P.S. 199 Jessie Isador Straus

An Insideschools pick

An Insideschools pick for Special Education

270 WEST 70 STREET
MANHATTAN NY 10023 Map
Phone: (212) 799-1033
Website: Click here
Admissions: Neighborhood school
Wheelchair accessible
Principal: KATY ROSEN
Neighborhood: Upper West Side
District: 3
Grade range: 0K thru 05
Parent Coordinator: ALLISON SANSOUCIE

What's special:

Ethic of tolerance toward children with disabilities, active parent group.

The downside:

School's popularity makes it difficult for those outside the neighborhood to get in.

InsideSchools Review

Our review:

A unified staff with a shared vision of education, an active parent organization and an emphasis on inclusion make PS 199 one of the most sought-after schools in the district. The school is known for its sensitive mingling of special needs and general education students. "We do as much mainstreaming as we can," said Principal Katy Rosen, who taught at the school beginning in 1992 and was assistant principal before becoming principal.

The school boasts big, bright classrooms, a gym with soaring windows, a music room, a wheelchair-accessible playground, two art rooms and a well-equipped library. On our visit the 2nd-grade chorus practiced in the auditorium, accompanied on piano by the music teacher, a Manhattan School of Music–trained musician whose daughter was a PS 199 student.

Parents are firm advocates for the school. On our visit one parent worked out a backup plan with an office staff member to avoid "wheelchairs waiting in the cold," which occurred apparently due to an aide's absence. "I enjoy coming in because I get to see what my child's doing, and I learn how to help him," said another, Kwee Huang, hanging art in a hallway display case.

Teachers have ongoing support from a literacy coach, and results were evident in the depth and volume of student writing. Posted outside a 4th-grade classroom were typed essays on self-selected topics like "Letting Your Child Walk to School by Himself." The philosophy at PS 199 is that children learn best in mixed-ability groups where peers can share knowledge. "Realistic fiction is things that can happen, but it's not real," said a 2nd-grade girl. "Is Voldemort real?" the boy sitting next to her asked. "No," she replied.

The Everyday Math curriculum incorporates math games and paper-and-pencil work. Teachers use hands-on science kits in the younger classrooms. Third and 4th graders are taught by a science teacher. A chef visits on Cafe Day to allow children to sample specialties like Asian salad or pasta Bolognese.

The school has partnerships with several arts organizations, including the New York Philharmonic, Vital Theatre, Lincoln Center Institute and National Dance Institute, whose teaching artists work with each of the 4th-grade classes once a week. A "Special Forces" class combines general education pupils with special needs students, including some in wheelchairs, in a dance collaboration.

In a 2nd-grade classroom a chart, called a "work behavior guide," had clothespins with children's names clipped to one of three possible words, "Wow," "So-So," and "Whoops," to keep kids on track. Between classes, children walked in calm but not silent lines. When one student shushed a peer in the hallway, a teacher asked, "Can you think of another way to ask someone to be quiet?"

The staff is learning to incorporate a wealth of new technology from SMARTboards to Flip video cameras. Students present group science projects using document cameras-overhead projectors that do not require transparencies-and use laptops in media class to make graphs, practice typing skills and supplement classroom work.

Special Education: One of the city's first barrier-free schools, PS 199 has a legacy of serving students with physical challenges. Students with all types of disabilities, depending on the level of support they need, are enrolled in either the general or special education classrooms.

Admission: Neighborhood school. (Lydie Raschka, January 2011)

InsideStats

Click tabs above to see school stats

At a glance

Shared campus? No

This school is in its own building.

Number of Students 838

Average Daily Attendance 96%

Students at this school

Asian

  
12%

Black

  
2%

Hispanic

  
13%

White

  
67%

Free Lunch

  
8%

Special ed

  
14%

English Language Learners

  
2%

Safety & vibe

ARE KIDS
NICE?

How many teachers say bullying is a problem at school?

0% 15% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

100% 83% 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

25 26 CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO TEACHERS LIKE THE SCHOOL?

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?

88% 79% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers would recommend this school to other parents?

100% 84% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Attendance

How many students are chronically absent?

6% 22% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Academics

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

94% 85% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

88% 84% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

100% 88% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of 3rd, 4th & 5th graders who scored 3 or 4 on the 2013 math exam

78% 32% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of 3rd, 4th & 5th graders who scored 3 or 4 on the 2013 ela exam

74% 27% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of 4th graders who scored 3 or 4 on the 2013 science exam

98% 87% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Parents

Are parents involved?

How many parents responded to the 2013 school survey?

37% 69% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many parents say they attended at least one pta meeting in the 2012-2013 school year?

76% 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 2012-2013 school year?

93% 74% 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?

Percent of self-contained students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2013 math exam:

0% 5% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of self-contained students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2013 ELA exam:

0% 2% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of ICT students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2013 math exam:

NA 13% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of ICT students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2013 ELA exam:

NA 7% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of SETSS students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2013 math exam:

34% 11% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of SETSS students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2013 ELA exam:

28% 7% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

79% 77% 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?

86% 89% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How well does this school serve English language learners?

Percent of ell students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2013 ELA exam:

43% 5% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of former ell students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2013 ELA exam:

NA 29% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

88% 91% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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