foster higher-level thinking and are aligned with city and state standards.
In addition, students bolster one another through collaborative learning and can “reflect on what classmates are saying and use transitional phrases like ‘I can add on to your thoughs,'” the report stated.
The DOE found that students often take their learning into their own hands.
In some group discussions, teachers step back and let students lead and manage their own discussion. Students also assesses themselves and their peers using “mastery rubrics” to independently monitor their progress.
Teachers have their own tools for measuring students.
School-wide uniform rubrics ensure consistency in teacher expectations and students’ work, the report found
“Each classroom setting makes it abundantly clear that there is a common understanding of what effective teaching looks and sounds like and is aligned to the school’s goals…” the DOE report stated.
Assessments and rubrics are used constructively, according to the city.
Teachers meet for an average of four periods per week to track students’ successs, and the school has highly effective systems for observing and monitoring teacher practice, auditors found.
Many educators at P.S. 290 devote “time well above their professional responsibilities to strengthen the craft of designing lessons that meet the individualized needs of each of their students,” according to the DOE.
Evaluators noted there is some room for improvement at the school by opening up the decision-making process to more stakeholders.
“Collaboration and decision-making that include all school constituents is slightly limited…” city reviewers stated. The school is in the process of including the wider school community, and reviewers called the move an “ongoing activity over time,” it was noted.