FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 22, 2005
MAYOR MICHAEL R. BLOOMBERG, SCHOOLS CHANCELLOR JOEL I. KLEIN, AND POLICE COMMISSIONER RAYMOND W. KELLY PRESENT IMPACT SCHOOL UPDATE FOR 2004-2005 SCHOOL YEAR
Violent Crime Down 49% at Original Sixteen Impact Schools; Six More Schools Removed from Impact List; Five Schools Transitioned Off Impact List in January Continued Improvement with Violent Crime Down 55%
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein, and Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly today presented an update on the School Safety Initiative for the 2004-2005 school year. Compared to the previous school year, total crime at the original 16 Impact Schools dropped 39%; violent crime dropped 49%; and major crime dropped 39%. As a result of the initiative's success, six more schools will be transitioned off the Impact list. In addition, at five schools that were transitioned off the Impact list last January, total crime was down 51%; violent crime was down 55%; and major crime was down 49% compared to last school year. The Impact School initiative was created in January 2004 to establish order and safety at a small number of schools that accounted for a disproportionate amount of crime. Mayor Bloomberg, Chancellor Klein, and Commissioner Kelly were joined by Criminal Justice Coordinator John Feinblatt, Commanding Officer of the School Safety Division Assistant Chief Gerald Nelson and Senior Counselor for School Intervention and Development Rose Albanese-DePinto at the announcement at Theodore Roosevelt High School in the Bronx where there has been a 52% drop in total crime.
"Students cannot learn in a violent atmosphere," said Mayor Bloomberg. "We launched the Impact School initiative in order to put a stop to the culture of crime and disorder that was ruining the educational opportunities for our students, and the results have been promising. By increasing the number of school safety personnel, strictly enforcing the Disciplinary Code and improving our management systems, we have been able to transform these schools into safer places of learning."
Six Impact Schools have demonstrated such a significant decline in crime and disorderly conditions that they will be transitioned out of Impact status. Total crime fell 31% at Evander Childs, 48% at Adlai Stevenson, 26% at Erasmus Hall, 52% at Theodore Roosevelt, 67% at Thomas Jefferson and 42% at Springfield Gardens High School.
"Our Impact initiative shows what we can achieve when we all work together as a team and place our focus on where it always should be - on our children," said Chancellor Klein. "While the numbers announced today are impressive, and encouraging, the most significant lesson to be drawn is that leadership and accountability matter most when it comes to providing our children with the quality education that they need and deserve. I commend all of the parties that helped transform the culture of these schools and I look forward to continued improvement, confident that each and every one of our schools can offer a safe and secure teaching and learning environment."
"By devoting a combination of school safety agents and a police uniformed task force in a strategic way to impact schools, we have been rewarded with reductions in disorder and crime," said Commissioner Kelly.
"One thing we've learned over the last eighteen months is that raising standards and holding people accountable for meeting those standards adds up to safer and more orderly schools," said John Feinblatt. "The Mayor has raised the bar for our students, teachers and administrators. Today's numbers should leave no doubt that they are all up to the task."
The Impact School initiative began with ten high schools and two middle schools: Evander Childs, Adlai Stevenson and Christopher Columbus High Schools in the Bronx; South Shore, Canarsie, Thomas Jefferson, Sheepshead Bay, Franklin K. Lane High Schools in Brooklyn; Washington Irving High School in Manhattan; and Far Rockaway High School in Queens. Two Bronx middle schools were JHS 22 and MS 222. Four more high schools were added in April 2004: Erasmus Hall, Samuel J. Tilden, Theodore Roosevelt and Walton High Schools, bringing the total to 16.
In January 2005, after showing great improvement, five schools - MS 222 and South Shore, Franklin K. Lane, Far Rockaway, and Washington Irving High Schools - were transitioned out of Impact status. That same month, six other schools were added: Lafayette, Abraham Lincoln, John Bowne, Springfield Gardens, Norman Thomas, and Harry S. Truman High Schools.
Since being removed from Impact status, MS 222 and South Shore, Franklin K. Lane, Far Rockaway, and Washington Irving High Schools have maintained a strong safety record. The number of Police Officers and School Safety Agents was adjusted to reflect the lower levels of crime and disorder at these schools and DOE continued to provide additional regional support to principals throughout the transition period. Even with the reduction of Police Officers and Safety Agents, total crime at these schools dropped 51% and violent crime fell 55% compared to last school year.
At the six schools added to the Impact program in January, there has been a 39% drop in total crime and a 52% drop in violent crime per day compared to the first half of the school year. Crime per day fell 37% at Lafayette High School, 37% at Abraham Lincoln, 61% at John Bowne, 42% at Springfield Gardens and 28% at Harry S. Truman High Schools. Crime per day went up 5% at Norman Thomas High School. A crime per day comparison was made for these schools because the comparison periods were different lengths. The first half of this school year through January covered 67 days and the second half since January was 106 days.
The Impact School initiative focuses on intensifying enforcement against low-level crime and disorder, rigorously enforcing the New York City Discipline Code and correcting school conditions conducive to disorder. Additional School Safety Agents and Police Officers as well as a 200-member mobile School Safety Task Force are assigned to Impact Schools. A zero-tolerance policy for infractions listed in the New York City Discipline Code is also employed at all Impact Schools. All infractions were met with graduated responses ranging from peer mediation and negotiation, conflict resolution, and anti-bullying awareness, up to suspensions at the Principal's and Superintendent's level. Students that commit the most serious infractions are immediately removed from these schools pending the outcome of their hearings.
School safety experts from DOE and NYPD, conduct thorough assessments of key conditions and procedures at all Impact schools. Using a "best practices" checklist, intervention teams focus on more than 100 variables including entry and exit procedures, hallway conditions, Discipline Code enforcement, instructional environment, passing between classes, cafeteria environment, facilities, and detention and suspension rooms. Based upon their comprehensive assessment visits, the school's action plan and previous reports, the teams make additional recommendations for improvement. In an effort to sustain and fortify gains, DOE and NYPD will continue to provide ongoing training, support, and technical assistance.
Edward Skyler/ Robert Lawson (212) 788-2958
Jerry Russo (Education)
Paul Browne (Police)
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