P.S. 163 Alfred E. Smith

An Insideschools pick
163 WEST 97 STREET
MANHATTAN NY 10025 Map
Phone: (212) 678-2854
Website: Click here
Admissions: Neighborhood school/gifted program
Principal: Donny Lopez
Neighborhood: Upper West Side
District: 3
Grade range: PK-5
Parent Coordinator: ANN CRENOVICH
Number of full-day PK seats: 36
Extended PK hours offered: Contact program about extended hours.
Zoned
Gifted and Talented
Dual Language
Full Day
School-based pre-k

What's special:

Dance, science, dual language

The downside:

Integrating four tracks is a work in progress

InsideSchools Review

Our review:

PS 163 has two lively pre-kindergarten classes, an impressive dance program, and teachers who know how to challenge top students while giving struggling kids the support they need.

Its gifted and talented program is open to children from across District 3. PS 163 has a popular dual language program designed to make children fluent in English and Spanish, as well as general education classes and team-taught classes for children with special needs. The Parents Association works hard to bring children in the school's different programs together with weekly clubs such as macramé, cooking, running or filmmaking.

The attendance zone for PS 163 includes housing projects and luxury housing and, unfortunately, the school is somewhat divided by race and class. The G&T classes are mostly white and Asian, especially in the younger grades; the dual-language classes have a mix of mostly white and Latino; and the general education classes and the team-taught classes are mostly black and Latino.

The school faces a budget quandary—it's not quite poor enough for federal anti-poverty grants called Title I, but not rich enough to have the Parents Association raise a huge amount of money. There is some friction between the administration and staff: In his first years at the school, Principal Donny Lopez, who took over after longtime principal Virginia Pepe retired in 2013, got low marks from teachers on annual surveys.

Nonetheless, most parents seem satisfied. "Our girls are challenged without being stressed or overwhelmed," a mother with two children in the G&T program wrote on the InsideSchools website. "We like that the kindergarten is academic but also allows the kids center time so that they can enjoy being kids."

SPECIAL EDUCATION: Team-taught classes mix children with special needs and children in general education in one classroom.

ADMISSIONS: PS 163 is a neighborhood school. Admissions to gifted and talented classes are according to Department of Education guidelines. Dual language fills with zoned children. After a family shows interest, the school does an evaluation to establish language dominance. "We continue to go down the wait list until the end of October," said the parent coordinator. (Lydie Raschka, December 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 587

Average Daily Attendance 95%

Students at this school

Asian

  
6%

Black

  
16%

Hispanic

  
46%

White

  
27%

Free Lunch

  
48%

Special ed

  
15%

English Language Learners

  
7%

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?

60% 81% 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

DO TEACHERS LIKE THE SCHOOL?

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?

36% 80% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers would recommend this school to other parents?

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Attendance

How many students are chronically absent?

16% 23% 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 3rd, 4th & 5th graders who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam

59% 41% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

60% 40% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Parents

Are parents involved?

How many parents responded to the school survey?

60% 64% 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:

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:

19% 19% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

3% 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:

0% 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?

88% 93% 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% 86% 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:

10% 6% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

50% 32% 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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