P.S. 183 Robert L. Stevenson
MANHATTAN NY 10065 Map
P.S. 183 Robert L. Stevenson
PS 183 is a vibrant neighborhood school with involved parents, committed staff and rich, engaging academics. It’s also a multicultural place: Some neighborhood families come from abroad to work as scientists and healthcare professionals at Rockefeller University and the several world-class hospitals in the area. Among the student body, nearly 40 different languages are spoken.
The vibe throughout the school is welcoming and creative, which is apparent as soon as one enters the century-old building. Photos of smiling staff and a display celebrating the languages spoken at the school flank the main office entrance. The narrow hallways are lined with student artwork and projects. Classrooms are lively spaces where students move around with purpose. It’s common to walk into a room and find children sprawled out on the rug or couch, reading and writing, while others work at tables or in a cozy corner of the room. Class sizes run large in the upper grades—roughly 32 in the 5th-grade—but class routines are well established so kids move smoothly from one activity to the next with little time wasted.
“We want students to take ownership of their learning,” said Tara Napoleoni, the school’s principal since 2010. Teachers are very adept at meeting children’s individual needs. In the younger grades students keep folders with personalized teacher notes such as what level books they should be reading, which areas they’re strong in, which skills they need to practice more, and suggestions for challenge work.
The school uses the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project curriculum, which encourages students to read a wide array of books of their choosing and at their skill level as well as write and revise multiple drafts of work on a variety of topics. They read serial stories, mysteries and historical fiction as well as biographies, memoirs, and books on social issues and science. Teachers also connect readings to topics studied in other subjects. For instance, 4th-graders learn about soil erosion in science at the same time they are reading and writing about floods and environmental themes in class. Fifth-graders read historical fiction such as Across the Wide and Lonesome Prairie when learning about westward expansion in social studies.
Typical of many District 2 schools, 183 uses Investigations Math, 3rd edition, which emphasizes conceptual learning and multiple approaches to problem solving. Teachers balance this with some drilling of math facts. A part-time math coach works with teachers to develop lessons and visits classrooms to help with instruction.
In fifth grade, classes are departmentalized—essentially a modified middle school format. Each 5th-grade teacher specializes in one of three areas—reading, writing or math—and students travel with their class to different rooms for instruction in those subjects. The benefit is that students are taught by a specialist in a classroom filled with resources to support that subject. Students spend roughly two periods a day in their homeroom class where they learn social studies and science (in addition to their twice-weekly visits to the science room) and get extra instruction in reading, writing and math too.
Every Friday, students in all grades participate in small-group electives. Teachers, staff, the principal and even parents volunteer to run one of over 40 clubs that cover a range of interests such as story telling, singing, knitting, cooking and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). Students get to try a new club every five weeks.
Parent involvement is strong. In addition to raising money for teaching assistants and to support school programs, parents volunteer in a variety of ways: grant writing, leading school tours, running events such as the school carnival, helping out in art and music classes, and much more.
Outside organizations such as Wingspan Arts, ChessNYC, Yorkville Sports and Drama Kids run a range of onsite activities after school.
SPECIAL EDUCATION: In addition to SETSS there is an ICT class on each grade.
ADMISSIONS: Zoned, neighborhood school. (Laura Zingmond, December 2015; updated by phone August 2016)
At a glance
Number of Students 555
Average Daily Attendance 96%
Safety & vibe
How many teachers say bullying is a problem at school?9% 17% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained in the school?94% 86% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
ARE CLASSES BIG?
Number of students in an average kindergarten class24 23 CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Number of students in an average fifth grade class31 26 CITYWIDE AVERAGE
DO TEACHERS LIKE THE SCHOOL?
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?97% 84% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
How many teachers would recommend this school to other parents?97% 87% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
How many students are chronically absent?7% 22% 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?92% 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?
This school does not offer self-contained classes.
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
This school offers team teaching (ict).
Percent of ICT students who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam:39% 19% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of ICT students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:44% 9% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of SETSS students who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam:33% 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?
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?