Every School Wants to be P.S. 8

The New York Sun has a piece today about successful NYC Public School turnarounds, including our own P.S. 8:

New York Sun: City Schools Try to Replicate a Successful Formula: A few years ago, P.S. 8 was slated for closure until a new administration drew in parents from the surrounding brownstones and from the nearby housing project to come on Saturdays and help clean up and paint the dusty, cluttered classrooms. Then, they sat them down to discuss fund raising and plans for restructuring the curriculum.

"We wanted to have some say," a former PTA president at P.S. 8, Precious Jones-Walker, who now serves as the school's parent coordinator, said. The school has since taken off, becoming one of the best in its district.

The director of school support in the Department of Education's Office of Parent Engagement, Olivia Ellis, a former administrator at P.S. 8, is a firm believer in parental involvement as a catalyst for improving schools.

"It's a matter of opening the doors and letting them come in and get involved," Ms. Ellis said. "I know it can only work if parents are a part of it."

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