P.S. 204 Morris Heights

An Insideschools pick
1780 DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. BLVD
BRONX NY 10453 Map
Phone: (718) 960-9520
Website: Click here
Admissions: Neighborhood school
Principal: Amanda Blatter
Neighborhood: Morris Heights
District: 9
Grade range: PK-5
Parent Coordinator: LILLY NISSING
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:

Lots of music and science in a beautiful building

The downside:

No full-time social worker

InsideSchools Review

Our review:

A gorgeous building, science lessons three times a week as well as music, dance, art and lots of field trips make PS 204 a sought-after school.

Parents and teachers are very satisfied with the school, according to the Department of Education’s annual surveys, and it’s an open secret that some parents lie about their address so their children can enroll.

Amanda Blatter become principal in 2014 when longtime principal Marcy Glattstein retired. Blatter, who served as principal of PS 109 for 11 years, is energetic and really seems to care about the kids.  "Teachers absolutely love her," said school secretary Rosalie Carbone. Blatter said teacher turnover is low, and teachers support one another and work collaboratively.

On our visit, pre-k children were engaged in dramatic play and painting, thoroughly enjoying themselves. "It's what pre-k should be," Blatter said. "I love mess. That means they are getting creative in their play."

The school has introduced the Teacher's College Reading and Writing Workshop, in which children may select books that interest them and write essays on topics they choose themselves. Blatter says the school is shifting from a traditional form of instruction—with teachers doing most of the talking—to one in which children are encouraged to take part in class discussions.

The music program seems particularly strong. Children in every grade from pre-k to 5th learn to sing or play musical instruments. They also study music theory. Instruments include recorder, drums, xylophone, guitar and piano.

There are lots of fun activities, such as a class trip to see a puppet show in Central Park, the New York Historical Society or Wave Hill gardens. Children learn ballroom dancing, singing, studio art and even put on musicals such as "Aladdin." They have physical education two or three times a week in a large gym. Children go out for recess every day.

There are two full-time science teachers, and a dedicated science lab—rare in elementary school. On one of our visits, we saw kids look at pictures of animals and identify which features show their adaptation to their environment. For example, an ostrich’s long legs allow it to run fast and escape its predators. A giraffe’s long neck allows it to eat leaves in the treetops and spot predators from a distance.

The school serves a needy population, including many children in shelters or living doubled up with relatives. Good Shepherd Services offers therapy for children. On the principal's wish list: a full-time social worker and an additional guidance counselor.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: PS 204 offers a range of services, including SETSS, ICT team-teaching and self-contained classes. The school shares a building with a District 75 program for children with severe disabilities. A handful of children with autism from the District 75 school are integrated into general education classes.

ADMISSIONS: Zoned neighborhood school. (Clara Hemphill, December 2013; Mahalia Watson, November 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 620

Average Daily Attendance 94%

Students at this school

Asian

  
2%

Black

  
29%

Hispanic

  
67%

White

  
2%

Free Lunch

  
100%

Special ed

  
20%

English Language Learners

  
10%

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?

90% 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?

74% 80% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers would recommend this school to other parents?

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Attendance

How many students are chronically absent?

20% 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

43% 41% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

43% 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?

91% 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:

15% 8% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

10% 2% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

11% 19% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

3% 9% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

9% 17% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

0% 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?

95% 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?

94% 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:

50% 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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