Around the UFT

Take the ‘A’ Train

PS 30, Manhattan, celebrates its success

Celebrating PS 30’s accomplishment are (seated, from left) UFT District 5 RepresPat ArnowCelebrating PS 30’s accomplishment are (seated, from left) UFT District 5 Representative Dwayne Clark, former principal Karen Melendez-Hutt and Principal Teri Stinson, and (standing, from left) teacher Deborah Jennings, librarian Brenda Shufelt and Assistant Principal Marisol Vasquez.

From struggling to keep afloat to a successful resurgence, PS 30 is the toast of the town in Harlem these days. 

“We’re thrilled,” said Dwayne Clark, UFT Manhattan District 5 representative.

At a school celebration on Feb. 14, teachers were given certificates of recognition from Principal Teri Stinson and from the former principal, Karen Melendez-Hutt.

They also received lapel pins saying “Proud To Be A Harlem Educator,” with the “A” written in the style of the A train.

Making the success even sweeter is the fact that PS 30 was on the state’s list of Schools Under Registration Review at one time.

Since being removed in 2004, it’s been making headway every year.

What makes it tick?

“Planning together, collaboration among the teachers and with the administration,” said Chapter Leader Douglas LaPierre, who provides crisis intervention for pre-K-5 and teaches 3rd grade.

“It’s the members’ rigor, professionalism and their ability to target the individual needs of our population that makes this school work,” LaPierre said.

Clark said that excellent ongoing professional development is part of the mix, as well as the willingness to try new approaches to find out what works.

The school plays an important role in a community where many are trying to get on their feet. There are students who live in family shelters and in low-income housing; students who bring to the classroom burdens that are beyond their years.

And yet in the hands of their teachers and administrators, they are progressing to the tune of a schoolwide A.

So what’s ahead now that the celebrating is done?

“We’re going to continue striving for excellence,” said Clark of the school, which shares its building with Harlem Success Academy.

“Even in this time of teacher bashing and union bashing, we will keep delivering the best education possible to the children of central Harlem,” he said.

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