P.S. 175 City Island
BRONX NY 10464 Map
P.S. 175 City Island
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 In the upper grades students learn from many sources such as news articles, diaries, historical documents and fiction.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)
At a glance
Number of Students 327
Average Daily Attendance 95%
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?100% 75% 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
Number of students in an average middle school english classNA 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
How many students are chronically absent?14% 22% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of students in grades 3-8 who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam
Percent of students in grades 3-8 who scored 3 or 4 on the state ela exam
Percent of 4th graders who scored 3 or 4 on the state science exam
Percent of 8th 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 does not offer self-contained classes.
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
This school offers team teaching (ict).
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?
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?