Volume 21, Number 17 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | Sept. 5 - 11, 2008

Back to School 2008

Downtown Express photo by Elisabeth Robert

Dismissal at P.S. 124 on Division St. Tuesday, the first day of school.

Corporate help for P.S. 124’s English learners

After a year of successful outreach, Principal Alice Hom is ready to face a year of increased diversity.

The percentage of students at P.S. 124 with limited English proficiency has increased from 23 to 29 percent from 2004 to 2007, according to the 2006-2007 New York State Report Card, the most recent report card released. More students with special needs are also entering P.S. 124 this year, said Hom.

“My goals are to really try and meet the needs of the students on the [teachers] in my school building,” Hom said. “From my English language learners to my special education students as well as my gifted and talented.”

To meet her goal, Hom has emphasized professional development for teachers so they can be “ready to handle whatever they’ll face in the classrooms.”

The Chinatown school received an A on the city report card last year.

Hom also hopes to replicate her success in community outreach to parents and organizations from last year, which has supplemented many programs in P.S. 124. Time Warner, who awarded Hom with one of five 2007 Principals of Excellence awards last year, helped provide P.S. 124 staff with professional development. The company has also donated computers to the school.

“[Parents and organizations] have been very supportive in light of the cutbacks so I’m glad that we’ve been able to reach out to them,” she said pointing to parent fundraisers for the school’s art program. Hom has also been able to secure Studio in a School and the National Dance Institute to help enrich the school’s fine arts.

— Sisi Wei





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