Bronx middle school stands out among the rest

February 8, 2011 2:35:57 PM PST
Among the many schools that can be found throughout New York City, Soundview Academy is changing the way that students feel about education. The Bronx middle school was created after a larger middle school was shut down due to failing grades. Soundview has provided students with new opportunities and a safe environment that many other schools in the area have been unable to offer. The principal of Soundview, William Frackelton says, "The small school is better suited and tailored to help meet the challenges that our students face." Many of the students have had unpleasant experiences during their elementary school years. Student Zeba Chowdhurani says, "It was like too much bullying and too much going through harassment so I didn't learn a lot." These negative experiences may have contributed to the reason behind a third of the student's at Soundview Academy repeating a grade while they were attending elementary school.

The staff is a large part of Soundview's success according to student Delilah Alvarez who says, "I think the good things about Soundview Academy is the wonderful teachers and our principal." The strategy to success and student achievement that is used by the staff consists of careful planning and teamwork. Art teacher, Elyse Rosenberg says, "We really try and accommodate the student's needs and interests and their diverse learning styles, and in general, it's just a very warm environment." The students are encouraged to participate in activities that they find enjoyable. In art class, some students worked on computer graphics while others took turns drawing and posing.

If any difficulties arise, Principal Frackelton ensures that "students know that they have a point person on the staff that serves as a surrogate, as their mentor, as their coach." The first progress report grade for Soundview Academy will be released this year but educators are not concerned. They are confident that their strategy will continue to lead students in the right direction.