Ella Baker School
MANHATTAN NY 10065 Map
Ella Baker School
Extended PK hours offered: Yes
Founded on the model of Central Park East in East Harlem, Ella Baker is a happy, informal place where children call grown-ups by their first names and there's plenty of time to build with blocks, to dance, or to explore the neighborhood on class trips. Two grades of kids are taught together (PK–K), (1−2), (3−4), and (5−6) so students have the same teacher for two years. Children are encouraged to explore their own interests and work at their own pace.
Although the school is located in District 2, it is open to children citywide. Tours are offered from October through February. It is one of the few schools in the neighborhood that offers pre-kindergarten classes.
Both the student body and the faculty are ethnically diverse, and there are an unusual number of men. The staff, led by Principal Laura Garcia, is stable and experienced. We heard no raised voices on our tour, and kids seemed reassured by clear classroom routines.
As other public schools have increasingly focused on preparing children for standardized tests, Ella Baker has maintained its commitment to learning through play and discovery. The school has no textbooks, only fun-to-read picture books and novels, science discovery books, and historical fiction. There are weekly trips to museums, parks and ice-skating rinks.
The school is part of the Julia Richman Educational Complex, a large building that houses several alternative high schools. Ella Baker shares the complex's two gyms, pool, auditoriums, ballet studio, library and Mount Sinai health facility.
The homework load is light and the tiny middle school does not offer Regents-level math or science—a plus or minus depending on your point of view. The school won high marks on the Department of Education's Quality Review, with a rating of "well developed" in every category.
SPECIAL EDUCATION: Students with special needs are fully integrated into all classes.
ADMISSIONS: There are tours beginning in October for the elementary school. The school encourages a tour prior to applying to see if it's a good fit. There are no tours for middle school because so few spots open up. Applications are due in March. Priority goes to parents who travel to the area for work or school. Children from all five boroughs may attend. (Clara Hemphill, 2012 visit; updated with DOE data, August 2016)
At a glance
Number of Students 335
Average Daily Attendance 92%
Safety & vibe
How many teachers say bullying is a problem at school?13% 22% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained in the school?100% 84% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
ARE CLASSES BIG?
Number of students in an average kindergarten class12 22 CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Number of students in an average fifth grade class13 26 CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Number of students in an average middle school english classNA 26 CITYWIDE AVERAGE
DO TEACHERS LIKE THE SCHOOL?
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?75% 85% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
How many teachers would recommend this school to other parents?94% 86% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
How many students are chronically absent?26% 21% 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?89% 71% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Do parents like the school?
How many parents would recommend this school to other parents?95% 93% 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 5% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of self-contained students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:NA 2% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
This school does not offer team teaching (ict).
Percent of ICT students who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam:NA 14% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of ICT students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:NA 8% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of SETSS students who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam:15% 15% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of SETSS students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:10% 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?