P.S. 443: The Family School, South Bronx


by cynthia mcccallister

Located in the Morrisania section of the South Bronx, The Family School enrolls 546 students. Over 42% of students are English language learners, and almost 20% have IEPs. 26% are Black and 67% are Hispanic. 96% qualify for free or reduced lunch.

The Family opened as a primary school that progressively phased in grades 3, 4 and 5 from 2010 to 2013. In Fall 2011, after the school’s achievement data reflected shortcomings with the existing literacy program, the principal asked me to work with teachers in one fourth-grade ESL classroom, one primary ESL classroom, and one primary CTE classroom to pilot Learning Cultures in reading and writing programs. Other teachers were invited to observe and implement components of the program by choice.

By the end of the 2011-12 school year, over half the primary teachers were implementing the model, most teachers in the school were committed to implementation, and Lee decided to implement Learning Cultures full-scale in the reading and writing programs, K-5 in 2012-13. During the first full year of implementation, several elementary teachers demonstrated resistance to the model. These teachers left to teach in other schools for the 2013-14 school year.

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The table below shows patterns of achievement over the two year period for the school in general--years in which Learning Cultures was implemented in the school. Patterns of growth are particularly evident in ESL and how achieving subgroups. 

Category

2010-2011

K-3

2011-2012

K-4

2012-2013

K-5

Student Progress

4.1 out of 30

27.5 out of 60

27.1 out of 60

Student Performance

1.2 out of 25

7.7 out of 25

4.5 out of 25

School Environment

6.3 out of 15

7.6 out of 15

2.2 out of 15

Closing the Achievement Gap

3.0 out of 15

4 out of 16

3.4 out of 17

Attendance

91.4%

93%

92.3%

ELA: ELLs: Percent at 75th Growth Percentile or Higher in ELA

Not reported

21.8%

42.3%

ELA: Lowest Third Citywide: Percent at 75th Growth Percentile or Higher

Not reported

30.5%

48.2%

ELA: Self-Contained/ICT/SETSS: Percent at 75th Growth Percentile or Higher

Not reported

21.7%

62.5%

ELA: Black and Hispanic Males in Lowest Third Citywide: Percent at 75th Growth Percentile or Higher

Not reported

22.2%

40.4%

The Family School/P.S. 443

 




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