The Gordon Parks School

233-15 MERRICK BOULEVARD
QUEENS NY 11422 Map
Phone: (718) 341-8280
Website: Click here
Admissions: Lottery
Principal: Chayvonne Harper
Neighborhood: Laurelton
District: 29
Grade range: PK-8
Parent Coordinator: PATRICIA WHEELER
Number of full-day PK seats: 18
Extended PK hours offered: Contact program about extended hours.
Unzoned
Full Day
School-based pre-k

What's special:

A districtwide k-8 school in a beautiful facility that values the arts

The downside:

Math scores have room for improvement

InsideSchools Review

Our review:

The Gordon Parks School is a districtwide k-8 school that values art, dance, music and theater—and has the space to make them happen in a new, modern building. Children wear uniforms and there has been an emphasis on character building since the school's founding.

Visitors are met by a startling piece of art—a cascade of spheres resembling bowling balls—and a dramatic vertical building that takes up a corner of busy, commercial Merrick Boulevard just off the Belt Parkway.

PS/IS 270 opened as an elementary school in 2003. Following some parent lobbying, the school was quickly transformed into one serving kids from kindergarten through 8th grade. A downside is that the building lacks the lockers that middle school kids crave. In addition, classrooms were built to fit children, not large adolescents. Whatever its shortcomings, the building is beautiful, with a common area on each floor featuring attractive benches where kids can gather and work. Kindergarten classrooms have lofts with tables where kids may work together. 

Each year the art department collaborates on a special gala at the school to showcase student work. Around 100 students in grades 1–8 contribute visual artwork and another 80 show off their musical, dramatic and dance skills, according to a newsletter published by the United Federation of Teachers. Just like in a real gallery, middle school students work as docents and serve refreshments to over 300 parents, students and community members who attend the event.

Principal Chayvonne Harper replaced founding principal Eleanor Andrews in 2012. Harper was formerly principal of PS 127 in Queens. She also taught children and mentored teachers at PS 28 in northern Manhattan and has a master's degree in elementary education from Long Island University and an undergraduate degree in political science from Johnson C. Smith University. It is too early to say how her leadership will impact the school long-term but school surveys indicate she has struggled to follow such a longtime and well-respected principal. Teachers grumble that she is not a good manager, and students say there are issues with respect among students.

Math scores could be better, but data from the Department of Education shows that children in the self-contained special education classrooms do better academically than the citywide average for children in self-contained rooms. Students may receive extra help after school or in small groups. A girls' group called "Soiree" provides girls with social support. The school sponsors an enrichment program including drama, visual arts, dance, music and sports for which kids may audition or try out. There are two outdoor play yards.

Special education: Self-contained classes are combined as follows: grades 2/3, 4/5 and 6/7. One kindergarten is self-contained as well. There are also team-taught classes that mix children with special needs with their general education peers. A District 75 program for severely disabled children has its own wing in the building.

Admissions: Open to District 29 students only. (Lydie Raschka, web reports and school data, August 2014)

InsideStats

Click tabs above to see school stats

At a glance

Shared campus? No

This school is in its own building.

Number of Students 678

Average Daily Attendance 96%

Students at this school

Asian

  
1%

Black

  
97%

Hispanic

  
2%

White

  
0%

Free Lunch

  
58%

Special ed

  
14%

English Language Learners

  
0%

Safety & vibe

ARE KIDS
NICE?

How many teachers say bullying is a problem at school?

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained in the school?

84% 75% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

ARE CLASSES BIG?

Number of students in an average kindergarten class

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Number of students in an average fifth grade class

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Number of students in an average middle school english class

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO TEACHERS LIKE THE SCHOOL?

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?

92% 79% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers would recommend this school to other parents?

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Attendance

How many students are chronically absent?

9% 22% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Academics

How many teachers say this school offers enough programs, classes and activities to keep students engaged?

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers say this school does a good job teaching social-emotional skills?

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers say this school does a good job teaching organizational and study skills?

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of students in grades 3-8 who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam

31% 40% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of students in grades 3-8 who scored 3 or 4 on the state ela exam

39% 41% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of 4th graders who scored 3 or 4 on the state science exam

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of 8th graders who scored 3 or 4 on the state science exam

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many 8th grades pass high school regents exams?

Percent of 8th graders who take and pass the algebra regents:

0% 14% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of 8th graders who take and pass a science regents:

0% 17% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Parents

Are parents involved?

How many parents responded to the school survey?

36% 59% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many parents say they attended at least one pta meeting in the last school year?

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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?

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Do parents like the school?

How many parents would recommend this school to other parents?

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Special ed & ELL

How well does this school serve students with disabilities?

Percent of self-contained students who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam:

3% 6% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of self-contained students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:

3% 2% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of ICT students who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam:

13% 14% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of ICT students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:

5% 8% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of SETSS students who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam:

NA 15% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of SETSS students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:

NA 9% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many parents say students with disabilities are included in all activities?

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers say students with special needs are educated in the least restrictive environment appropriate?

100% 91% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many parents of students with ieps say this school offers a wide enough variety of services and activities for their children’s needs?

78% 84% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How well does this school serve English language learners?

Percent of ell students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:

0% 3% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of former ell students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:

NA 19% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers say this school ensures that ells receive the same curriculum as non-ells with appropriate suppports?

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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