2000-11-04 / Columnists

Focus on 27 Community School District News and Notes

Focus On 27

Focus on 27
Community School District News and Notes

Public School 43 (160 Beach 29 street) opened its doors in September 1996 with a student population of 450 in a pre-k through grade five organization. Subsequent years saw the addition of grades six through eight. Today P.S. 43 has grown into a thriving learning community of more than 1,200 students, one of the largest schools on the peninsula.

Student achievement at P.S. 43 has been a concern and has resulted in the school being identified as SURR. (School Under Registration Review). With the support of District Superintendent Matthew Bromme, the school administration and staff have addressed student performance concerns with a collaborative yet no-nonsense approach. Reduced class size exists in the kindergarten and third grade. Small group instruction takes place for reading throughout the grades thanks to the support of Early Grade Class Size Reduction monies and through creative cluster programming. All staff members are involved in teaching reading. Early intervention pull-out and after school programs exist in grades one through three. Students in grades four through eight are also supported through after-school programs and through the Saturday Institute, which provides an additional three hours of intense instruction each Saturday morning for identified students. These programs and interventions have resulted in the significant improvement of student performance in both reading and mathematics and the rise of the school in citywide rankings.

A great deal of emphasis has been placed on grant writing and the securing of grant monies to support current school programs. Upwards of $650,000.00 has been awarded to the school during the past two years. The most significant grant award has been the Comprehensive School Reform Demonstration Program (CSRD). This grant has enabled the school to provide staff development in the Basic School philosophy. This philosophy addresses four major priority areas; curriculum; character; climate; and community. Staff and parents meet collaboratively under the direction of the principal to address areas of concern within the priority areas and implement programs and initiatives to address identified needs.

The school’s staff, consisting of a number of veteran teachers and a large number of new certified teachers, are dedicated to their own professional development. They are tenacious in seeing to it that their students’ efforts are organized in such a fashion as to ensure that all move forward.

Over the past two summers a total of 60 teachers have attended Basic School staff development activities in Virginia sponsored by James Madison University. Principal, John M. Quattrocchi, attended the Principal’s Institute at Harvard University.

A positive climate and a feeling of hopefulness permeate the school’s corridors and classrooms. The principal instills in his staff and the staff instills in their students the following belief:

"Our work is important.

We can do it!

We will never give up!"

Public School 43 is on the right track and moving forward thanks to a dedicated staff and administration, a concerned parent community, students organized for effort, and substantial district support.

(P.S. 43 administration: John Michael Quattrocchi, principal; Robin Johnson, assistant principal (acting); Deborah Otto, assistant principal (acting); and Sara Trezza, assistant principal. Webpage: http://www.nycenet.edu/csd27/ps43)

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