Archive for the tag '3000 ave x'

newvisions

Kudos to the kids from the New Visions Charter School for Advanced Math & Science III, one of the publicly-funded charter schools that moved into the Sheepshead Bay High School campus (3000 Avenue X) last fall. These kids took to the streets around the school last week, cleaning sidewalks and removing several garbage bags of debris and litter.

Here’s what the school’s COO Geri Molloy wrote to us:

Last Tuesday, March 18 2014 the entire New Visions Advanced Math and Science III community left our campus and went into the neighborhood to clean up. Armed with gloves and garbage, Scholars and staff collected over 60 bags of garbage from around the neighborhood.

Way to go!

From a rally to save the school when it faced closure in 2010.

Sheepshead Bay High School, which the city decided to “phase out” at the end of last semester due to poor performance, had the deck stacked against them by Department of Education policies that overloaded them with difficult students.

A new study by the Annenberg Institute for School Reform confirms the departments policies of dumping high-needs kids in struggling schools, worsening their chances at success.

The New York Post reports:

The students who don’t participate in the regular high-school selection process — known as “over the counter,” or OTC, students — are likelier to be new immigrants, have special needs, be homeless or have a prior history of behavioral issues.

Yet the DOE knowingly assigned huge numbers of them to dozens of schools that were either already being shuttered for poor performance or that were subsequently approved for closure, the study found.

“Compelling evidence suggests that the DOE’s inequitable assignment of OTC students to struggling high schools reduces the opportunities for success for both the students and their schools,” said Norm Fruchter, an Annenberg associate and one of the study’s authors.

At Sheepshead Bay HS in Brooklyn, the percentage of OTC kids assigned each year grew from 18 percent in 2008 to 25 percent in 2011 — well above the average for large high schools. After the school’s performance began to suffer, it was approved for closure earlier this year.

The report confirms claims made by Sheepshead Bay High School (3000 Avenue X) supporters that gains they had made in recent years were rapidly undermined by a growing student body of high-needs students, a claim the fell on deaf ears at public hearings over the school closure.

Even with the high rate of OTC students, Sheepshead Bay High School administrators had claimed they had a tremendous success rate at converting those low-performers into achievers, through less traditional means like extra-curricular activities and special programs.

Still, their graduation rates weighed on the rest of the student body, leading to the closure of Sheepshead Bay High School.

The NYPD’s bomb squad has been called to Sheepshead Bay High School at 3000 Avenue X, after authorities may have found what’s believed to be an explosive device in the basement of the school.

A call came over police scanners at approximately 10:20 a.m., saying that police were on scene with what appeared to be a “military explosive device” found in the basement. The officers on scene requested the NYPD’s Emergency Services Unit.

Readers, like Lisa M., have told Sheepshead Bites that the police presence is heavy and that the school has been evacuated. Lisa wrote:

tons of cops over at Sheepshead High today…kids amassed outside…the police in front of my house (on Batchelder St. near Ave.Y) told me there was a “threat to the school”.

Sheepshead Bites has not been able to confirm with the NYPD if an actual explosive has been found and confirmed. We will update as more information becomes available.

UPDATE (11:14 a.m.): It appears that other schools in the area, including P.S. 52 on Nostrand Avenue and Avenue Z have also been evacuated.

UPDATE (11:30 a.m.): An aide in the principal’s office answered the phone and said that everyone has returned to the building and she believes, but was not sure, that the police have left. She declined to provide details about the cause of the evacuation.

Sheepshead Bites is still awaiting a response from the NYPD’s Deputy Commissioner of Public Information and the 61st Precinct.

UPDATE (2:50 p.m.): The “explosive” turned out to be an old science experiment left in the building’s basement. The Daily News reports:

The NYPD bomb squad determined the device was a harmless World War II-era depth gauge, school officials said.

“It is thought this suspicious package may be a World War II relic that may have once been used in a very old science project,” Department of Education spokeswoman Marge Feinberg said in a statement.

Students were allowed back in the school within two hours, officials said.

This is a breaking news story and may contain inaccuracies. We will update it as more information becomes available. If anyone has more information or additional photos, please send them to tips (at) sheepsheadbites (dot) com.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

The Panel for Educational Policy, which has the final say on closing schools in New York City, voted last night to approve plans to phase out and ultimately shutter Sheepshead Bay High School and 21 other schools at the end of this semester.

Much like the closure hearing held earlier this month at Sheepshead Bay High School, opposition at last night’s meeting was thin compared to previous years.

The New York Post notes:

While hundreds of parents and teachers came to protest the move, the meeting wasn’t nearly as volatile as in past years, when thousands packed the auditorium and raucously taunted education officials.

… Before last night’s vote, far fewer elected officials spoke out than usual, the crowd thinned within hours, and even the head of the UFT sent his No. 2.

NY 1 reports that some of that scale down in opposition is because the UFT has “given up” on challenging Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s policies, and is now looking ahead to the new mayor. NY 1 reports:

This is the fourth year since a state law was revised to require that the panel votes on school closures, but since the majority of the panel is appointed by the mayor, the panel has approved every single one of the DOE’s proposals to date.

Of all of the DOE’s controversial policies, closing schools consistently generates the most vocal push back. Even if the outcome of the final vote is almost certainly assured, thousands of people show up to the meeting every year. Most are teachers, students or parents at the schools that are being closed, but the teachers’ union has also traditionally brought in hundreds of other members to speak out against the policy.

This year, the United Federation of Teachers has not organized a large protest for the first time. The union president said that he has given up trying to work with the current mayor to get anything done and is focused on the next mayor.

As many as 142 schools have been closed of phased out since Bloomberg took office in 2002.

In addition to closing Sheepshead Bay High School, the panel voted to approve the co-location of four new schools, including two charters, on the 3000 Avenue X premises. A “phase out” period in which no new ninth graders would be accepted to the school begins immediately. Current students would be allowed to graduate or transfer out over the next three years, and, beginning this September, a new public high school, two new charter high schools, and a district transfer high school would all be co-located in the same facility.

The charter high schools will both be managed by New Visions for Public Schools, a nonprofit that manages more than 70 schools across the five boroughs.

Source: 247sports

Sheepshead Bay’s Rashaad Coward is a 6’6″, 280-pound defensive tackling force and he is taking his football dreams to Old Dominion, according to a report by the New York Daily News.

As we’ve previously reported, Rashaad was weighing his options between the likes of Albany and Wagner College, before settling on Old Dominion.

Old Dominion, located in Norfolk, VA, has high academic standards for their student-athletes, making Coward mother’s pleased with her son’s decision.

“A lot of the players are good in the classroom and on the dean’s list, so she was happy about that, too,” Coward told the Daily News.

Fred Snyder, Coward’s coach, bestowed high praise on the future Old Dominion tackle, calling him the best lineman he ever coached.

“He had the size and ability and he worked hard to make sure what happened his freshman year when he got pushed around a little never happened again,” Synder said.

Coward is the first athlete out of Sheepshead Bay set to play Division I Football since Rutgers recruited Andre Civil in 2008.

Yesterday was Martin Luther King Day, and while many people stayed home and enjoyed their day off, others rolled up their sleeves and answered Dr. King’s Call for Service. Over 600 volunteers came to Sheepshead Bay High School to paint, cobble and clean for the 10th annual MLK Day of Service.

“The students and teachers that work here and attend school here, live in communities that were most affected [by Superstorm Sandy],” said Erica Hamilton, executive director of City Year New York, to CBS 2 News.

Among the good deeds performed by the volunteers, which culled together students and community members, were the painting of murals designed by students and the building of benches and bookshelves to help spruce up the Sheepshead Bay High School. They also painted handbags and made cards for special needs students.

The murals, all painted by students, reflected different themes including careers, performing arts and literature.

View the photos from the event.

Sheepshead Bay High School students protesting the city’s closure attempts in the last school year. (Photo: Robert Fernandez)

We reported in November that the New York Department of Education was once again looking to close Sheepshead Bay High School, including it on an “early engagement” list. This week, the school popped up on yet another list of low performing schools targeted for closure, according to an article in School Book.

The planned closing of Sheepshead Bay High has been fought for some time, and teachers and administrators have thus far been successful at keeping the school open despite mounting pressure from city officials. This time around, though, the DOE doesn’t appear to be pushing an immediate closure at the end of this school year, but “phasing out,” meaning no new students can enroll at the school.

According to School Book, the High School’s closing hasn’t shocked its staff:

Robin Kovat, a social studies and law teacher at Sheepshead Bay High School, said the announcement Monday did not surprise her.

“The D.O.E. has been trying to close us for nine years. They are finally succeeding. Even though we knew it was coming, it is still so sad,” Kovat said.

Sheepshead Bay was one of the high schools the city wanted to “turn around” this year. Despite a new principal and additional support systems, Kovat said one year was not enough time to demonstrate results.

“A lot of us put our hearts and souls into the school and into the kids and really know that we made a difference in their lives. You know, maybe the numbers aren’t reflecting that,” she said. “At the same time as our statistics are going down, we have rising stars. Seriously.”

Despite the disappointment from teachers and administrators, Deputy Chancellor Marc Sternberg and the DOE are taking a hard stance against struggling schools.

“We expect success,” he said in a statement. “After a rigorous review of academic performance, we’re proposing to phase out a select number of low-performing schools. We’ve listened to the community and provided comprehensive support services to these schools based on their needs. Ultimately, we know we can better serve our students and families with new options and a new start.”

UFT President Michael Mulgrew, though, called shenanigans on the idea that DOE provided comprehensive report, noting to School Book, “Large comprehensive schools like Lehman and Sheepshead Bay have been further undermined by DOE policies that led to increased concentrations of high-needs students, but with no increase in the services such students need.”

Sheepshead Bay High School students protesting the city’s closure attempts in the last school year. (Photo: Robert Fernandez)

The third time’s the charm? New York City’s school administrators seem to hope so.

For the third time in three years, the Department of Education has again set its sights on closing Sheepshead Bay High School (3000 Avenue X), including it in a list of 24 high schools slated for closure as early as the end of this school year.

The “early engagement” list, reported on yesterday by Gotham Schools, is comprised of schools that the Department of Education says comes up short on student test results, attendance rates, graduate rates and college preparedness. In addition to high schools, it contains 36 elementary and middle schools.

Sheepshead Bay High School is one of seven high schools on the list that the city tried to close last year using the “turnaround” plan, which mandates closing the school, firing the staff, reopening under a new name and hiring a maximum of 50 percent of the teachers from the previous administration. Courts threw the brakes on the plan, though, after the teachers’ and principals’ unions successfully sued, claiming that it violated their collective bargaining agreement with the city.

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Source: Wikimedia Commons

A Sheepshead Bay High School teacher is speaking out about feeling pressured to “teach to the test,” saying that administrators from the soon-to-be Academy of Career Exploration of Sheepshead Bay threatened she raise the test scores of two failing students so they could graduate.

Erica Bloom, a 36-year-old geometry teacher who is, according to comments made about her on the Rate My Teachers website, mostly well-liked by her students, told the New York Post that she would receive a “3020” — a disciplinary warning in Department of Education (DOE)-speak — if she didn’t inflate the students’ geometry Regents exam scores from a failing 55 to a passing 65. The warning, she explained would “mean the removal of my license. So I lose my job, my insurance, my pension — everything, after 14 years.”

Bloom says new school Principal John O’Mahoney had insisted that all students take the Regents — and that their scores should count for 10 percent of their final grades.

One of the students notched a 53 on the test. The other failed to show up.

“A guidance counselor [for one student] came in and asked me to change his grade,” she said.

He was followed by the assistant principal “who came in and kept asking, ‘Why are you failing him?’ ”

Another asked about the second student.

“I was pressured by everybody,” she said.

She then went to O’Mahoney’s office but he refused to intervene. “He didn’t say a thing,” she said.

Margie Feinberg, spokeswoman for the DOE, said O’Mahoney did nothing wrong. “The principal acted properly,” she told the Post. “This was not an issue of changing grades.”

The two students graduated this past Friday.

 

File:US Navy 120102-N-DR144-050 An MH-60S Knight Hawk assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 23 passes the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile .jpg

A U.S. Navy MH-60S Knighthawk (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

The United States Navy will show off its air power today with a Fleet Week event right here in Sheepshead Bay.

An MH-60S Knighthawk helicopter will put on an aerial demo above Sheepshead Bay High School (er, “Academy of Career Exploration of Sheepshead Bay“), with its Explosive Ordinance Team conducting a mock search and rescue operation. Armed with machine guns, the Knighthawk is a combat support helicopter, used for troop transport, supply missions and search and rescue operations. Very soon, they’ll be flying with lasers. No joke. They’re being fitted with Airborne Laser Mine Detection Systems.

Oh, another cool fact about the Knighthawk? It’s the first Navy chopper equipped with the glass cockpit, in which the dashboard’s usual mechanical gauges are replaced with four digital screens. Yeah, it’s just like Star Wars.

Anyway, after the aerial demo, the MH-60S Knighthawk will land in the school’s sports field for everyone to come check out.

The event kicks off at 1:00 p.m. Sheepshead Bay High School is located at 3000 Avenue X.

UPDATE (11:09 a.m.): Just got off the phone with the Fleet Week coordinators, and this event is still on despite the rain. We’ll check in again around 12:30 p.m.

UPDATE (12:35 p.m.): The event was canceled at 2:20 p.m. The Navy guys at Sheepshead Bay High School were trying real hard to make this happen. I think the final hold-up came from FAA, not US Navy. Thank you, service members!

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