Fact Sheet: Proposed Phase-out and Replacement of J.H.S. 302 Raphael Cordero (19K302)
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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 J.H.S. 302 Raphael Cordero (“J.H.S. 302”) the school has struggled to meet basic requirements for student success.
On October 15, 2012, Senior Superintendent Elaine Gorman held meetings at the school with the School Leadership Team, staff, and parents to discuss what is working at J.H.S. 302, 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 J.H.S. 302 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 two new schools.
Proposing to phase out a school is the most difficult decision we make. We are proposing to phase out J.H.S. 302 because it is the right action for current and future students in this community. If the proposal to phase out J.H.S. 302 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 J.H.S. 302 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 J.H.S. 302 students remain below grade level in English Language Arts and Math. Only 20% of students were performing on grade level in English—putting the school in the bottom 20% of middle schools Citywide. Only 27% of students were performing on grade level in math—putting the school in the bottom 13% of middle 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. J.H.S. 302 earned an F grade on its 2011-2012 annual Progress Report, including F grades for Student Progress, Student Performance and School Environment. J.H.S. 302 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.
- J.H.S. 302 was identified by the New York State Education Department as a Priority school, defined by NYSED as one of the bottom 5% of schools in the state.
- The school’s attendance rate remains below most other middle schools. The 2011-2012 attendance rate was 88% compared to the Citywide middle school average of 93%, putting J.H.S. 302 in the bottom 7% of New York City middle schools.
- J.H.S. 302 was rated “Developing” on its most recent Quality Review in 2010-2011, indicating 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 43% of teachers believed that discipline and order were maintained at J.H.S. 302.
Despite our best efforts, the school has struggled
We recognize that J.H.S. 302 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 J.H.S. 302 including:
- Supporting school leadership in aligning instructional plans with citywide instructional expectations.
- Coaching the principal and assistant principals in the use of performance and accountability data to inform school-wide improvement goals.
- Facilitating professional development opportunities for the principal and assistant principals to enhance the rigor of English Language Arts and Math instruction across the school.
- Participating in instructional visits with school leadership teams to provide targeted feedback to teachers on ways to raise academic rigor and increase student engagement.
- Providing direct instructional coaching for teachers to support the development of rigorous curriculum, mapping and rubrics to enhance instructional coherence and consistency in English Language Arts.
- Training school staff in research-based instructional practices aimed at increasing the academic achievement of English Language Learners.
- Advising school staff on student attendance tracking, budgeting and staffing issues.
- Supporting school staff in meeting compliance requirements for English Language Learners in order to ensure that students are receiving mandated services.
- Facilitating the school’s participation in a citywide initiative combating chronic absenteeism.
- Assisting the school administration in improving the school safety plan in order to reduce safety incidents and suspension rates, and promoting best practices for dealing with difficult behavior patterns 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), J.H.S. 302 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 J.H.S. 302 and would be supported through graduation.
- Current sixth- and seventh-grade students will continue on to the next grade level at J.H.S. 302 in September 2013. These students can remain at J.H.S. 302 through their eighth-grade graduation.
- Current sixth-grade students who do not meet promotional standards would be served in one of the two new middle schools, located in the same building as J.H.S. 302.
- Current eighth-grade students will have the opportunity to graduate at the end of this school year.
- If, in a future year, students attending J.H.S. 302 are held over in a grade that J.H.S. 302 will no longer serve, then they will be served in one of the new schools.
Next school year, J.H.S. 302 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 J.H.S. 302 students to succeed. If this proposal is approved, J.H.S. 302 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 New Schools for the J.H.S. 302 Community
The DOE has proposed to open and co-locate two new district middle schools in the same building as J.H.S. 302, which will both serve the same zone as J.H.S. 302. If that co-location proposal is approved, the new schools will begin serving grade 6 in the 2013-2014 school year and add one more grade each year until they serve grades 6-8 in the 2015-2016 school year.
More information about the replacement schools 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 J.H.S. 302 community to participate in a joint public hearing co-hosted by the DOE with the District 19 Community Education Council J.H.S. 302’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 J.H.S. 302. 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 J.H.S. 302 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, J.H.S. 302 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: