MANHATTAN NY 10024 Map
Opened in 2010 to ease overcrowding on the Upper West Side, PS 452 has quickly become one of the best schools in the district. Principal David Scott Parker, former assistant principal at nearby PS 199, has built a school with a thoughtful approach to writing, math, social studies, science and the arts.
The National Dance Institute, a nonprofit organization, offers weekly classes to every student in grades k–4. Music is woven into history and geography lessons; children learn why one part of the country gave birth to bluegrass, another to jazz and blues. Children not only sing in the chorus and learn to play instruments, but they also learn about the physics of sound.
In every class we visited, children seemed happy and engaged in interesting projects. Children move efficiently and quietly from one activity to another, with little wasted time. There’s a tolerance for quirky kids: A child who has trouble sitting on the floor may sit on a “wiggle seat” (an inflated cushion that allows him to wobble without distracting others) or be assigned active tasks such as wiping down tables or taking the attendance sheet to the office.
Like PS 199, PS 452 has a very active PTA that raises a substantial budget to pay for teaching assistants in some classrooms, periodically, as well as extra arts programs. “Almost everything we have that sparkles comes from the PTA,” Parker said. Almost every classroom has two adults, including teachers, teaching assistants, teachers’ aides and student teachers from Teacher’s College.
Also like PS 199, PS 452 has a well-developed writing program as part of Teacher’s College Reading and Writing Project. Children’s work we saw posted was quite sophisticated, including persuasive essays (with topics such as “Trains are the best form of transportation,” and “Dogs are better than cats”) and “literary essays” analyzing character development in picture books. The Everyday Math Program, developed by the University of Chicago, encourages children to understand the conceptual foundations of math.
Social studies and science are integrated in thematic units such as the “bridge study” in which children learn the history of how the Brooklyn Bridge was built and the science of what makes bridges stand up. Children make paper models of skyscrapers with the help of Salvadori, a nonprofit group, that offers lessons in architecture and engineering.
In fifth grade, children have one teacher for math and science and another for English and social studies. The arrangement allows teachers to specialize in their subjects and has the effect of putting more emphasis on math and science than many elementary schools manage.
The school shares the William O’Shea Complex, a former junior high school, with The Anderson School and MS 245 The Computer School. PS 452’s spacious, sunny rooms are well-equipped with colorful rugs, classroom libraries, blocks and book bags. There are no pre-kindergarten classes.
In 2016, the administration proposd moving the school to the building that houses PS 191 at 210 West 61st Street, if that school moves, as some have proposed, to a new building nearby. Parker said the plan would allow PS 452 to expand and serve more children, but some parents objected, saying their children could no longer walk to school.
SPECIAL EDUCATION: A SETSS teacher on each grade may work with individual kids and serve as one of two teachers in an ICT (integrated co-teaching) class part of the day. There are no self-contained special education classes, but there is a commitment to ICT on each grade level, and there are OT, PT and speech services.
ADMISSIONS: PS 452 is a zoned school. (Clara Hemphill and Aimee Sabo, January 2016)
At a glance
Number of Students 325
Average Daily Attendance 96%
Safety & vibe
How many teachers say bullying is a problem at school?NA 17% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained in the school?100% 86% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
ARE CLASSES BIG?
Number of students in an average kindergarten class20 23 CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Number of students in an average fifth grade class26 26 CITYWIDE AVERAGE
DO TEACHERS LIKE THE SCHOOL?
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?100% 84% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
How many teachers would recommend this school to other parents?100% 87% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
How many students are chronically absent?9% 22% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of 3rd, 4th & 5th graders who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam
Percent of 3rd, 4th & 5th graders who scored 3 or 4 on the state ela exam
Percent of 4th graders who scored 3 or 4 on the state science exam
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?94% 75% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Do parents like the school?
How many parents would recommend this school to other parents?98% 94% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Special ed & ELL
How well does this school serve students with disabilities?
This school does not offer self-contained classes.
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
This school offers team teaching (ict).
Percent of ICT students who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam:33% 19% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of ICT students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:40% 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?
How many teachers say students with special needs are educated in the least restrictive environment appropriate?
How many parents of students with ieps say this school offers a wide enough variety of services and activities for their children’s needs?