PS 241 STEM Institute of Manhattan

240 WEST 113 STREET
MANHATTAN NY 10026 Map
Phone: (212) 678-2898
Website: Click here
Admissions: Neighborhood school
Principal: Marcia Hendricks
Neighborhood: Harlem
District: 3
Grade range: K-5
Parent Coordinator: MICHELLE PEREZ
Zoned

What's special:

Kids learn computer programming and basic engineering

The downside:

Problems persist, despite improvements in school tone

InsideSchools Review

Our review:

A long-troubled school, PS 241 has made modest progress under the leadership of Marcia Hendricks, who became principal in 2014. Discipline has improved, teachers are happier, and enrollment is increasing. On our visit, the atmosphere was warm and the children seemed content.

Known as the STEM Institute of Manhattan, the school has an engineering teacher who helps children design model windmills, build bridges with LEGOs, or build "houses" of styrofoam and toothpicks for the "Three Little Pigs" to see which material is stronger. Each child gets a laptop computer, and there is a nice Mac lab. Children learn computer coding, including languages such as HTML. Children spend five periods a week studying engineering and computer technology.

Still, the school is battered by huge challenges. Though the enrollment is higher than it was when Hendricks arrived, it has declined by more than two-thirds since 2006, when competition from charters in the neighborhood began to lure children from traditional public schools. The Department of Education has periodically threatened to close the school for low enrollment and poor academic performance. More than 80 percent of the children zoned for PS 241 attend other schools. PS 241 had one class on each grade and just 18 children in kindergarten at the time of our visit. One-fifth of the children are homeless, and one-quarter are chronically absent, missing more than one month of school, according to Department of Education statistics.

PS 241 shares a cheery, well-maintained 1938 building with Harlem Success Academy 4, a charter school known for its sky-high test scores, strict disciplinary practices, and aggressive marketing campaign; and Opportunity Charter School, which serves children in grades 6-12, including many with special needs. PS 241 takes up just half of a corridor on the building's second floor. Like her colleagues at many district schools, Hendricks says she receives transfers from Harlem Success Academy, including some who cannot conform to the charter's strict expectations for discipline.

Hendricks, who began her career as a para-professional and teacher in District 5 in Harlem, worked as a principal intern at PS 21 in Queens before coming to PS 241. District 3 Superintendent Ilene Altschul said in her 2015 Quality Review that there has been "an improvement in culture" at the school and "teachers feel respected and valued." Every teacher responding to the school survey in 2016 said the principal is an effective leader. In 2014, only 29 percent of teachers answering the school survey said the school was orderly and disciplined; by 2016, that number was up to 56 percent—a marked improvement, though still well below the citywide average.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: More than one-third of PS 241 pupils receive special education services. The school has two self-contained classes for children with special needs and several team-taught classes that mix special needs and general education pupils with two teachers.

ADMISSIONS: Neighborhood school. The school has frequent tours and welcomes children from outside the attendance zone. Children who enroll get a free book bag, a hoodie with the school logo, two long sleeved shirts and two short sleeved t-shirts. (Clara Hemphill, March 2017)

InsideStats

Click tabs above to see school stats

At a glance

Shared campus? Yes

This school shares the building with Success Academy Harlem 4 Charter School and the Opportunity Charter School

Number of Students 112

Average Daily Attendance 91%

Students at this school

Asian

  
3%

Black

  
53%

Hispanic

  
38%

White

  
5%

Free Lunch

  
93%

Special ed

  
38%

English Language Learners

  
13%

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?

56% 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?

100% 80% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers would recommend this school to other parents?

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Attendance

How many students are chronically absent?

27% 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

8% 41% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

21% 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?

80% 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:

0% 8% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

0% 2% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

0% 19% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

0% 9% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

NA 17% 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?

90% 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?

77% 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:

0% 6% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

NA 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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