Muscota New School, PS 314
MANHATTAN NY 10034 Map
Muscota New School, PS 314
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)
At a glance
Number of Students 270
Average Daily Attendance 95%
Safety & vibe
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 classNA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Number of students in an average fifth grade classNA 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
How many students are chronically absent?9% 23% 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?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?
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: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?
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?