P.S. 2 Meyer London

An Insideschools pick
122 HENRY STREET
MANHATTAN NY 10002 Map
Phone: (212) 964-0350
Admissions: Neighborhood school
Principal: Bessie Ng
Neighborhood: Lower East Side/ Chinatown
District: 2
Grade range: PK-5
Parent Coordinator: Vera Chang
Zoned

What's special:

Stellar pre-kindergarten program for little scientists

The downside:

Five floor walk-up with no elevators

InsideSchools Review

Our review:

PS 2 seems to be a place where the American Dream begins. The school serves many children whose families come from China and speak no English. By second grade, however, most children speak fluent English. Part of the secret of the school's success: the hands-on science classes in which children learn to talk about things such as snails and worms.

The pre-kindergarten program is one of the best in the district. An experienced pre-K teacher built a rainforest in her classroom nearly a decade ago. Today, the rainforest with a canopy of paper foliage and an interactive mural still stands, and some real critters in tanks and a number of plants have been added. Students grow vines from pumpkin seeds to add to the classroom foliage, write about their experiences watching butterflies hatch in their classroom (as best as 4-year-olds can), and examine snail eggs under microscopes.

There are two science rooms but the subject is present in all classrooms. On the day of our visit, 5th graders were conducting science experiments to determine the carbohydrate content of pieces of cereal and 4th graders were learning about how germs spread. The 4th grade science class was a bilingual class and the science teacher placed special emphasis on the spelling of words such as "disperse."

The school uses TERC math curriculum which requires students to explain how they answer math problems, which in turn builds students' language skills. Classroom tasks vary depending on the English speaking skills of students. For example, students in bilingual classes draw more pictures to show how they answer a math problem, as opposed to writing out their answers.

In addition to core academics, PS 2 students get music, art and computer classes. Every Wednesday, a chess master comes to the school to coach students. Students swim at the nearby Chinatown YMCA. All classes take field trips to the neighborhood library to check out books. PS 2's 5th graders work with the National Dance Institute (NDI) to learn special dance routines. The program, "brings out what children didn't know they could do," said Principal Bessie Ng, as we watched a group of 5th graders in a bilingual Chinese class dancing on stage in the school's auditorium.

Ng became principal in 2012 after the school's long-time principal moved out of state. She was the school's assistant principal for seven years prior to becoming principal. At the time of our visit, she had not yet hired a new assistant principal and wore many hats. She rushed around doing everything from receiving UPS boxes to comforting a crying child in the hallway to sitting in on a session for 1st grade teachers with a math coach.

The number of undocumented immigrant parents has decreased in recent years, said Ng, and that has led to an increase in parent involvement. Parents have raised money to install air conditioners in all the classrooms and they decorated the building hallways.

English Language Learners: PS 2 offers bilingual Chinese classes in all grades for students who are brand new English speakers. There are also self-contained ESL (English as a Second Language) classes, where instruction is strictly in English, for students on the intermediate level. The most advanced students who still require extra support get it from ESL teachers who work with small groups outside the regular class instruction. We saw some books written in both Chinese and English in the libraries.

Special education: For students with special needs, PS 2 offers both self-contained classes and co-teaching classes, which combine general education and special education students who are taught by two teachers.

Admissions: Zoned school (Catherine Man, May 2007, updated by Anna Schneider, May 2013)

InsideStats

Click tabs above to see school stats

At a glance

Shared campus? No

This school is in its own building.

Number of Students 822

Average Daily Attendance 97%

Students at this school

Asian

  
86%

Black

  
4%

Hispanic

  
8%

White

  
2%

Free Lunch

  
96%

Special ed

  
14%

English Language Learners

  
47%

Safety & vibe

ARE KIDS
NICE?

How many teachers say bullying is a problem at school?

8% 17% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

80% 83% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

ARE CLASSES BIG?

Number of students in an average kindergarten class

19 23 CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Number of students in an average fifth grade class

25 26 CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO TEACHERS LIKE THE SCHOOL?

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?

65% 80% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers would recommend this school to other parents?

72% 83% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Attendance

How many students are chronically absent?

7% 23% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Academics

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

88% 84% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

63% 88% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

90% 91% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

67% 38% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

36% 29% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

93% 83% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Parents

Are parents involved?

How many parents responded to the school survey?

88% 68% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

79% 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?

47% 75% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Do parents like the school?

How many parents would recommend this school to other parents?

95% 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:

21% 18% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

7% 9% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

31% 16% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

6% 9% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

98% 98% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

90% 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?

84% 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:

27% 6% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

55% 27% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

96% 90% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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