Paula Hedbavny School, PS/IS 278

An Insideschools pick
421 W 219TH ST
MANHATTAN NY 10034 Map
Phone: (212) 942-3440
Website: Click here
Admissions: neighborhood school
Principal: Lillian Reyes
Neighborhood: Inwood
District: 6
Grade range: K-8
Parent Coordinator: ANGELIN GONZALEZ
Zoned
Wheelchair Accessible

What's special:

A high-performing traditional school with a sweet tone

The downside:

Kindergarten waitlist

InsideSchools Review

Our review:

PS/IS 278 has a gentle, caring atmosphere and an emphasis on traditional manners and values—in some ways reminiscent of the parochial schools Principal Lillian Reyes attended as a child. There’s a focus on basic skills such as handwriting, phonics and the conventions of grammar. Children wear uniforms, and some of the classrooms have desks in rows.

This high-performing school, founded in 2004, has become increasingly popular, not only with Spanish-speaking families who have long lived in the neighborhood but also with the children of artists and musicians who have moved into Inwood in recent years. So many middle class children now attend PS/IS 278 that the school risks losing more than $200,000 a year in federal anti-poverty money known as Title 1. There is often a waitlist for kindergarten.

Reyes, who became principal in 2015, says the policy on uniforms “levels the playing field” between well-off and working class children. The culture of the school encourages children to get along with one another. “There’s no place for hate,” she says. “Everyone values everyone else.” The school is named after a former colleague who died of cancer. Fittingly, every year the entire school community participates in a walk-a-thon around the track in Columbia’s Baker Field to raise money for pediatric cancer research.

Children have the chance to take trips around the city: the Holocaust Museum, the Hall of Science, or dance performances at the 92nd Street Y. Middle school students may attend Broadway shows.

For reading, the school has adopted ReadyGen for grades K-5 and the Scholastic Codex for grades 6-8--both scripted programs recommended by the state when the Common Core learning standards were introduced. Teachers supplement ReadyGen with phonics instruction in the lower grades. In the middle school, teachers supplement Codex, which relies mostly on short reading passages, by adding whole novels to the reading lists. The school uses GoMath for all grades, a program that balances practice in skills with conceptual understanding.

Once a week, a school-wide enrichment program offers children a chance to mingle and be creative. On one of our visits, we saw students create backgrounds for a puppet show, practice a song for a musical and build Eiffel towers out of clay. These classes also incorporate reading and writing activities, like creating a script for the puppets, or writing the names of the layers of the rainforest.

All teachers in grades two through six have been trained in the Salvadori method, a hands-on method of teaching children about architecture using math and science. One year, students visited monuments before building monuments of their own related to their study of the Bill of Rights. Another year it was skyscrapers.

Students go to a range of high schools, including the Museum School, Millenium, Manhattan Village Academy, A. Philip Randolph, George Washington, LaGuardia, Lehman, Hunter, Fashion Industries, Pace, and Art and Design. More than one-third take the test for specialized high schools.

Special education: There are several self-contained classrooms, as well as Special Education Teacher Support Services (SETSS). A reading specialist serves as a mentor and coach to classroom teachers.

Admissions: Zoned neighborhood school. Parents may tour in the fall. (Clara Hemphill, December 2015)

 

InsideStats

Click tabs above to see school stats

At a glance

Shared campus? No

This school is in its own building.

Number of Students 538

Average Daily Attendance 95%

Students at this school

Asian

  
3%

Black

  
3%

Hispanic

  
78%

White

  
16%

Free Lunch

  
67%

Special ed

  
16%

English Language Learners

  
14%

Safety & vibe

ARE KIDS
NICE?

How many teachers say bullying is a problem at school?

7% 22% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

100% 84% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

ARE CLASSES BIG?

Number of students in an average kindergarten class

25 22 CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Number of students in an average fifth grade class

27 26 CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Number of students in an average middle school english class

30 26 CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO TEACHERS LIKE THE SCHOOL?

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?

96% 85% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers would recommend this school to other parents?

100% 86% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Attendance

How many students are chronically absent?

13% 21% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Academics

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

100% 78% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

89% 84% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

97% 87% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

44% 38% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

37% 31% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

79% 82% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

81% 57% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many 8th grades pass high school regents exams?

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

0% 13% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

0% 17% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Parents

Are parents involved?

How many parents responded to the school survey?

89% 57% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

62% 69% 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?

86% 71% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Do parents like the school?

How many parents would recommend this school to other parents?

98% 93% 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:

10% 5% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

0% 2% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

8% 14% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

8% 8% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

23% 15% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

13% 9% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

98% 97% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

100% 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?

83% 88% 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:

3% 4% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

36% 21% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

100% 88% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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