P.S. 20 Anna Silver
MANHATTAN NY 10002 Map
P.S. 20 Anna Silver
Extended PK hours offered: Contact program about extended hours.
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)
At a glance
Number of Students 581
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?16% 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?13% 80% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
How many teachers would recommend this school to other parents?NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE
How many students are chronically absent?21% 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:0% 8% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of self-contained students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:0% 2% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
This school offers team teaching (ict).
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?
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?