P.S. 35 The Clove Valley School

An Insideschools pick
60 FOOTE AVENUE
STATEN ISLAND NY 10301 Map
Phone: (718) 442-3037
Website: Click here
Admissions: Neighborhood school
Principal: Melissa Garofalo
Neighborhood: Grymes Hill
District: 31
Grade range: K-5
Parent Coordinator: MARGARET FEMINELLA
Zoned

What's special:

Strong leader; minimal homework

The downside:

Space is tight

InsideSchools Review

Our review:

PS 35 The Clove Valley School is one of the highest performing schools on Staten Island even though there is little homework and few tests. It is nestled in leafy, upscale Grymes Hill, on a street with neat brick homes and tidy front lawns, at the edge of Wagner College Campus.

Many parents of current students attended this neighborhood school, as did their cousins, siblings and some of their parents before them.

The school earned a national Blue Ribbon School of Excellence award in 2016. It was graded "well developed" on the city's "quality review," the highest rating a school can receive.

Children are not tested in class as often as at some schools during the year, yet standardized state test scores are above the citywide average in reading and math. A few months before the test, about 50 children in grades 3 to 5 prepare for the test after school in two-hour blocks instead of during regular school hours.

Principal Melissa Garofalo took the helm in 2007. She is a former reading teacher and literacy coach who holds a master's degree from Teacher's College, Columbia University. [Photo of Garofalo with students from the US Dept. of Ed. National Blue Ribbon Schools Program page]

Parent coordinator Margaret Feminella said the principal frequently observes classes and joins discussions. "There's always a lot of group work going on in the classroom," she added.

One of Garofalo's initiatives has been small class size in the early grades. She has also created a departmentalized focus for 4th and 5th grade students, who change classrooms for different subjects, much as they will once they enter middle school. This allows teachers to specialize in one subject such as math or reading.

Garofalo advocates minimal homework. "There is really not a lot of research that says homework leads to academic success in elementary schools," she told the Staten Island Advance.

"We really want kids to be kids," she added. "Research shows kids who eat dinner with their families and actually talk and have conversations do perform better. They learn better when they discuss and can engage in conversation."

With only 15 classrooms and one multi-purpose room serving as the gym, cafeteria, and auditorium, instruction happens in every corner. A few closets have been converted to mini offices. The schoolyard is undergoing renovation and the heating system is getting an upgrade.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: Team-teaching classrooms mix students with disabilities in classroom with typically developing kids so they can all learn from each other.

ADMISSIONS: PS 35 is a neighborhood school. After graduation, most students attend middle school at IS 27 and IS 61 on Staten Island. (Lydie Raschka, news report, school data, March 2017

InsideStats

Click tabs above to see school stats

At a glance

Shared campus? No

This school is in its own building.

Number of Students 373

Average Daily Attendance 94%

Students at this school

Asian

  
6%

Black

  
9%

Hispanic

  
24%

White

  
57%

Free Lunch

  
37%

Special ed

  
21%

English Language Learners

  
3%

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?

100% 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?

92% 80% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers would recommend this school to other parents?

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Attendance

How many students are chronically absent?

14% 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

75% 41% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

79% 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?

78% 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:

36% 8% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

18% 2% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

13% 19% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

25% 9% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

33% 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?

92% 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?

85% 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:

NA 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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