Ella Baker School

An Insideschools pick

317 EAST 67 STREET
MANHATTAN NY 10065 Map
Phone: (212) 717-8809
Website: Click here
Admissions: Citywide
Principal: LAURA GARCIA
Neighborhood: Upper East Side
District: 2
Grade range: PK thru 08
Parent Coordinator: VALERIE KIRK KAMALI

What's special:

A joyful, informal school open to children from across the city

The downside:

Test scores could be higher

InsideSchools Review

Our review:

A small, progressive school 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 (K-1), (2-3), so students have the same teacher for two years. Children are encouraged to explore their own interests and work at their own pace.

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.

Both the student body and the faculty are racially diverse, and there are an unusual number of men. The staff, let by Principal Laura Garcia, is stable and experienced. We heard no raised voices on our tour, and kids seemed reassured by clear classroom routines.

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, computer room 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. Some teachers say the academic expectations are not as high are they should be, according to the Learning Environment Survey. Garcia acknowledges that the school's test scores, while above the citywide average, have room to grow and she's committed to finding ways to improve them without sacrificing the joyful atmosphere that is Ella Baker's hallmark.

Garcia says graduates have been admitted to a wide range of high schools, including Stuyvesant, the Harbor School, performing arts schools and New England boarding schools.

Special education: About 40 children receive special education services. A speech therapist comes twice a week. Students with special needs are fully integrated into all classes.

Admissions: There are regular tours beginning in October. Families must tour the school and visit classrooms before applying to see if it is a good fit. Applications are due in March. Children from all five boroughs may attend. Priority is given to children of parents who travel to the East Side area for school or work and to those who have siblings in the LYFE program in the Julia Richmond building. (Clara Hemphill, January 2012)

InsideStats

Click tabs above to see school stats

At a glance

Shared campus? Yes

This school shares the PS 40 building

Number of Students 319

Average Daily Attendance 91%

Students at this school

Asian

  
5%

Black

  
25%

Hispanic

  
44%

White

  
22%

Free Lunch

  
42%

Special ed

  
17%

English Language Learners

  
3%

Safety & vibe

ARE KIDS
NICE?

How many teachers say bullying is a problem at school?

6% 20% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

94% 80% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

ARE CLASSES BIG?

Number of students in an average kindergarten class

12 23 CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Number of students in an average fifth grade class

12 26 CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Number of students in an average middle school english class

16 25 CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO TEACHERS LIKE THE SCHOOL?

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?

78% 80% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers would recommend this school to other parents?

100% 83% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Attendance

How many students are chronically absent?

34% 22% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Academics

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

89% 80% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

100% 82% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

92% 86% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of students in grades 3-8 who scored 3 or 4 on the 2013 math exam

29% 30% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of students in grades 3-8 who scored 3 or 4 on the 2013 ela exam

34% 26% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of 4th graders who scored 3 or 4 on the 2013 science exam

88% 83% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of 8th graders who scored 3 or 4 on the 2013 science exam

22% 60% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many 8th grades pass high school regents exams?

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

0% 15% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

0% 23% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Parents

Are parents involved?

How many parents responded to the 2013 school survey?

41% 61% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many parents say they attended at least one pta meeting in the 2012-2013 school year?

79% 70% 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 2012-2013 school year?

92% 70% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Do parents like the school?

How many parents would recommend this school to other parents?

96% 92% 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 2013 math exam:

NA 3% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of self-contained students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2013 ELA exam:

NA 1% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of ICT students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2013 math exam:

NA 9% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of ICT students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2013 ELA exam:

NA 6% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of SETSS students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2013 math exam:

7% 10% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of SETSS students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2013 ELA exam:

7% 6% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

72% 74% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

95% 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?

85% 87% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How well does this school serve English language learners?

Percent of ell students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2013 ELA exam:

NA 2% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of former ell students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2013 ELA exam:

NA 18% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

94% 89% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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