Fact Sheet: Proposed Phase-out and Replacement of P.S. 50 Clara Barton (12X050)
(to download a printable PDF of this website, please 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 P.S. 50 Clara Barton (“P.S. 50”), the school has struggled to meet basic requirements for student success.
On October 16, October 22, and October 23, 2012, District 12 Community Superintendent Myrna Rodriguez held meetings at the school with the School Leadership Team, staff, and parents to discuss what is working at P.S. 50, 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 P.S. 50 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 P.S. 50 because it is the right action for current and future students in this community. If the proposal to phase out P.S. 50 is approved, the school would phase out gradually over the next several years. The school would close in June 2016 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 P.S. 50 staff and families to ensure that all students receive the support they need to succeed.
Proficiency: % of Students
on Grade Level
Progress Report Grade
Most Recent Quality Review Rating
- The overwhelming majority of P.S. 50 students remain below grade level in English Language Arts and Math. Only 16% of students were performing on grade level in English—putting the school in the bottom percentile of elementary schools Citywide. Only 33% of students were performing on grade level in math—putting the school in the bottom 5% of elementary schools Citywide.
- 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. P.S. 50 earned an F grade on its 2011-2012 annual Progress Report, including a D grade for Student Progress, an F grade for Student Performance and an F grade for School Environment. P.S. 50 has a history of low performance, including an F grade in 2011-2012, a C grade in 2010-2011, and a D grade in 2009-2010.
- P.S. 50 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.
- P.S. 50 was rated “Developing” on its most recent Quality Review in 2011-2012, indicating deficiencies in the way that the school is organized to support student learning.
- Safety issues have been a concern at P.S. 50. On the 2011-2012 New York City School Survey, only 6% of teachers believed that discipline and order were maintained at P.S. 50.
Despite Our Best Efforts, Performance Remains Low
We recognize that P.S. 50 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 offered numerous supports to P.S. 50 including:
- Providing on-going support for the principal and assistant principals in the implementation of effective school improvement strategies.
- Training and supporting school leadership in observing teacher practice and providing feedback to enhance teacher effectiveness.
- Coaching principals and assistant principals on using performance and accountability data to inform school-wide improvement goals and plan professional development for staff.
- Supporting school leadership in aligning instructional plans with citywide instructional expectations.
- Coaching lead teachers to support the development of rigorous curriculum and strategies for improving instructional practice to raise student achievement.
- Providing training for school staff in research-based instructional practices aimed at increasing the academic achievement of students with disabilities and English Language Learners.
- Supporting the school in deepening understanding of citywide instructional expectations by facilitating meetings among staff members to share best practices and strengthen instructional planning.
- Advising school staff on student attendance tracking, school budgeting, building management and the development of safety protocols.
- Training and supporting school staff in meeting compliance requirements for English language learners and students with disabilities to ensure students are receiving mandated services met.
- Providing support for the principal in applying for and securing partnerships with various community-based organizations that provide extensive after-school support and enrichment for students.
- Supporting the principal in partnering with parents through the Parent Teacher Association to increase parent involvement the school’s plans to raise student achievement.
What would the proposal mean for current students?
If this proposal is approved, P.S. 50 will be phased out gradually over the next several years and will no longer admit new pre-kindergarten or kindergarten students after the end of this school year. However, most current students will stay at P.S. 50 as it phases out.
Below are the enrollment plans for current P.S. 50 students, if the school were to phase out.
Pre-Kindergarten – Grade 1
- The new school will only serve pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, first, and second grades next year and will add one grade per year over the next three years.
- Current pre-kindergarten students who are zoned to P.S. 50 should apply to attend kindergarten at the new school next year.
- Current pre-kindergarten students who are not zoned to P.S. 50 may apply to attend kindergarten at the new school as well as at their zoned school next year.
- Current kindergarten and first-grade students will be assigned to the new school for first and second grades next year.
Grades 2 – 4
- P.S. 50 will serve third, fourth, and fifth grades next year and will serve one grade fewer each year over the following two years.
- Current second-, third-, and fourth-grade students will continue on to the next grade level at P.S. 50 in September 2013; these students can remain at P.S. 50 through their fifth-grade graduation.
- Current fifth-grade students will have the opportunity to graduate from P.S. 50 at the end of this school year. These students may have applied to middle school through the District 12 Middle School Choice Process. Whether or not they have submitted an application, these students will receive priority for a seat in their zoned middle school.
P.S. 50 students who are held over in a grade still offered by P.S. 50 will continue to be served by that school. P.S. 50 students who are held over in a grade which is no longer offered by P.S. 50 will be served by the new, replacement elementary school.
Next school year, P.S. 50 will serve students in grades three, four and five. Then, during the following school year, P.S. 50 will serve students in grades four and five. Finally, during the 2015-2016 school year, P.S. 50 will only serve students in grade five. P.S. 50 would close in June 2016 after its phase-out is complete.
Supporting Current Students
The DOE remains focused on helping P.S. 50 students to succeed. If this proposal is approved, P.S. 50 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, and
· Supporting school leadership in efficiently and strategically allocating resources to ensure a consistent and coherent school environment focused on student outcomes
Plans for New School for the P.S. 50 Community
The DOE has proposed to open and co-locate a new district elementary school in the same building as P.S. 50, which will serve the same zone as P.S. 50. If that co-location proposal is approved, the new school will begin serving grades K-2 in the 2013-2014 school year and add one more grade each year until it serves grades K-5 in the 2016-2017 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 P.S. 50 community to participate in a joint public hearing co-hosted by the DOE, the District 12 Community Education Council, and P.S. 50’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 P.S. 50. 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 P.S. 50 will be voted on by the Panel for Educational Policy (“PEP”), 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, P.S. 50 will 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 to: