P.S. 75 Emily Dickinson

An Insideschools pick
An Insideschools pick for Special Education
735 WEST END AVENUE
MANHATTAN NY 10025 Map
Phone: (212) 866-5400
Website: Click here
Admissions: Neighborhood school
Principal: Robert O'Brien
Neighborhood: Upper West Side
District: 3
Grade range: K-5
Parent Coordinator: ANA GOMEZ
Zoned
Dual Language

What's special:

Dual language program, rich art offerings

The downside:

Occasional discipline problems

InsideSchools Review

Our review:

PS 75 is a gritty, idealistic place, committed to teaching children who live in expensive co-ops on Riverside Drive to learn alongside those who live in housing projects. It has a large group of committed, enthusiastic parents who organize activities like family movie night, a Halloween party and dances for both grown-ups and children.

With a mix of children of different races, the school is an oasis for multiracial families who fear their children would be isolated in schools where one race predominates. The tone is warm and welcoming to both parents and children. One parent said she likes the fact the school is "not too progressive, not too rigid," with a good balance between structure and freedom.

Long known for its dual language program, in which children become fluent in both English and Spanish, PS 75 also takes pride in its rich art offerings and its ASD Nest program, in which children on the autism spectrum share an extra-small class with children in general education and two teachers.

The quality of children's writing we saw on our visit was good, with essays posted on engaging topics such as "Are zoos harmful or helpful for endangered species?" Sophisticated children's artwork covers the corridor walls, part of the collaboration with the nonprofit Studio in a School, which sends teaching artists to give every child lessons every week. Every 5th-grader studies ballroom dancing, and children from various grades take part in the Young People's Chorus.

Longtime principal Robert O'Brien works to make sure children have plenty of time to move around their classrooms, understanding that all children need exercise and no one likes to sit still all day. Children have physical education twice a week in a large gym. They go out to recess before eating lunch, which O'Brien says gives them a chance to "get their sillies out." On rainy days, some children watch movies in the auditorium—but other may toss a ball around with school aides in the gym.

The building, built in 1950, is a bit drab. While some rooms are inviting—such as the well-equipped library with books in both English and Spanish—others are cluttered. The corridors are dimly lit with flickering florescent lights and gray- or green-tiled walls. Some floors are black, others have gray and pink squares.

The school was orderly on our visit, with children happily engaged in every class we saw. Even the cafeteria—a chaotic place in many schools—was pleasant, with children chatting quietly. However, some teachers complain of discipline problems on school surveys. PS 75 serves children from a nearby shelter for victims of domestic violence, and sometimes children with difficult home lives bring their problems to school, staff members say. O'Brien says the school works hard to get children the help and support they need. The parents we spoke to shrugged off concerns and said that a few discipline problems don't interfere with children's education.

The school has a good record getting children admitted to their middle school choices. Most 5th-graders end up at MS 245 The Computer School, MS 54, Mott Hall II and West Side Collaborative (housed on the top floor of PS 75).

PS 75 runs an after-school program that includes programs in ceramics, art, science, tennis, musical instruments, theater, dance, ice-skating, rock climbing, chess and more. There is a fee but scholarships are available for those in need.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: There are ICT (integrated co-teaching) classes on every grade level with two teachers, one of whom is certified in special education. The school also has an ASD Nest Program for children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). Students with ASD learn in a classroom alongside typically developing children, taught by two teachers who have been trained in the program's specialized curriculum and teaching strategies.

ADMISSIONS: Neighborhood school. About one-third of the student body comes from outside the school attendance zone. O'Brien says don't be discouraged if your child isn't admitted on the first application round in the spring; seats open up. "We want people who want to be here," he said. "Call us weekly. Don't worry about pestering us." (Clara Hemphill and Mahalia Watson, January 2016)

InsideStats

Click tabs above to see school stats

At a glance

Shared campus? Yes

This school shares the building with MS 250

Number of Students 569

Average Daily Attendance 93%

Students at this school

Asian

  
2%

Black

  
23%

Hispanic

  
56%

White

  
16%

Free Lunch

  
70%

Special ed

  
29%

English Language Learners

  
13%

Safety & vibe

ARE KIDS
NICE?

How many teachers say bullying is a problem at school?

44% 17% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

76% 86% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

ARE CLASSES BIG?

Number of students in an average kindergarten class

25 23 CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Number of students in an average fifth grade class

18 26 CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO TEACHERS LIKE THE SCHOOL?

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?

82% 84% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers would recommend this school to other parents?

88% 87% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Attendance

How many students are chronically absent?

22% 22% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Academics

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

87% 84% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

81% 85% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

77% 91% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of 3rd, 4th & 5th graders who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam

48% 39% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of 3rd, 4th & 5th graders who scored 3 or 4 on the state ela exam

34% 30% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

79% 82% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Parents

Are parents involved?

How many parents responded to the school survey?

42% 63% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

75% 72% 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?

83% 75% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Do parents like the school?

How many parents would recommend this school to other parents?

93% 94% 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:

NA 8% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

NA 2% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

11% 19% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

8% 9% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

22% 17% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

11% 9% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

96% 98% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

94% 94% 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?

93% 89% 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:

4% 6% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

13% 28% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

77% 90% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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