New York

Selective film high school among new schools opening in Sept.

A selective high school run by an organization called Ghetto Film School and a high school that’s remarkable because its building is freestanding, rather than shared with other schools, are set to open this fall, the Department of Education announced today.

The DOE launched its annual new schools announcement blitz today with news about six schools, including the two high schools, that will open in September. They are among 22 schools citywide that will move into new or expanded buildings over the summer. The 14,000 new school seats that are being added represent “the full impact” of the current capital plan, according to DOE officials. (The proposal for the next five-year capital plan doesn’t call for as much building.)

Of particular note is Cinema High School in the Bronx, which will be run in partnership with Ghetto Film School, a program that has for years introduced Bronx teens to film production. The school will admit students selectively; it’s among the roster of new selective schools Mayor Bloomberg promised in 2005.

In some parts of the city, new schools are scheduled to open to replace others that are being phased out because of poor performance. Those new schools have not yet been announced. At least the high schools that will open in September will be revealed by the end of next week; they will then try to woo applicants at a new schools fair.

The DOE’s press release and the full list of schools announced today is after the jump.

CHANCELLOR KLEIN ANNOUNCES TWENTY-TWO NEWLY CONSTRUCTED SCHOOL BUILDINGS TO OPEN IN SEPTEMBER 2009

New Buildings Will House 26 Schools, Including A New Selective School in the Bronx

14,000 New Seats To Be Created Across the Five Boroughs

Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein today announced that 26 schools will open in 22 newly constructed school buildings at the start of the 2009-10 school year. The 26 schools include six schools opening for the first time and 20 schools gaining annexes or moving out of antiquated or temporary buildings. Among the new schools are a selective school in the Bronx and the first high school in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. In all, 14,000 new seats will be created Citywide.

“Under the Mayor’s Capital Plan, we are creating outstanding new spaces for brand new schools, schools in temporary sites, and schools in older buildings,” Chancellor Klein said. “The new schools and high-quality existing schools in these spaces will provide great choices for more families in neighborhoods in New York City.”

“With more than 14,000 seats opening this year, we’re now beginning to see the full impact of the City’s historic $13.1 billion Capital Plan,” Deputy Chancellor for Finance and Administration Kathleen Grimm said. “Between 2009 and 2012, we’ll add more than 34,000 new seats across the City. These new seats will alleviate pockets of overcrowding, and will help to ensure that all students are going to school in facilities designed to best help them succeed.”

“In September, we will proudly open 22 beautiful new school facilities,” School Construction Authority President Sharon Greenberger said. “These buildings include 14 entirely new facilities, plus eight additions or annexes featuring state-of-the-art classrooms, libraries, and science labs. These new buildings will help schools provide students with the resources they need for an outstanding education.”

Six of the schools opening in newly constructed buildings next year will be opening for the first time. These include the Cinema School, the fifth new selective school built by Mayor Bloomberg. In 2005 Mayor Bloomberg promised to create seven such schools; two more selective schools are slated to open over the next two years. Sunset Park High School, a new large Brooklyn high school, will also open. Sunset Park High School will be divided into three small learning communities, providing students with a personalized learning environment within the context of the larger high school. Existing schools moving into new buildings include PS 65, known as “the Little Red School House,” which will move from two different locations into a single building thanks to a close partnership between the DOE and the District 19 community.

“I am very pleased with today’s announcement, and proud that the Cinema School will be located in the Bronx,” Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion Jr. said. “The school will provide students with an ambitious full-time film curriculum while supporting a rigorous academic education. These are the types of innovative new school options that our students and families want and deserve.”

The facilities opening in September 2009 are being constructed as part of the Department of Education’s historic $13.1 billion 2005-2009 Capital Plan, which is set to create more than 55,000 new school seats. In November 2008, the Department of Education released its proposal for the 2010-2014 Capital Plan, which will add 25,000 more seats across the City. After meeting with and collecting feedback from Community Education Councils across the City, the Department of Education will present a revised Capital Plan to the Panel for Educational Policy in February.

New schools opening in newly-constructed facilities will begin with one or two grades and phase in one grade level at a time. Existing schools moving from temporary locations will be able to expand to their fully-planned size. More information about the schools moving into new buildings in 2009 can be found at www.nyc.gov/schools/Facilities/FacilitiesSitePlanning/.

Schools Located in Buildings Opening for September 2009

Manhattan
•    26 Broadway Building
o    Urban Assembly School of Business for Young Women, HS, opened 2005, moving from a temporary location

Bronx
•    Jonas Bronck Building @ East Fordham Road
o    Jonas Bronck Academy, HS, opened 2005, moving from a temporary location

•    James Monroe HS Annex
o    The Cinema School, a new selective high school opening in September 2009
o    Mott Hall V, MS, District 12, opened 2005, moving from a temporary location

•    Bronx Studio School Building
o    Bronx Studio School for Writers and Artists, an Urban Assembly School, MS/HS, opened 2004, moving from a temporary location

•    Reverend James A. Polite Avenue School Complex
o    Peace and Diversity Academy, HS, opened 2004, moving from a temporary location
o    The Metropolitan High School, HS, opened 2005, moving from a temporary location

•    PS 169 Building
o    School program not yet determined

Brooklyn
•    Sunset Park High School Building
o    Sunset Park High School, HS, opening in September 2009
o    Building will include seats for a District 75 program

•    Waverly Avenue Building
o    Achievement First Endeavor Charter School, ES/MS, opened 2006, moving from a temporary location into a new building funded through a charter partnership

•    PS/IS 366 Building
o    Science and Medicine Middle School, MS, District 18, opening in September 2009
o    Second school program not yet determined

•    696 Jamaica Avenue Building
o    PS 65 “The Little Red School House”, ES, District 19, moving from two separate locations into one building
o    Building will include seats for a District 75 program

•    PS/IS 237 Building
o    The Brooklyn School of Inquiry, ES/MS, District 20, opening in September 2009
o    The Academy of Talented Scholars, ES, District 20, opening in September 2009
o    Building will include seats for a District 75 program

•     New Utrecht High School Addition
o    New Utrecht High School, HS, addition to an existing facility

•    PS 229 Addition
o    PS 229, preK-6, District 20, addition to an existing facility

Queens
•    Frank Sinatra High School Building
o    Frank Sinatra High School, HS, moving from a temporary location

•    PS 128 Building
o    PS 128, ES/MS, District 24, demolition of the existing facility and construction of a new expanded facility
o    Building will include seats for a District 75 program

•    PS 49 Addition
o    PS 49, ES/MS, District 24, addition to an existing facility

•    PS 102 Addition
o    PS 102, ES/MS, District 24, addition to an existing facility

•    PS 113 Addition
o    PS 113, ES/MS, District 24, addition to an existing facility

•    St. Bartholomew School Annex
o    School program not yet determined

•    PS 188 Annex
o    PS 188, ES, District 26, annex to an existing facility

•    PS 78 Annex
o    PS 78, ES, District 30, annex to an existing facility

Staten Island
•    PS/IS 861 Building
o    The Staten Island School of Civic Leadership, ES/MS, District 31, new school
o    Building will include seats for a District 75 program

Summer remix

Ten stories you may have missed this summer (and should read now as the new school year kicks in)

PHOTO: Caroline Bauman
Gabrielle Colburn, 7, adds her artistic flair to a mural in downtown Memphis in conjunction with the XQ Super Schools bus tour in June.

Labor Day used to signal the end of summer break and the return to school. That’s no longer the case in Tennessee, but the long holiday is a good time to catch up on all that happened over the summer. Here are 10 stories to get you up to speed on K-12 education in Tennessee and its largest school district.

TNReady is back — with a new test maker.

Last school year ended on a cliffhanger, with the State Department of Education canceling its end-of-year tests for grades 3-8 in the spring and firing testmaker Measurement Inc. after a series of missteps. In July, Commissioner Candice McQueen announced that Minnesota-based Questar will pick up where Measurement Inc. left off. She also outlined the state’s game plan for standardized tests in the coming year.

But fallout over the state’s failed TNReady test in 2015-16 will be felt for years.

The one-year void in standardized test scores has hit Tennessee at the heart of its accountability system, leaving the state digging for other ways to assess whether all of its students are improving.

Speaking of accountability, Tennessee also is updating that plan under a new federal education law.

The state Department of Education has been working with educators, policymakers and community members on new ways to evaluate schools in answer to the federal Every Student Succeeds Act, or ESSA, which requires states to judge schools by non-academic measures as well as test scores.

Meanwhile, issues of race and policing have educators talking about how to foster conversations about social justice in school.

In the wake of police-related killings that rocked the nation, five Memphis teachers talked about how they tackle difficult conversations about race all year long.

School closures made headlines again in Memphis — with more closings likely.

Closing schools has become an annual event as Tennessee’s largest district loses students and funding, and this year was no exception. The shuttering of Carver and Northside high schools brought the total number of district-run school closures to at least 21 since 2012. And more are likely. This month, Shelby County Schools is scheduled to release a facilities analysis that should set the stage for future closures. Superintendent Dorsey Hopson has said the district needs to shed as many as two dozen schools — and 27,000 seats — over the next four years. A Chalkbeat analysis identifies 25 schools at risk.

Exacerbating the challenges of shifting enrollment, families in Foote Homes scrambled to register their children for school as Memphis’ last public housing project prepared to close this month amid a delay in delivering housing vouchers to move elsewhere.

The new school year has officially begun, with the budget approved not a moment too soon for Shelby County Schools.

District leaders that began the budget season facing an $86 million shortfall eventually convinced county commissioners to significantly increase local funding, while also pulling some money from the school system’s reserve funds. The result is a $959 million budget that gives most of the district’s teachers a 3 percent raise and restores funding for positions deemed critical for continued academic progress.

The district also unveiled its first annual report on its growing sector of charter schools.

With charter schools now firmly entrenched in Memphis’ educational landscape, a Shelby County Schools analysis shows a mixed bag of performance, while calling on traditional and charter schools to learn from each other and promising better ways to track quality.

summer mix tape

Ten stories you might have missed over the summer (and should read now as a new school year begins)

PHOTO: Nicholas Garcia
Stand for Children received funding to support parent education.

There is no such thing as time off from covering education. While school doors were shuttered, plenty happened this summer on the Colorado education beat. Here, we’ve compiled stories that we hope prove useful as you ease back into your fall routines.

We’ve got your immunization data right here … 

For the second year, Chalkbeat tracked down immunization data for more than 1,200 schools in Colorado’s largest school districts. Our database revealed that Boulder remains a hotspot for the anti-vaccination movement, students in districts with racial and income diversity are more likely to get their shots and nearly half of schools in the database did a better job this year tracking students’ immunization records. Read our news story about the findings, check out these six charts that dig into the numbers and search for school-level data here.

Denver Superintendent Tom Boasberg reflects on his sabbatical (a break not everyone appreciated)

In June, Denver Public Schools’ longtime schools chief returned from a six-month unpaid sabbatical in South America with his family. “It made us appreciate the extraordinary resources we have here,” he said in an interview about his experience.

A milestone for Colorado charter schools on diversity, but not so much on integration

For the first time, Colorado’s charter schools educated a larger proportion of racial and ethnic minorities than district-run schools, a state report showed. We took a closer look and found that does not mean charter schools are more integrated.

Race, policing and education during a summer on edge

This summer sadly provided no shortage of violence and heartache over issues that sometimes feel like they’re tearing America apart at the seams. We sought to bring some local perspective (and wisdom) to the debate by talking to an ambitious Manual High School student who took up a bullhorn at Denver street protests and to Aurora Public Schools Superintendent Rico Munn.

A middle school’s last-ditch effort to save itself 

An Adams County middle school running out of time to improve has placed its bet on more challenging, more personal teaching — and zero test preparation. Watch Chalkbeat later this week for a report on whether these efforts paid off in the form of improved state test scores. (Hopefully … the data are set to be made public Thursday).

Guess which Colorado school district had a high proportion of teachers designated to lose tenure …

Compared with other large Colorado school districts, Denver Public Schools had a higher proportion of teachers set to lose tenure under a sweeping educator effectiveness law passed six years ago. We surveyed big districts about one of the consequences of Senate Bill 191.

Too darn hot to teach and learn 

As part of its big bond request of voters this fall, Denver Public Schools wants to try to cool off some of its hottest schools. We took a look at where the mercury soars the highest and found that in 12 of the 18 hottest buildings — some of which house more than one school — the number of students who qualify for free or reduced price lunch exceeds the district average.

But the University Club has a lovely lunch menu (and squash courts, too)…  

What if the State Board of Education held a not-so-public meeting with the education commissioner at a private club downtown to prioritize goals, but didn’t get much of anything accomplished? That happened.

What we know — and don’t know — about Colorado remediation rates

Colorado’s college remediation rates inched upward after years of steady decline, a disheartening development. On top of that, we’re not getting the full picture, either, because of incomplete school-level numbers and non-existent district-level data.

Diet Coke: Coming soon to a high school vending machine near you? 

Despite opposition from advocacy groups, Colorado appears headed toward lifting a seven-year ban on diet soda in high schools. The rule change would clear the way for diet soda to be sold in high school vending machines and school stores, though districts could decide not to stock the drinks. We covered the issue before and after the State Board of Education’s initial vote.