P.S. 122 Mamie Fay

An Insideschools pick
21-21 DITMARS BOULEVARD
QUEENS NY 11105 Map
Phone: (718) 721-6410
Website: Click here
Admissions: neighborhood school/gifted program
Principal: Pamela Sabel
Neighborhood: Ditmars Steinway
District: 30
Grade range: PK-8
Parent Coordinator: JUDITH MILO
Number of full-day PK seats: 36
Extended PK hours offered: Contact program about extended hours.
Zoned
Gifted and Talented
Screened
Full Day
School-based pre-k

What's special:

Creative academics in warm and welcoming school

The downside:

Cafeteria lacks a full service kitchen

InsideSchools Review

Our review:

A large neighborhood school with a sought-after gifted and talented program, PS 122 has a sweet, welcoming tone, strong arts programs, and a focus on civic awareness. In every class we visited, teachers seemed to engage children in interesting projects.

Students take classes in music, dance, and visual arts. On our visit, 5th graders practiced ballroom dancing to prepare for a citywide competition. In a music class, students worked in small groups to learn to play “Big Yellow Taxi” on the ukulele by ear. Students in grades K-3 participate in the school’s orchestra through a partnership with the Little Orchestra Society.

The school emphasizes the importance of reading and writing in all classes. Students read independently, in small groups, and as a whole class, and beginning in kindergarten, they write and revise multiple drafts of a variety of writing styles for different subjects. Thanks to a partnership with the Teachers and Writers Collaborative, students get to work with a poet each year to create their own anthology of poetry.

Near the last stop on the N and Q trains in a quiet and residential section of Astoria, PS 122 has two gyms, a library, an art room with a kiln, and a garden. It has a new school yard, a playground, track, and tennis courts. Unfortunately, the school lacks a full service kitchen; school meals are prepared off site and heated in warming ovens before being served in the cafeteria.

The school has long been home to The Academy, a very successful middle school program open to children from gifted classes at PS 85, PS 122, PS 166 and PS 150. Standards are high, and students are given lots of challenging work. At the Academy, 6th graders take the equivalent of a year and a half of math and science; 7th graders learn algebra, and by 8th graders take the Regents Algebra exam. Standards are high, and students are given lots of challenging work. "This school is not for everyone," said Principal Pamela Sabel. "It's very rigorous."

In the past, most non-G&T students attended their zoned middle school, with some attending private and religious schools as well as selective public schools including The Academy.  PS 122's G&T students attend The Academy; nearly all Academy graduates attend specialized high schools or selective schools such as Townsend Harris, Bard Early College in Manhattan, and Cardozo.

Middle school students grapple with real world issues in their schoolwork. Every year they participate in the Center for Civic Education’s Project Citizen program, which promotes engagement with policy issues through research projects. Past projects have included researching the health effects from cars idling in front of the school building and the honey bee colony collapse disorder. “The projects engage children in real and meaningful issues and show them that they can make a difference,” explained Sabel.

Extracurricular activities are offered through the Sports and Arts in Schools Foundation, which allows PS 122 to offer fee-based afterschool activities such as chess, debate, and sports for all grades.

Special education: The school offers Special Education Teacher Support Services (SETSS), Collaborative Team Teaching (CTT) classes, and self-contained classes for students with special needs. There is a special education resource room where students can get individual and small group attention. In grades K-2 there are self-contained ELL classes. In the upper elementary classes, ELLs are integrated into the general education classroom and receive extra support as needed from the ESL teacher.

Admissions: Zoned elementary school. Admissions for the district G&T program begins in kindergarten, and admittance is based on the citywide assessment process. For The Academy, seats are filled in grade 6 from schools in District 30, including PS 122 and PS 150, with remaining seats filled through the competitive selection process based on a combination of factors that make up a "composite score"—the final 4th grade report card counts for 35 percent, state tests 35 percent, student performance indicators 20 percent and attendance ten percent. Students in the elementary G&T program at PS 122 may continue on to The Academy. (Pauline Zaldonis, February 2013; admissions updated January 2015)

InsideStats

Click tabs above to see school stats

At a glance

Shared campus? No

This school is in its own building.

Number of Students 1385

Average Daily Attendance 96%

Students at this school

Asian

  
30%

Black

  
6%

Hispanic

  
21%

White

  
39%

Free Lunch

  
53%

Special ed

  
10%

English Language Learners

  
5%

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?

71% 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?

79% 79% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers would recommend this school to other parents?

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Attendance

How many students are chronically absent?

10% 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

74% 40% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

75% 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:

88% 14% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

100% 17% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Parents

Are parents involved?

How many parents responded to the school survey?

93% 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:

0% 6% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

5% 2% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

32% 14% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

18% 8% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

14% 15% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

14% 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?

94% 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?

83% 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:

5% 3% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

40% 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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