P.S. 41 Greenwich Village

An Insideschools pick
An Insideschools pick for Special Education
116 WEST 11 STREET
MANHATTAN NY 10011 Map
Phone: (212) 675-2756
Website: Click here
Admissions: Neighborhood school
Principal: Kelly Shannon
Neighborhood: West Village
District: 2
Grade range: PK-5
Parent Coordinator: MICHELE FARINET
Number of full-day PK seats: 36
Extended PK hours offered: Contact program about extended hours.
Zoned
Full Day
School-based pre-k

What's special:

Active parents and warm community in a well-run building in Greenwich Village

The downside:

Limited music instruction

InsideSchools Review

Our review:

Nationally recognized for its writing program, PS 41 also has a thoughtful curriculum for science and social studies, a cohesive and experienced staff and a principal who is responsive to both parents and teachers. PS 41 serves the children of artists, bankers, lawyers and other professionals who raise more than half a million dollars a year for the PTA.

The strong synergy among the staff, and the administration's determination is inspiring. Visiting educators from around the world come for workshops on topics such as special education and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). PS 41 has lovely facilities, standout teachers and a strong vision built on fostering student reflection and engagement in the world.

Families are active and welcome in the school. On one of our visits, kindergarten parents gathered for coffee in the cafeteria while Principal Kelly Shannon gave tips on how to best chaperone a class trip. Second-graders showed off the homemade books they had written, while parents read them and posted thoughtful comments. In the library, teachers and administrators from other cities gathered for a workshop on how to teach writing using methods developed at PS 41 in collaboration with the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project.

The school combines a warm and relaxed tone with serious academics. Children may sprawl on the rug or in a bean bag chair to read a book, and some teachers are called by their first names. But the classes are focused and attentive and the work seems to be challenging. While a 2nd-grader might write about why he loves LEGOs or how she spends a family holiday, by 5th grade children analyze the U.S. Constitution or discuss current events. The social studies curriculum begins with a study of the school community, continues with a neighborhood study and ends with a study of the United States. Other units focus on China, Mexico or restaurants.

Exploration and conceptual understanding are integral to PS 41's math and science programs. The school uses the Investigations curriculum for math, a program that teaches students many different ways to solve a problem. The science rooms offer hands-on experiments: Children might learn about erosion by running water through boxes of sand, or learn how sound travels through water and air. 

Children also carry out science experiments on the green roof, which was 10 years in the making. Unlike some rooftop science centers, this is a true "green roof" covered almost entirely in patches of vegetation with solar panels. Herbs are donated to a nearby soup kitchen, and strategically selected native plants attract rare birds, like a red cardinal students recently spotted.

The lunchroom is calmer and less chaotic than a typical school cafeteria. The food is better, too. A chef from Gramercy Tavern comes (as part of the restaurant study) and shares recipes with the kitchen staff. The social studies curriculum informs the menu: blackberries when the kids are studying Native Americans, dumplings when they are studying China. Even the renovated playground is pleasant: There is a nature garden with plants and seats for quiet activities, and the school hires young people who are trained as summer day camp counselors to organize games during recess. Pre-k has its own lovely side yard with climbing equipment and room for more free play.

The arts are strong at PS 41, and all students have instruction in the art room in addition to an extra program for upper graders that combines poetry and visual expression. Art teacher Toni Serratelli spent 2015 in a teacher exchange program with the Whitney Museum of American Art, and PS 41 was selected as a Whitney Partnership School for the 2016–17 school year. The National Dance Institute offers dance lessons, and 5th-graders put on musicals like "Oliver!" each spring.

Music instructon is limited and some parents we spoke with said they wished an intrumental music program could be introduced to all grades. There is an introduction to violin starting in 2nd-grade. 

SPECIAL EDUCATION: The staff takes pride in identifying learning issues early and providing extra support for children with disabilities without stigma. The school has three speech therapists (whose work includes helping children with reading). It offers occupational therapy, physical therapy and ICT team-teaching classes.

ADMISSIONS: The school was once severely overcrowded, with persistent waitlists for kindergarten. The opening of a new school, The Sixth Avenue School, has eased the problem and waitlists are "manageable," the parent coordinator told us. (Aimee Sabo, May 2016)

InsideStats

Click tabs above to see school stats

At a glance

Shared campus? No

This school is in its own building.

Number of Students 721

Average Daily Attendance 97%

Students at this school

Asian

  
9%

Black

  
2%

Hispanic

  
10%

White

  
69%

Free Lunch

  
4%

Special ed

  
16%

English Language Learners

  
2%

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?

2% 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

84% 41% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

84% 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?

52% 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:

62% 19% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

48% 9% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

74% 17% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

57% 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?

88% 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:

0% 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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