PS/IS 276 Battery Park City School

An Insideschools pick
55 BATTERY PLACE
MANHATTAN NY 10280 Map
Phone: (212) 266-5800
Website: Click here
Admissions: Neighborhood school
Principal: THERESA RUYTER
Neighborhood: Lower Manhattan
District:2
Grade range: K-8
Parent Coordinator: ERICA WELDON
Zoned

What's special:

Sleek, airy "green" building; great science programs; Spanish instruction starting in 1st grade

The downside:

Large class sizes and no lockers for middle school students

InsideSchools Review

Our review:

PS/IS 276 The Battery Park City School boasts splendid views of the Hudson River and the Statue of Liberty from its home inside New York’s first “green” public school building. Opened in 2009 to alleviate overcrowding in nearby schools, PS/IS 276 quickly has established itself as a popular neighborhood school with a strong science program, lots of extra enrichment activities and Spanish instruction starting in 1st grade.

The vibe throughout the school is cheery and relaxed. Students call their teachers and principal Theresa Ruyter by their first names. During group and independent work, particularly in the lower grades, it’s common to find students spread out across the classroom, some on the rug or in a corner and others at their desks.

Writing is emphasized in all subjects and there seems to be a nice balance between nonfiction and more creative writing. The hallways are lined with student work, ranging from reflections on math equations and engineering problems to student-authored fantasy stories and poetry.

All elementary school students have science instruction twice a week, though teachers also weave in science during other times. Hands-on learning is emphasized in all grades and teachers do a good job of tying science into other subjects. For example, as part of a 3rd-grade social studies unit on Africa, students read about a Malawian boy who built a windmill to power his family’s home in The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, and then built their own windmills as part of a tie-in study on engineering and sustainable energy. Starting in 4th grade, science classes are held in one of the school’s well-equipped labs. By 8th grade, students study challenging topics such as genetics and learn to write detailed lab reports in preparation for the demands of high school science.

Students also take an active role in the school’s “green” programs. They plant vegetables in a rooftop garden, convert their leftover food scraps to compost and separate recyclables from garbage in clearly marked bins throughout the building.

The school relies on a variety of math curriculums that they tailor to different grades and pushes in extra help during math lessons. It’s common to find two or three adults in a room during a math lesson, each working with a small group of students.  Students are expected to learn multiple methods for solving problems and to explain their work in detail. Fourth-graders learn to divide using the traditional algorithm with remainders, by using compatible numbers (numbers close in value to those in the equation, which might be more easy to work with), and mental math. By 8th-grade students tackle challenging assignments, such as writing lengthy descriptions of exponential growth patterns. Algebra is offered to select 8th-graders based on teacher observations and class grades.

Lower school students get Spanish instruction twice weekly starting in 1st grade. Middle school students have Spanish three times a week. There’s also the option for independent foreign language study with the computer program Rosetta Stone for students who are pulled out of class of lot for special services or who are “foreign language phobic,” says Ruyter. Students in all grades have art, music and gym classes. Band is offered starting in 4th grade and students in 3rd grade and lower have library once a week.

The lower and middle school grades are mostly kept apart, with different lunch periods, and most classes on separate floors. Class sizes are large in the middle school and there are no lockers, so middle school students store their coats in their homeroom class. The school’s gym is large enough to be used for practice by nearby high schools and there is an outdoor track and a small play area with climbing equipment. The large, airy library is open to students during lunchtime recess. A sound-proof music room is used exclusively by the lower school.

Manhattan Youth runs a fee-based after school program that goes until 6 pm. Students can also participate in a variety of lunch clubs such as chess, drama, and puzzles for the lower school and TED talks, improvisation, community service and chorus for the middle school.

Special education: A modified form of Integrated Co-Teaching (ICT) is offered in some grades, where a special education teacher splits her time between two classes, each lead by a general education teacher and each serving a mix of general education students and small groups (five or six) of students with special needs. In other grades, special education teachers work with students in classrooms and on a pull-out basis.

Admissions: For elementary school, priority to zoned students. For middle school, priority to continuing 5th-graders, then to zoned students, and then to District 2 students or residents. For the latter two groups, the school will give additional preference to students who demonstrate interest by signing in at an information session, school tour, open house or at a middle school fair. (Laura Zingmond, February 2014)

 

InsideStats

Click tabs above to see school stats

At a glance

Shared campus? Yes

This school shares the former PS/IS 276 building

Number of Students 875

Average Daily Attendance 95%

Students at this school

Asian

  
23%

Black

  
5%

Hispanic

  
13%

White

  
54%

Free Lunch

  
12%

Special ed

  
12%

English Language Learners

  
4%

Safety & vibe

ARE KIDS
NICE?

How many teachers say bullying is a problem at school?

4% 20% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

100% 80% 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

32 26 CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Number of students in an average middle school english class

31 25 CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO TEACHERS LIKE THE SCHOOL?

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?

94% 80% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers would recommend this school to other parents?

100% 83% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Attendance

How many students are chronically absent?

12% 22% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Academics

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

100% 80% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

100% 82% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

97% 86% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of students in grades 3-8 who scored 3 or 4 on the 2013 math exam

63% 30% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of students in grades 3-8 who scored 3 or 4 on the 2013 ela exam

63% 26% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

98% 83% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of 8th graders who scored 3 or 4 on the 2013 science exam

97% 60% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many 8th grades pass high school regents exams?

Percent of 8th graders who take and pass the algebra regents:

45% 15% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

0% 23% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Parents

Are parents involved?

How many parents responded to the 2013 school survey?

64% 61% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

72% 70% 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?

82% 70% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Do parents like the school?

How many parents would recommend this school to other parents?

97% 92% 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:

NA 3% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

NA 1% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

19% 9% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

24% 6% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

42% 10% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

47% 6% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

78% 74% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers say students with special needs are educated in the least restrictive environment appropriate?

100% 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?

91% 87% 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:

0% 2% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

70% 18% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

100% 89% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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