PS 527 - East Side School for Social Action

An Insideschools pick
323 EAST 91 STREET
MANHATTAN NY 10128 Map
Phone: (212) 828-2710
Website: Click here
Admissions: Neighborhood school
Principal: Daniel Mccormick
Neighborhood: Upper East Side
District: 2
Grade range: K-3
Parent Coordinator: Kendra Bowman Burns
Zoned
New School

What's special:

Kids read classics like "The Tale of Peter Rabbit" and "The Wizard of Oz"

The downside:

No pre-k, seven-story building has no elevator

InsideSchools Review

Our review:

Opened in 2012 to ease overcrowding at other Upper East Side schools, PS 527 has quickly developed its own personality and culture. There is a lot of emphasis on being nice—and on being a good citizen. The school is orderly but not rigid. Children move smoothly from one activity to another without a lot of wasted time.

PS 527 is a shade more traditional than some of the other schools in the neighborhood. It uses the Core Knowledge curriculum, based on the work of E.D. Hirsch, which includes classics like The Tale of Peter Rabbit and The Wizard of Oz. Every child takes part in a “guided reading” group every day, and there is explicit phonics instruction.

At the same, teachers adapt Core Knowledge to include “more child-friendly stuff” and activities—like making paper-bag puppets about nursery rhymes, said Principal Dan McCormick. He added that Core Knowledge texts are “too challenging” and lessons are “too teacher-centered, with too much passive learning and not enough activity.” On our visit, we heard children talk about the difference between fiction and nonfiction—how Balto was a real, live dog, but Alice in Wonderland was a character in book. 

Housed in a former parochial school with seven floors and no elevator, PS 527 had lavishly equipped rooms—including many that were empty—at the time of our visit. Unfortunately, it does not offer pre-kindergarten, because city officials decided small children could not easily climb the stairs.

The theme of the school is “social action” and children are encouraged to take part in community service, such as making sandwiches for a local food pantry, or raising money for a charity such as the ASPCA or a campaign to save the rain forest.

McCormick (“Principal Dan” to the kids), formerly assistant principal at the Talented and Gifted School for Young Scholars in East Harlem, knows every child by name.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: The school takes pains to ensure that children with special needs are distributed across different classes and not clustered in one. ICT classes (with two teachers) tend to have fewer special needs children than the 40 percent that is typical. The school has a full-time speech therapist and an occupational therapist.

ADMISSIONS: Zoned neighborhood school. (Clara Hemphill, October 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 231

Average Daily Attendance 95%

Students at this school

Asian

  
15%

Black

  
2%

Hispanic

  
20%

White

  
59%

Free Lunch

  
10%

Special ed

  
17%

English Language Learners

  
1%

Safety & vibe

ARE KIDS
NICE?

How many teachers say bullying is a problem at school?

NA 17% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

100% 86% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

ARE CLASSES BIG?

Number of students in an average kindergarten class

27 23 CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Number of students in an average fifth grade class

NA 26 CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO TEACHERS LIKE THE SCHOOL?

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?

100% 84% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers would recommend this school to other parents?

100% 87% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Attendance

How many students are chronically absent?

NA 22% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Academics

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

100% 84% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

100% 85% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

100% 91% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of 3rd, 4th & 5th graders who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam

NA 39% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of 3rd, 4th & 5th graders who scored 3 or 4 on the state ela exam

NA 30% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

NA 82% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Parents

Are parents involved?

How many parents responded to the school survey?

80% 63% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

78% 72% 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?

96% 75% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Do parents like the school?

How many parents would recommend this school to other parents?

100% 94% 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 8% 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:

NA 19% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

NA 9% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

NA 17% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

NA 9% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

100% 98% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

100% 94% 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?

100% 89% 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 6% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

NA 28% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

88% 90% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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