District Planning

MS 142 John Philip Sousa (posted 1.7.2013)

Proposal Information

Fact Sheet: Proposed Phase-out and Replacement of M.S. 142 John Phillip Sousa (11X142)

(to download a printable PDF of this website, click here)

To read a transcript of this hearing, click here



We want every community to have high quality school options for families. Every fall, the Department of Education (DOE) reviews the performance of all schools Citywide. Over the past several years, despite the best efforts of the community and the DOE to support M.S. 142 John Phillip Sousa (“M.S. 142”) the school has struggled to meet basic requirements for student success.


On October 22, 2012, District 11 Community Superintendent Elizabeth White held meetings at the school with the School Leadership Team, staff, and parents to discuss what is working at M.S. 142, what needs to be improved, and how the community can work together to better serve students.


Based on an extensive review of qualitative and quantitative data and community feedback, the DOE has determined that M.S. 142 does not have the capacity to quickly improve and is proposing that the school be phased out. The DOE is also proposing that the school be replaced by a new school.  


Proposing to phase out a school is the most difficult decision we make. We are proposing to phase out M.S. 142 because it is the right action for current and future students in this community. If the proposal to phase out M.S. 142 is approved, the school would phase out gradually over the next several years. The school would close in June 2015 after its phase-out is complete.


We hope you share our view that we can—and must—do better for students. The DOE will continue to work closely with M.S. 142 staff and families to ensure that all students receive the support they need to succeed.


Performance Summary



Proficiency: % of Students

on Grade Level

Progress Report Grade

Most Recent Quality Review Rating














  • The overwhelming majority of M.S. 142 students remain below grade level in English Language Arts and Math. Only 17% of students were performing on grade level in Englishputting the school in the bottom 13% of middle schools Citywide. Only 28% of students were performing on grade level in mathputting the school in the bottom 15% of middle schools Citywide. In both ELA and Math proficiency, M.S. 142 ranks at the bottom of District 11 middle schools.
  • The Progress Report measures the progress and performance of students in a school, as well as the school environment, compared to other schools serving similar student populations. M.S. 142 earned a C grade on its 2011-2012 annual Progress Report, including a C grade for Student Progress, a D grade for Student Performance and a D grade for School Environment. M.S. 142 has a history of low performance, including C grades on the Progress Report for the past three years.
  • M.S. 142 was identified by the New York State Education Department (NYSED) as a Priority school, defined by NYSED as one of the bottom 5% of schools in the state.
  • M.S. 142 was rated “Developing” on its most recent Quality Review in 2011-2012 and also in 2010-2011, indicating continuing deficiencies in the way that the school is organized to support student learning.
  • Safety issues have been a concern at the school. On the 2011-2012 New York City School Survey, only 23% of teachers believed that discipline and order were maintained at M.S. 142 and only 56% of students felt safe in the bathrooms and hallways of the school.


Despite our best efforts, the school has struggled


We recognize that M.S. 142 staff members have worked hard to improve the school, but even with support the school has not produced adequate outcomes for students. To help the school’s efforts to improve performance, the DOE has offered numerous supports to M.S. 142 including:


Leadership Support:

  • Assisting the principal and assistant principals in the development of instructional plans and goals for the school year, in support of the school’s Comprehensive Education Plan.
  • Providing professional development for school leadership in aligning curriculum to citywide instructional expectations to raise standards for teacher practice and student learning.
  • Providing extensive supervisory support in analyzing student performance data to develop a data-driven action plan for school improvement.


Instructional Support:

  • Training school staff in research-based instructional strategies to increase the academic achievement of English Language Learners and students with disabilities.
  • Facilitating professional development opportunities for teachers to enhance the use of student performance data and instructional technology in the classroom to improve academic outcomes for all students.


Operational Support:

  • Advising school staff on budgeting, human resources, staff recruitment and building management.
  • Coaching the school on the development of strategies to increase student attendance.
  • Advising the school on grant opportunities and working with the principal to align the budget with the school wide instructional goals.


Student Support:

  • Coaching the school administration and staff on youth development strategies to build the schools’ capacity to address students’ social and emotional needs.
  • Assisting the school administration in the development of a school safety plan to reduce safety incidents and suspension rates, and developing a positive behavior support system to improve the school’s culture and learning environment.


What would the proposal mean for current students?

If this proposal is approved by the Panel for Educational Policy (PEP), M.S. 142 would be phased out gradually over the next several years and would not admit new sixth-grade students after the end of this school year. All currently enrolled students would have the opportunity to continue their education at M.S. 142 and would be supported through graduation.


  • Current sixth- and seventh-grade students will continue on to the next grade level at M.S. 142 in September 2013; these students can remain at M.S. 142 through their eighth-grade graduation.
  • Current sixth-grade students who do not meet promotional standards will be served by the new middle school, located in the same building as M.S. 142.
  • Current eighth-grade students will have the opportunity to graduate at the end of this school year.
  • If, in a future year, students attending M.S. 142 are held over in a grade that M.S. 142 will no longer serve, then they be served in the new school.


Next school year, M.S. 142 would serve students in grades seven and eight. Then, during the following school year, it would only serve students in grade eight. The school would close in June 2015 after its phase-out is complete.



Supporting Current Students


The DOE remains focused on helping M.S. 142 students to succeed. If this proposal is approved, M.S. 142 would be provided targeted, customized and intensive supports aimed at the unique needs of the school and its students. This support would be in the areas budget, staffing, programming, community engagement, guidance and enrollment including, but not limited to:


·         Helping the school provide students with options that support their advancement, and fully prepare students for their next transition point.

·         Working with school staff to foster a positive culture.

·         Supporting school leadership in efficiently and strategically allocating resources to ensure a consistent and coherent school environment focused on student outcomes


Plans for a New School for the M.S. 142 Community


The DOE has proposed to open and co-locate a new district middle school in the same building as M.S. 142, which will serve the same zone as M.S. 142, One World Middle School at Edenwald (11X529), and Baychester Middle School (11X532). If that co-location proposal is approved, the new school will begin serving grade 6 in the 2013-2014 school year and add one more grade each year until it serves grades 6-8 in the 2015-2016 school year.


More information about this replacement school will be available shortly. We will work with the community to retain partnerships with community-based organizations that are offering valuable services to the school community.



Next Steps and What You Can Expect


In the next two months, the DOE will invite the M.S. 142 community to participate in a joint public hearing co-hosted by the DOE with the District 11 Community Education Council and M.S. 142’s School Leadership Team. As soon as the hearing has been scheduled, we will notify you of the date and also share with you the formal proposal to phase out Middle School for the Arts. During the joint public hearing, community members, including parents and students, will be able to share their thoughts on the phase-out proposal.


The proposals to phase out and replace M.S. 142 will be voted on by the Panel for Educational Policy, which is composed of members appointed by Mayor Bloomberg and the five Borough Presidents, during a public meeting scheduled for March 11, 2013. During this meeting, the public will have another opportunity to comment on the proposals. If the PEP approves the proposals, M.S. 142 would not accept new students next school year.


Sharing Your Concerns and Questions


The DOE is seeking your feedback on the proposals. We will record your comments and include them in our Analysis of Public Comments, which is presented to the PEP prior to the vote on the proposals. Please submit your comments at:


Phone: 212-374-5159





Opportunities for Feedback

  • Joint Public Hearing

    Date: 2/13/2013
    Time: 6:00 PM
    Location: M.S. 142 John Phillip Sousa 3750 Baychester Avenue Bronx, NY 10466
  • Panel for Educational Policy Meeting

    Date: 3/11/2013
    Time: 6:00 PM
    Location: Brooklyn Technical High School located at 29 Fort Greene Place, Brooklyn, NY 11217