P.S. 171 Patrick Henry

An Insideschools pick
19 EAST 103 STREET
MANHATTAN NY 10029 Map
Phone: (212) 860-5801
Website: Click here
Admissions: Neighborhood school/middle school choice
Principal: Dimitres Pantelidis
Neighborhood: East Harlem
District: 4
Grade range: PK-8
Parent Coordinator: DIANA SPEARS
Number of full-day PK seats: 36
Extended PK hours offered: Contact program about extended hours.
Zoned
Full Day
School-based pre-k

What's special:

Impressive array of grant-funded resources and programs, rich instruction

The downside:

Space is tight

InsideSchools Review

Our review:

PS 171 is a calm and orderly school where children are expected to read the minute they walk in the door: they read while eating breakfast in the cafeteria, in the hallways waiting for their teachers, and as a class heading to the bathroom, carrying books that they look at quietly while they wait their turn.

It’s a formal school, where children wear uniforms and walk in straight lines in the hallway, but it’s not rigid or harsh. Across the board, students seemed interested and engaged in their classes during our visit.

PS 171 is located in a five-story, late 19th-century building near Central Park, which it shares with Central Park East II.

In the younger grades, classrooms are cheery spaces with colorful furniture and creative work lining the walls. All have cozy reading corners with soft chairs and colorful rugs; one 1st grade class has a bright red loft. Middle school grade classrooms are more subdued, but packed with resources. Each one has a neatly arranged library with a generous selection of books; laptop computers are frequently used.

Starting in pre-k, students are primed to express ideas and learn independently. Students do lots of talking about what they are studying, and their advanced vocabularies reflect the depth of their understanding of the class material. Teachers also create resources that encourage students to answer their own questions before seeking help. Laminated guides for vocabulary, math and writing are placed on each table or group of desks; children check their folders and wall charts to keep track of their reading and math goals.

There’s lots of attention to foundation skills—phonics, grammar and math facts—and structure too. Pre-k students practice writing out the entire alphabet on individual white boards; 2nd-graders learn to write a five-paragraph essay.

The middle school, on the top floor of the building, has its own science lab. Sixth-grade instruction follows an elementary school format, with students staying put in one room, with the same teacher for most of the day. Seventh-and 8th-graders travel to different rooms for different subjects. Spanish is taught for all three years. Through a partnership with nearby Mount Sinai Hospital students visit it weekly to take part in science activities with medical students.

Dimitres Pantelidis, principal since 1999, is a stickler for data, and students in most grades complete weekly online assessments. However, children also discuss ideas, read books of their choice and complete projects that involve a lot of research, writing and creative expression. In a kindergarten class, students took turns showing off their posters on the life cycle of a plant, using words like “germinate” and “seedling” to explain what they learned.

Pantelidis has amassed millions of dollars of grants for computer and science labs, laptops and tablets, and access to online learning programs from school and home.

Students benefit from an array of grant-funded programs including Urban Advantage, which allows students to go on other field trips to places like the American Museum of Natural History and the New York Hall of Science. The Carmel Hill Fund supports an online reading program and pays for some middle school students to attend summer programs at Vassar, Yale and Princeton. An art teacher form Studio in a School works with classes to connect art with studies in other subjects.

One downside is the school's limited space. Some teachers and staff work out of former storage areas and work with small groups of students in the hallways.

The school has a good record of graduates moving on to specialized and other well-regarded high schools such as Manhattan Center for Science and Mathematics, Manhattan/Hunter Science, Millennium, N.Y.C. Museum, Pace, Talent Unlimited, and Young Women’s Leadership. Some students attend private and Catholic schools.

Students may participate in a wide range of afterschool activities including Chess in the Schools. Middle school sports include basketball, flag football, dance, yoga, volleyball, and soccer. Students in grades 4-8 may also participate in the Harlem RBI Baseball program and karate is open to students and the community. 

SPECIAL EDUCATION: The school has ICT classes and SETSS and provides speech, occupation and physical therapy onsite.

ADMISSIONS: Zoned neighborhood school for grades k-5, but the school typically has room for out-of-zone students. The school usually has spots open for out-of-zone pre-k students too. For middle school, admissions are based on students’ grades, test scores and record of attendance and punctuality, with top priority going to continuing 5th-graders. The school typically has space for some District 4 students who attend other elementary schools. (Laura Zingmond, May 2016)

InsideStats

Click tabs above to see school stats

At a glance

Shared campus? Yes

This school shares a building with Central Park East II

Number of Students 734

Average Daily Attendance 94%

Students at this school

Asian

  
5%

Black

  
26%

Hispanic

  
63%

White

  
4%

Free Lunch

  
100%

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% 75% 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

Number of students in an average middle school english class

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO TEACHERS LIKE THE SCHOOL?

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?

89% 79% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers would recommend this school to other parents?

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Attendance

How many students are chronically absent?

20% 22% 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 students in grades 3-8 who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam

60% 40% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

61% 41% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many 8th grades pass high school regents exams?

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

17% 14% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

41% 17% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Parents

Are parents involved?

How many parents responded to the school survey?

97% 59% 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% 6% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

20% 2% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

15% 14% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

7% 8% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

34% 15% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

11% 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?

96% 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?

84% 84% 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:

30% 3% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

45% 19% 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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