P.S. 101 School in the Gardens
QUEENS NY 11375 Map
P.S. 101 School in the Gardens
Extended PK hours offered: Please contact site for more information
PS 101 is nestled is Forest Hills Gardens, a leafy community of Tudor-style houses and quiet streets. It has a stable staff, involved parents and a principal well experienced in teaching children to write creatively and to think about books as literature.
Monique Lopez-Paniagua, who has led the school since 2012, gives her staff extensive training in its methods of the Teachers College Reading and Writing Workshop. In the classrooms we visited, children not only learned to sound out words, they also learned to analyze characters and plot development.
“It doesn’t say he is sad,” said a 1st-grade teacher, reading aloud from Peter’s Chair, Ezra Jack Keats story of a boy who is jealous of his newborn sister. “How do we know he is sad?”
Third-graders wrote persuasive essays with titles like “Why cops are wonderful” and “Stop hunting and poaching animals.” In one class, children flopped on a rug to read books they chose themselves.
The school has adopted GoMath, a series designed to teach children the underlying concepts of arithmetic. “They really understand why we are re-grouping for subtraction,” said a 2nd-grade teacher. “When I was in school, I just did it. I didn’t know why I did it.” Teachers have a chance to meet with one another to perfect their own understanding of the new methods, and the school offers parent workshops as well.
Over the years, some parents have complained that there is too much emphasis on academics and not enough time for play, particularly in kindergarten. Assistant Principal Irtiz Gonzalez, who gave us our tour, acknowledged that today’s kindergarten classrooms look more like the 1st grade of a generation ago—with desks instead of blocks or dress-up corners. Gym is offered just once a week. But she said teachers encourage children to exercise in the classroom with activities like Zumba. And kindergartners have “choice time” at the end of the day—a chance to pick an activity they like.
One downside: A teacher who was removed from the classroom for bullying children was reassigned to an administrative job at the school in fall 2014, angering some parents. The principal, Lopez-Paniagua, declined to comment.
SPECIAL EDUCATION: The school offers ICT (integrated co-teaching) classes with two teachers and a mix of general education children and those receiving special education services. There are no self-contained classes.
ADMISSIONS: Neighborhood school. The school has just one pre-kindergarten class of 18 children. “Even for siblings there is a waitlist,” said Gonzalez. PS 101 also has a 6th grade—unusual in the city. Some children choose to leave for middle school after 5th grade, but for those who want to stay, PS 101 offers a cozy alternative. (Clara Hemphill, January 2015)
At a glance
Number of Students 613
Average Daily Attendance 96%
Safety & vibe
How many teachers say bullying is a problem at school?10% 17% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained in the school?89% 86% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
ARE CLASSES BIG?
Number of students in an average kindergarten class22 23 CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Number of students in an average fifth grade class30 26 CITYWIDE AVERAGE
DO TEACHERS LIKE THE SCHOOL?
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?94% 84% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
How many teachers would recommend this school to other parents?94% 87% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
How many students are chronically absent?9% 22% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of 3rd, 4th & 5th graders who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam
Percent of 3rd, 4th & 5th graders who scored 3 or 4 on the state ela exam
Percent of 4th graders who scored 3 or 4 on the state science exam
Does the school encourage family involvement?
How many parents say they were invited to an event at the school at least 3 times in the last school year?82% 75% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Do parents like the school?
How many parents would recommend this school to other parents?97% 94% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Special ed & ELL
How well does this school serve students with disabilities?
This school does not offer self-contained classes.
Percent of self-contained students who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam:NA 8% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of self-contained students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:NA 2% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
This school offers team teaching (ict).
Percent of ICT students who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam:46% 19% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of ICT students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:15% 9% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of SETSS students who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam:33% 17% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of SETSS students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:30% 9% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
How many parents say students with disabilities are included in all activities?
How many teachers say students with special needs are educated in the least restrictive environment appropriate?
How many parents of students with ieps say this school offers a wide enough variety of services and activities for their children’s needs?