P.S. 130 Hernando De Soto

An Insideschools pick
143 BAXTER STREET
MANHATTAN NY 10013 Map
Phone: (212) 226-8072
Website: Click here
Admissions: Neighborhood school/gifted program
Principal: Renny Fong
Neighborhood: Little Italy
District: 2
Grade range: PK-5
Parent Coordinator: DIANE CHONG
Number of full-day PK seats: 36
Extended PK hours offered: Please contact site for more information
Zoned
Gifted and Talented
Wheelchair Accessible
Full Day
School-based pre-k

What's special:

Strong academics and parental support, emphasis on the arts

The downside:

Not much outdoor playtime

InsideSchools Review

Our review:

PS 130 is a well-run neighborhood school with strong leadership, good instruction and one of the highest attendance rates in the city. Parent involvement is strong, and a robust arts program keeps students engaged and enthused at school. Located on the edge of Chinatown, the school reflects and serves the surrounding community. Many children are English language learners or speak Chinese exclusively at home, and most come from low-income households.

Principal Renny Fong took over in 2014 after the retirement of PS 130's longtime leader, Lily Woo. Before becoming principal, Fong worked for nearly two decades at the school as a classroom teacher, technology program director and assistant principal.

Walk into any classroom at PS 130 and you will find calm, focused kids. Teachers speak in quiet, conversational tones; students listen to instructions, move quickly from one activity to another and quiet down when asked. Classrooms are neat and thoughtfully arranged with areas for students to gather as a class as well as work in groups. Supplies are plentiful and every room is stocked with a generous selection of grade-appropriate books arranged neatly on shelves.

Math instruction follows a challenging curriculum called Math in Focus (the American version of Singapore Math), which teaches children to solve problems and show their findings in multiple ways. Strong students may tackle a problem on their own, while others get hints to help them get started, and still others get more step-by-step guidance from the teacher.

For English, students read many books of their choosing and at their skill level as well as write and revise multiple drafts of work on a variety of topics. By the upper grades students can write lengthy essays and stories on a range of topics.

Children often work in groups and are encouraged to be creative. For instance students may write about a character from a novel they read, but then work in a group to illustrate a poster to accompany their individual essays. In math, students brainstorm complex problems, figure out different ways to solve them and then work together to create charts that display and explain their solutions.

There is one G&T (gifted and talented) class per grade. The main differences between G&T and general education classes lie in the pacing of instruction and types of projects. G&T students may plow through a unit of study quickly leaving more time to tackle additional topics and lengthier projects. In general education classes, teachers spend more time on the fundamentals, though we observed plenty of challenging work and engaging projects in those classes too.

The school really shines in the arts. "The arts give students a chance to build confidence so they learn to take some risks," says Fong. "They also learn that practice makes perfect." During our visit we observed several classes of students starting off their day with instruction in dance, chorus or violin—and many more classes were scheduled to enjoy the same later on.

Students get lots of performing arts instruction thanks to the school's impressive roster of partnerships with organizations such as American Ballroom Theater, Rosie's Theater Kids, Inside Broadway, National Dance Institute, Third Street Music Settlement and Young Peoples Chorus of NYC. There are also homegrown options including lion dance troupe, the fife and drum corps and chorus.

Additional partnerships with community-based organizations provide students and families with a range of free and low-cost services including healthcare, child care, tutoring and after-school activities.

There is a rooftop play space, which is impractical to use for lunch recess. However, teachers schedule time during the week to take their classes to the roof for activities and free play, said Fong.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: In addition to SETSS, there are self-contained special education classes that provide transitional bilingual instruction. English language learners (ELLs) are concentrated in some general education classrooms so the teacher can tailor instruction to their needs. English-as-a-second language (ESL) specialists give extra support to ELLs in their classrooms and on a pullout basis. Some classroom and cluster teachers also are certified in ESL instruction.

ADMISSIONS: Neighborhood school. Admission to G&T is according to Department of Education standards. (Laura Zingmond, December 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 999

Average Daily Attendance 99%

Students at this school

Asian

  
88%

Black

  
1%

Hispanic

  
4%

White

  
5%

Free Lunch

  
100%

Special ed

  
12%

English Language Learners

  
17%

Safety & vibe

ARE KIDS
NICE?

How many teachers say bullying is a problem at school?

NA 17% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained in the school?

100% 86% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

ARE CLASSES BIG?

Number of students in an average kindergarten class

23 23 CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Number of students in an average fifth grade class

27 26 CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO TEACHERS LIKE THE SCHOOL?

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?

100% 84% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers would recommend this school to other parents?

98% 87% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Attendance

How many students are chronically absent?

2% 22% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Academics

How many teachers say this school offers enough programs, classes and activities to keep students engaged?

100% 84% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers say this school does a good job teaching social-emotional skills?

96% 85% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers say this school does a good job teaching organizational and study skills?

96% 91% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

81% 39% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

61% 30% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of 4th graders who scored 3 or 4 on the state science exam

99% 82% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Parents

Are parents involved?

How many parents responded to the school survey?

83% 63% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many parents say they attended at least one pta meeting in the last school year?

81% 72% 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?

60% 75% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Do parents like the school?

How many parents would recommend this school to other parents?

98% 94% 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:

22% 19% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

0% 9% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

60% 17% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

25% 9% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many parents say students with disabilities are included in all activities?

99% 98% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers say students with special needs are educated in the least restrictive environment appropriate?

96% 94% 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?

95% 89% 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:

14% 6% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

37% 28% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers say this school ensures that ells receive the same curriculum as non-ells with appropriate suppports?

100% 90% 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)