Archive for the tag 'sheepshead bay high school'

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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Coach Fred Synder. Source:

Sheepshead Bay High School head football coach Fred Snyder doesn’t spare kind sentiments when reflecting on this year’s team.

“They’re reliable, they’re personable, they’re good students, good citizens all the way down the line,” he told the New York Post. “I think our strength can be teamwork and leadership.”

With just 30 kids on his Sharks roster, he doesn’t feel like the low number is any type of detractor from gaining a coveted playoff spot for the 16th straight season this fall. After all, his 29-person team won the city title in 2001.

Snyder is especially counting on his three captains, Rashaad Coward, David Sharpton and Artem Artemyev, to lead the Sharks.

Coward, who has been working hard academically and athletically to improve himself, has seen his work payoff. He has already been recruited by some of the top colleges in the country to play for them.

Coward worked with a tutor all summer and took summer classes in order to bolster his academic record.

“He’s a good leader for the team, he understands our system and he’s played a few roles on offense and defense,” said Snyder. “He can rally the other guys together. If I have to get something done, I’ll ask him and he’ll do it.”

As for the rest of the team, Snyder has faith in each of their individual abilities.

“He’ll find a way to get something done,” Snyder said of Artemyev. “If he has to throw, he’ll throw; he’ll run. He’s got a good balance.”

Sheepshead Bay players have been successful in reaching the players the last 15 years in a row. Snyder is careful not to start the sports season with playoffs on his mind. He doesn’t pressure them to win the title, but to play well in each upcoming game.

“We’re not trying to be that team to end the streak,” Coward said. “So we have to keep working harder and harder and harder and hopefully get further than the first round.”

John O’Mahoney, the current interim principal of Sheepshead Bay High School, has been fined $4,000 after admitting to pressuring the principal of another school to hire his wife, and then demanding they keep her on staff despite school-wide budget cuts.

At the time, O’Mahoney was working as a “network leader” for several schools, including the one from which his wife was to be let go. Network leaders have an influential role over school-wide hiring and other policies.

His wife was laid off in June 2011 due to a budget crunch, and O’Mahoney called the principal to say, “my wife’s position could not be excessed,” according to New York City’s Conflicts of Interest Board paperwork reported on by the New York Post.

O’Mahoney left his position as network leader and was hired as the principal of Sheepshead Bay High School  last year, amid proceedings to close the school and reopen in with new staff and new name. He took over for principal Reesa Levy, who left in December 2011.

Both acts are a violation of the city’s ethics laws and O’Mahoney has been told to pay a $4,000 fine.

O’Mahoney position as principal is under review. A department spokesperson told GothamSchools that it is “taking this seriously and reviewing the findings.”

Sheepshead Bay High School was one of 24 “turnaround” high schools that were set to be closed, and then reopened in the fall, as the Academy of Career Exploration of Sheepshead Bay. That decision had since been halted after a court arbitrator slammed brakes on that plan.

It is still unclear if the name changes will still take effect if the decision is reversed.

Source: Fox Sports via

After a rising senior and football player at Sheepshead Bay High School spent much of his summer gaining weight and speed, he has achieved recognition from several universities, some of which are attempting to recruit him to their college team.

Rashaad Coward has passed his summer vacation in the weight room and running in order to to increase his speed. This time spent training turned Coward into a faster runner, despite the fact that he has gained 20 pounds, bringing his weight up to a grand total of 270. Weight and speed will give Coward more physical dominance as a defensive end, and provide him with the power to ward off offensive tackles.

“I’m going to be an all-purpose defensive end,” Coward told “I can contain, rush the passer or whatever. I think the weight will help me to not get moved off the ball as much.”

According to, Coward has already received offers from University of Albany and Wagner College, and has visited and been in contact with many other colleges, including Connecticut, Massachusetts, Syracuse and, a school that’s recruited several Sheepshead Bay High School players already, Rutgers University. Coward feels that many college football programs are waiting to see him play this upcoming season as a senior before presenting him with solid offers.

“They’re mostly all waiting to see me the first three games of the season,” he said. “They want to see more explosiveness and more awareness from me.”

Coward is excited about his final year in high school, and says he will focus on his football games while maintaining a decent GPA. He would like to attend a college with a safe campus close to his family, so they can be involved and watch him play.

Congratulations to Coward on his achievements! Good luck in the future!


Source: Wikimedia Commons

Several weeks ago, 24 city schools, including Sheepshead Bay High School, were set to be closed. Thousands of teachers were to be fired and left without work as new principals and faculty were brought in and the school renamed. The action would have brought millions of federal dollars into the system.

Then a court arbitrator threw the brakes on the plan.

The arbitrator determined that the plan to dismiss 50 percent or more of the teachers at each turnaround school was in violation of the city’s collective bargaining agreement with the teacher’s union.

The decision stops the city from moving forward with its plan, and also disqualifies the city from receiving more than $40 million in federal funds for the overhaul process. has a thorough report about the arbitrator’s decision, in which the arbitrator claims the city used “circular reasoning” to justify the turnaround, using the mayor’s own words to reveal the problem with the plan.

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Source: WBUR/Flickr

Cricket is one of the fastest growing sports in America, and it is extremely popular in Brooklyn. And high school teams are picking up steam.

Who knew?

The top cricket players of New York City’s high schools were selected to partake in the 2012 NYC Mayor’s Cup High School Cricket All-Star Game this Saturday at Spring Creek Park Cricket Field, 355 Gateway Drive, Brooklyn.

The group consists of 57 players from high school teams in Brooklyn, the Bronx, Manhattan and Queens. Locally, Sheepshead Bay High School, Abraham Lincoln High School and Midwood High School are sending two players each. Franklin D. Roosevelt High School is sending three athletes.

The first of the matches will take place at 10 a.m., while the final, the championship, will begin at 4 p.m.

Interested in playing cricket?  Beyond the high school level, there are several cricket teams based in Brooklyn. Among these teams are the Brooklyn Warriors, the Knight Riderz, and the Kings Country Warriors. Individuals can request to join the team, or they can email the captain of the team here.

Marine Park also has a cricket field on the corner of Filmore Avenue and Marine Parkway. To reserve a cricket field for organized play, you must first obtain an Athletic Field Permit.

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!

After deciding last month to shutter Sheepshead Bay High School, as well as 23 other high schools, the Department of Education chose a name this week for the new school in the old building: Academy of Career Exploration of Sheepshead Bay.

John Dewey High School – also slated for closure – will be renamed Shorefront High School of Arts and Sciences at John Dewey Campus.

Both schools will close doors in June as part of a federal “turnaround model” – which requires firing at least half the staff. The plan has spurred condemnation from parents, teachers and students as we’ve previously reported.

The schools will reopen under the new names in September, flooded with as much as $1.5 million each in federal funds to get the schools back on track.

We didn’t think the DOE could make it any more difficult to report on school issues, but, alas, they found a way to nearly double the number of characters to type. That’s city efficiency at its very best!

Regardless, we think it’ll be known colloquially as Sheepshead Bay High School and John Dewey High School for years to come. What do you think?

Sheepshead Bay H.S. students protest the DOE's plans before a March hearing (Photo by Robert Fernandez)

Sheepshead Bay High School and John Dewey High School will close doors in June, a city panel decided last night despite objections from those closest to the schools.

The schools are both targeted for reform using a federal “turnaround model” – which requires firing at least half the staff. The plan has spurred condemnation from parents, teachers and students as we’ve previously reported.

The Panel for Education Policy made the final decision last night, when they voted to close all 24 high schools on the agenda at the five-hour meeting.

The schools will reopen under new names in September, flooded with as much as $1.5 million each in federal funds to get the schools back on track.

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