Michael J. Petrides School
The Michael J. Petrides School is a school located on 715 Ocean Terrace in Staten Island, New York. It was created by Board of Education officials, and named after Michael J. Petrides. It opened in 1995. The school was created on the former College of Staten Island campus. Students apply to attend the school through a lottery system. However, 8th graders going into high school, who are in the top 2% scoring people for the ELA 7th grade test can get auto-admission if they put Petrides first on their application. Its current principal is Joanne Buckheit.
Petrides educates students from Kindergarten through 12th, or senior year in high school. It has an assistant principal for each grade category (early childhood, elementary, middle school, high school). They are:
- Danielle Bennett - Elementary School (Grades K - 5)
- BettyAnn Souffrin - Middle School (Grades 6-8)
- Anthony Tabbitas - High School (Grades 9-12)
The Petrides School, like many other New York City public schools, also has paraprofessionals, speech therapists, occupational and physical therapists, lunch deans, school aides, and a widely used bus transportation system.
Set on what was once was the College of Staten Island campus, P.S. 80 has college-level resources like studios, labs, lecture halls, and performance spaces while serving students from kindergarten through high-school graduation. The school opened in 1995, had its first graduating class in 2001, and has graduated its first group to complete all 13 years of schooling in 2008.
The school enrolls about 90-100 pupils per grade from kindergarten through middle school and about 125 per grade in high school. Joanne Buckheit, the principal, said, "We get to know our kids and meet their needs", which is notable in a school that doesn't select applicants for aptitude or achievement. Close to 1,000 students apply for about 75-90 kindergarten seats, and the school receives more than 1,200 applications for the 40 to 50 seats that open in 9th grade. Teachers work at every academic level, from the youngest grades through high school, and the "seamless" curriculum promises a smooth progression from year to year, with ample opportunity for arts, music, Advanced Placement classes, and electives. Students in grades 6 through 12 are assigned personal laptops and may also take advantage of a wealth of technology resources in the school.
The school features hallways named with street signs for famous artists, architects, and inventors. Students also get consistently high test scores, and parents are heavily involved within the school.
High-school students have the opportunity to travel overseas. A notable example of this was/were students of Italian and Spanish with grades of 90 or better going on school trip to Italy in 2006. The cost, $2,700, was borne by parents. Other destinations have included Hungary and Austria, and states including Vermont, Michigan, and Hawaii. Fundraisers are also held to help finance the high school's annual trip through Habitat for Humanity. In addition, high school students can work with younger students in the elementary school, as classroom student mentors.
"All classes contain a mix of students of different abilities. District 75, which enrolls children with severe disabilities, has a separate program at the Petrides complex, as part of PS 37."
Admissions are by lottery for grades K-8. For kindergarten, the school typically receives more than 800 applications for 75-90 seats, of which 15 are reserved for siblings of current students (separate lottery). The handful of open seats in the upper grades are filled by lottery, as well. In 9th grade, class sizes get larger and an extra class is added to the grade. Thousands of students apply for a total of 40 to 55 new seats. These seats are filled through the city's "educational option" formula, designed to achieve a mix of low, average, and high-performing students.
Within the past, there had been certain discrepancies according to the school's enrollment policy under the past principal. This was highlighted by a noticeable prevalence to kin relations within the student body and noted recommendations within an alleged random basis lottery system for enrollment. These were recorded in a 1998 investigation report. The report also recorded the absence of critical records that would determine the extent of the irregularities.
"...our investigation found that the Petrides School’s admission process was neither random nor fair. From the records we found and interviews we conducted, we have determined that school officials created at least five admission channels unrelated to geographic, gender, ethnic, or academic diversity. These channels bore little or no relation to the random lottery method, and were not revealed to the public. Additionally, critical records disappeared: there are no random number lists and hundreds of student applications are missing. This prevented us from discovering the full extent of the enrollment irregularities. But to varying degrees, the admission channels are clearly discernible from the evidence." — Broken Promise, 1998
The entire report can be read on the external link below.
Extracurricular activities, clubs, and athletics
- National Honor Society
- Key Club
- Student Government
- Council For Unity
- Petrides' Thespian Society
- Petrides' Musician Society
- Petrides Against Cancer Society (PACS)
- Ping Pong Club
- Air Force Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps (AFJROTC)(Canceled)
- Petrides Anime Club
- Habitat for Humanity
- Cross-Country Track
- Indoor Track
- Outdoor Track
Boys' Wrestling Team
Girls' Bowling Team
Boys' Golf Team
- Broken Promise: An Investigation into the Admission Process for the Michael J. Petrides School (March 1998)