P.S. 204 Morris Heights
BRONX NY 10453 Map
P.S. 204 Morris Heights
Extended PK hours offered: Contact program about extended hours.
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)
At a glance
Number of Students 620
Average Daily Attendance 94%
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?90% 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?74% 80% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
How many teachers would recommend this school to other parents?NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE
How many students are chronically absent?20% 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 offers self-contained classes.
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
This school offers team teaching (ict).
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?
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?