P.S. 175 City Island

An Insideschools pick
200 CITY ISLAND AVENUE
BRONX NY 10464 Map
Phone: (718) 885-1093
Website: Click here
Admissions: Neighborhood school
Principal: Amy Lipson Ellis
Neighborhood: City Island
District: 11
Grade range: K-8
Parent Coordinator: TINA GISANTE
Zoned

What's special:

Strong leadership, cheery close-knit environment

The downside:

Tough commute for off-islanders

InsideSchools Review

Our review:

PS 175 is a small k–8 school with steady leadership, small classes and a cheery, close-knit environment. It’s located on City Island, a tiny Bronx community surrounded by the Long Island Sound that’s connected to the mainland by a bridge. Most students who attend are local residents who stay through the 8th grade, but the school’s solid reputation also draws some off-island Bronx residents who are willing to undertake the daily trek by car or bus.

Longtime principal Amy Lipson gets high marks from teachers based on their responses to the NYC School Survey Report. During her tenure she’s put in place supports for teachers and students such as forgoing an assistant principal in order to hire full-time literacy and math coaches who work directly with teachers to develop and revise lessons. Lipson also brings in retired teachers to work with students who need extra help; she invites students who are having a hard time socially to play games with her during lunchtime.

Scheduling is designed to ease students into the middle school experience. In grades k to 3, students stay with the same teacher all day—a typical elementary school format. In grades 4 to 6, students have two teachers, one for English and social studies, and the other for math and science. Seventh- and 8th-graders change classes for each subject.

The school developed its own reading and writing curriculum. What you don’t see in classes are lots of worksheets or textbooks. In the early grades, children learn to read by selecting appropriate books from the well-stocked classroom libraries. In the upper grades students learn from many sources such as news articles, diaries, historical documents and fiction. They also write a lot on a range of topics. In a kindergarten class we observed, the writing topic of the day was “my favorite thing to do in school.” In 5th grade, students were comparing and contrasting Cinderella stories from different cultures.

We saw teachers tailoring assignments to students’ skill levels. For instance, as part of their study of the Salem witch trials, 7th-graders were assigned one of two books: Advanced students tackled The Crucible, while others read A Break with Charity, a more manageable, but still grade-appropriate historical novel. Students then worked together to stage a mock witch trial. In several science classes, students seemed to enjoy working together, whether it was experimenting with yeast to identify the presence of other chemicals (5th grade) or role-playing representatives from different countries—United States, Russia, China and India—in a class-wide debate on climate change (8th grade).

For math, lessons combine hands-on work to help students understand concepts, and a lot of practice and drilling to build computational fluency.

Qualifying 8th-graders can take high school level coursework in Earth science and algebra.

Teaching artists from Bronx Arts Ensembles work with students in all grades; music and theater instruction for grades k to 3 are provided by the Lincoln Center Institute. Middle school students participate in overnight trips to places such as Greenkill Environmental Center, Philadelphia, Boston and Washington D.C.

All students have to leave the island for high school. Some graduates attend Catholic high schools, but many choose public high schools in Manhattan and the Bronx such as High School of American Studies, Bronx Science, Beacon, Frank McCourt, Fashion Industries, TAPCO and Pelham Lab.

There is a free sports and arts after-school program for students in grades 6 to 8. A very small program run by Mosholu Montefiore Community Center provides after-school childcare for elementary students who cannot be picked up or walk home on their own at the end of the school day.  

SPECIAL EDUCATION: There are ICT (integrated co-teaching) classes in the middle school and SETSS for all grades. The special education teacher also works with elementary students in their classes.

ADMISSIONS: Elementary school (grades k–5): Zoned neighborhood school. There’s typically no space in kindergarten for out-of-zone students, but some are admitted in the upper grades. Middle school: Priority to continuing 5th-graders and then to students living in the zone. Occasionally there are seats available for students living outside the zone, said Lipson. (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 327

Average Daily Attendance 95%

Students at this school

Asian

  
6%

Black

  
9%

Hispanic

  
29%

White

  
54%

Free Lunch

  
37%

Special ed

  
14%

English Language Learners

  
2%

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?

100% 75% 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

Number of students in an average middle school english class

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO TEACHERS LIKE THE SCHOOL?

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?

92% 79% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers would recommend this school to other parents?

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Attendance

How many students are chronically absent?

14% 22% 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 students in grades 3-8 who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam

53% 40% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of students in grades 3-8 who scored 3 or 4 on the state ela exam

43% 41% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of 8th graders who scored 3 or 4 on the state science exam

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many 8th grades pass high school regents exams?

Percent of 8th graders who take and pass the algebra regents:

7% 14% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of 8th graders who take and pass a science regents:

13% 17% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Parents

Are parents involved?

How many parents responded to the school survey?

48% 59% 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:

NA 6% 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:

17% 14% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

33% 8% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

4% 15% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

3% 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?

100% 91% 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?

63% 84% 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:

NA 3% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

NA 19% 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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