Muscota New School, PS 314

An Insideschools pick
4862 BROADWAY
MANHATTAN NY 10034 Map
Phone: (212) 544-0614
Website: Click here
Admissions: District 6
Principal: Camille Wallin
Neighborhood: Inwood
District: 6
Grade range: K-5
Parent Coordinator: DENISE RODRIGUEZ
Unzoned

What's special:

Very involved parent body

The downside:

Small, cramped space with no room to grow

InsideSchools Review

Our review:

Founded by a group of parents and teachers in 1993, Muscota New School offers a cheerful, progressive learning environment with an emphasis on the arts. Parents are involved to an unusual degree: On our visit, we saw parents lead a visual art class, facilitate a group in drama class and read to students.

Kids develop a strong foundation in what it means to be a member of a community, a common thread throughout the school. Teachers use morning meeting, closing circle and school-wide meeting times to openly discuss how to build the community, solve conflicts and create shared expectations.

Children are taught, as early as kindergarten to speak up and express themselves, because “how their voice is used is a part of learning,” said Camille Wallin, principal since 2010. Discipline is not punitive, and rewards and punishments are not used. Each class spends the first six weeks of the school year outlining their hopes and dreams for the coming year. Kids help to create their own rules and come up with concrete ways to take responsibility for their actions. 

Field trips augment the four big social studies themes children tackle each year. Second graders study transportation and visit the NY Museum of Transportation, for instance. Fourth graders visit Ellis Island during their immigration unit. "They go out into the real world for authentic experience," said Wallin.

Arts are integral to the overall school philosophy. “Art class challenges you as a creative thinker so your artistic ability is going to be nurtured here,” said Wallin. All students participate in dance, music, visual arts and drama with performance opportunities in each. The school has partnerships with Carnegie Hall, the NYC Student Shakespeare Festival and the mini, school-based Museum of Modern Art event, where each year kids create an original piece of artwork, which is then exhibited at the school and sold.

Under Wallin’s leadership, the school has boosted its test scores while retaining the qualities it has long been known for: creative hands-on projects, a progressive philosophy and focus on social and emotional development. This small school has two classes on every grade.

The school is housed in a four-story brick building, which it shares with Amistad. Space is tight, and classrooms feel small and cramped. The two schools work well together to improve shared use of the building, including the outdoor play area and library.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: All children with special needs are integrated into regular classrooms.

ADMISSIONS: Muscota is open to all District 6 families. Students are chosen by lottery and preference is given to siblings of students enrolled at the school. Parents are encouraged to tour the school. (Mahalia Watson, November 2015; updated August 2016 by phone)

InsideStats

Click tabs above to see school stats

At a glance

Shared campus? Yes

This school shares the building with Amistad Dual Language School

Number of Students 270

Average Daily Attendance 95%

Students at this school

Asian

  
4%

Black

  
3%

Hispanic

  
46%

White

  
42%

Free Lunch

  
33%

Special ed

  
11%

English Language Learners

  
4%

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% 81% 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

DO TEACHERS LIKE THE SCHOOL?

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?

100% 80% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers would recommend this school to other parents?

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Attendance

How many students are chronically absent?

9% 23% 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 3rd, 4th & 5th graders who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam

62% 41% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

71% 40% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Parents

Are parents involved?

How many parents responded to the school survey?

66% 64% 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:

NA 8% 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:

25% 19% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

17% 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?

NA NA 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?

63% 86% 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 32% 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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