P.S. 20 Anna Silver

166 ESSEX STREET
MANHATTAN NY 10002 Map
Phone: (212) 254-9577
Website: Click here
Admissions: District 1
Principal: Sarah Pinto Viagran
Neighborhood: Lower East Side
District: 1
Grade range: PK-5
Number of full-day PK seats: 54
Extended PK hours offered: Contact program about extended hours.
Unzoned
Dual Language
Full Day
School-based pre-k

What's special:

Lots of music, art and extras; promising new leadership

The downside:

Will take time for new leaders' vision to take hold

InsideSchools Review

Our review:

PS 20 has a strong commitment to the arts, sparkling facilities, and dual language programs in both Mandarin-English and Spanish-English. Promising new leadership makes this school one to watch.

Principal Sarah Pinto and Assistant Principal Carrie Orr, who both arrived in 2016, bring a thoughtful approach to curriculum and a can-do spirit to a school community that needs it after a weathering an atmosphere of mistrust between staff and the previous principal. Both Pinto and Orr have experience in top-performing Manhattan schools: Pinto taught special education at PS 11 in Chelsea and Orr taught at PS 41 in Greenwich Village.

The two met with parents the summer before their first semester and made common sense changes to improve communication, by, for example being accessible to families at pick-up and drop-off. “It’s important that I can talk to a parent as a person and solve a problem,” Pinto said. Curriculum nights now end in potluck dinners where staff and families can mingle, and every Friday morning parents are invited into their child’s classroom to observe instructional time. All school meetings and communications are translated into Mandarin and Spanish.

Efforts to re-engage staff have also been strong. The previous principal, Carmen Colon, was mistrusted by many staff members, according to school surveys. To help build a collegial atmosphere, Pinto asked teachers what they wanted to learn and based teacher-training on their responses, such as how to integrate technology into classrooms, how to foster independence, and how to address behavior. Catering to a mix of new hires and teachers who have been at the school 20 years, Pinto encouraged staff to visit nearby schools; she hired a full-time science teacher and tried to breathe new life into math, writing and technology programs.

Not every classroom in PS 20 looks or feels the same; some offer students more choices than others, some feel calm while others are boisterous. Still, on our visit, just a month after the new leadership arrived, children seemed engaged, teachers were thoughtful and there were standouts. A kindergarten class giggled and sang “Head, shoulders, knees and toes” in fluent Mandarin, while a riveted class of 5th-graders listened to a seasoned teacher give careful feedback to a student writing a story about staying safe in baseball. Pre-k rooms were full of rich, hands-on materials like play-doh, blocks, magnifying glasses, plants and LEGOs.

There are full-time gym, art and music teachers; once a week students may partake in morning yoga and 2nd–graders learn martial arts through a partnership with Gentlemen for Judo. Rosie’s Theater Kids teaches drama to 5th-graders and 4th-graders dance with resident teachers from the National Dance Institute. Students head to MoMA, the American Natural History Museum and Green Meadow Farms. Pinto says that plans for one overnight educational trip (and one “fun” trip) for the 5th-graders are in the works.

Special education: Hailing from a special education background, Pinto believes that special education practices can benefit the entire school by helping teachers reach students of all levels in innovative ways. All classes are encouraged to offer different options for homework in math, for example. Children assigned to so-called “self-contained classes” are included with general education peers whenever possible. The school has a part time physical therapist and occupational therapist, and two full-time (and one part-time) speech teachers.

Admissions: District, 1 lottery. Applicants to the dual language program apply through normal DOE process and will be assessed in the summer before school starts to determine language proficiency. (Aimee Sabo, October 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 581

Average Daily Attendance 94%

Students at this school

Asian

  
35%

Black

  
8%

Hispanic

  
49%

White

  
4%

Free Lunch

  
100%

Special ed

  
21%

English Language Learners

  
15%

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?

16% 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?

13% 80% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers would recommend this school to other parents?

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Attendance

How many students are chronically absent?

21% 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

35% 41% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

33% 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?

40% 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:

0% 8% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

0% 2% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

3% 19% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

6% 9% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

14% 17% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

7% 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?

79% 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?

62% 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:

5% 6% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

31% 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

Comments

Please post comments

  • Give specific examples. Tell us why this school rocks (or doesn't)
  • No profanity. No racial or ethnic slurs. No personal attacks
  • Criticism is fine but don't be nasty.
  • Flag inappropriate comments. (Hover your cursor over comments to see flag)