Central Park East I

An Insideschools pick
1573 MADISON AVENUE
MANHATTAN NY 10029 Map
Phone: (212) 860-5821
Website: Click here
Admissions: Interview/unzoned
Principal: Lindley Uehling
Neighborhood: East Harlem
District: 4
Grade range: PK-5
Parent Coordinator: Najah Velazquez
Unzoned

What's special:

Racially diverse children of all abilities mixed together

The downside:

Not a good fit for families who want a traditional education

InsideSchools Review

Our review:

Central Park East was founded in 1974 by Deborah Meier, a visionary teacher whose work has had a profound effect on education in New York City and the nation. Her belief that schools should be small, humane, democratic places where children learn how to learn and how to think for themselves helped spark a revival of progressive education in the city and the nation.

CPE and its sister school, Central Park East II, have remained true to its roots. Teachers pay unusual attention to the interests of the children and hold the firm belief that those interests will lead children to explore the world around them in a purposeful way. Independent work is prized. Teachers say much of what is taught here can’t be measured by multiple-choice tests: the ability to work with others, the ability to find the answers to questions of interest and the ability to delve into projects in detail over a long period of time.

Instead of accepting racial segregation as a given, CPE has always put a premium on enrolling children from different neighborhoods to make the school as racially integrated as possible and puts kids of different abilities and ages in the same class. Second and 3rd grades are combined, as are 4th and 5th grades. Each day includes “Worktime” when children cook, sew, paint, build and pursue creative projects. In a 4th and 5th mixed-grade class, a boy used a glue gun to put the finishing touches on a kickball field made of cardboard and paper. A girl was making a dollhouse “because I like small things.” Another lined a shoebox with blue paper to create a swimming pool, an interest sparked when “my brother taught me how to swim nine feet deep.” In one room a pet corn snake was a springboard for research, art, writing and measurement.

Kids write about their work in journals and teachers provide feedback. Cursive and keyboarding are not taught, but children do have access to computers. A few longtime teachers said they feel instruction has become more consistent because new teachers have come in better prepared to explicitly teach reading and math skills, such as in a lesson we saw on multiples. Still, this is not a school that believes in spelling tests, and math concepts are practiced through the use of counters, money or shapes to aid understanding.

Principal Julie Zuckerman took a leave in January 2012 to start another school based on CPE principles, the Castle Bridge School on W. 169th St and Broadway in the PS 128 building.  A few parents were concerned about this transition, but Zuckerman hoped it would be smooth, given the early start in looking for candidates. She served the school for six years, following a tumultuous period in which the school had four principals in four years.

Special Education: Two classrooms combine special needs children with general education children and are co-taught, with one teacher trained in special education. Another specially trained teacher works individually with 4th and 5 th graders in the classroom.

Admissions: Families are required to take a school tour and fill out an application; students are selected through a lottery. According to veteran teacher Donnie Rotkin the visit is revealing and crucial for families trying to make a decision. Parents may see, among other things, “a 5th grader playing with blocks and Lego and doing science experiments without a lot of supervision.” (Lydie Raschka, February 2011, updated January 2012)

InsideStats

Click tabs above to see school stats

At a glance

Shared campus? Yes

This school shares a building with East Harlem Scholars Academy Charter School and JHS 13

Number of Students 203

Average Daily Attendance 94%

Students at this school

Asian

  
7%

Black

  
21%

Hispanic

  
33%

White

  
30%

Free Lunch

  
36%

Special ed

  
18%

English Language Learners

  
2%

Safety & vibe

ARE KIDS
NICE?

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% 83% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

ARE CLASSES BIG?

Number of students in an average kindergarten class

NA 23 CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Number of students in an average fifth grade class

NA 26 CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO TEACHERS LIKE THE SCHOOL?

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?

17% 80% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers would recommend this school to other parents?

100% 83% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Attendance

How many students are chronically absent?

17% 23% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Academics

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

100% 84% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

100% 88% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

100% 91% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

46% 38% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

46% 29% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

100% 83% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Parents

Are parents involved?

How many parents responded to the school survey?

55% 68% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

87% 72% 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?

97% 75% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Do parents like the school?

How many parents would recommend this school to other parents?

94% 94% 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:

NA 7% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

NA 2% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

6% 18% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

13% 9% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

NA 16% 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?

97% 98% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

100% 89% 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% 89% 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 27% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

100% 90% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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