PS 527 - East Side School for Social Action
MANHATTAN NY 10128 Map
PS 527 - East Side School for Social Action
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)
At a glance
Number of Students 157
Average Daily Attendance 95%
Safety & vibe
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 class21 23 CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Number of students in an average fifth grade classNA 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
How many students are chronically absent?NA 23% 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?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?
This school does not offer self-contained classes.
Percent of self-contained students who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam:NA 7% 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 18% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of ICT students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:NA 9% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
This school does not offer SETSS.
Percent of SETSS students who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam:NA 16% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of SETSS students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:NA 8% 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?