PS 343 The Peck Slip School

1 Peck Slip
MANHATTAN NY 10038 Map
Phone: (212) 312-6260
Website: Click here
Admissions: Neighborhood school
Principal: Margaret Siena
Neighborhood: Financial District
District: 2
Grade range: PK-3
Parent Coordinator: DENISE HAERTEL GREENE
Number of full-day PK seats: 36
Extended PK hours offered: No
Zoned
New School
Full Day
School-based pre-k

What's special:

Vegetarian lunch, stunning building

The downside:

New school doesn’t have a track record

InsideSchools Review

Our review:

Created to relieve overcrowding in other schools downtown, Peck Slip School, also known as PS 343, has the luxury of plenty of space. The building, opened in 2015, has large windows with stunning views of the Financial District; airy, well-equipped classrooms; and spotless, well-lit halls.

One room, adjacent to the cafeteria, is set aside for children to play with large rubber blocks. Classrooms for pre-k through 1st grade are equipped with wooden blocks and LEGOs which help children understand shapes and sizes as they learn arithmetic. There is a lovely library but no textbooks: Children read exclusively from books you might read for fun.

Principal Maggie Siena, who started her teaching career at PS 234 and was the principal of PS 150, has significant experience with the progressive, project-based curriculum for which the downtown schools are known. Children might study birds, or the subways, with lessons that integrate reading, writing, history and science.

Third-graders study the Brooklyn Bridge, beginning by posing their own questions: “Who thought of the idea of a bridge?” “How did they get it on the water?” “How many people died building it?” “Was it worth it?” “How does it stay up?”  They then study the history of the bridge, reading picture books but also contemporary accounts from magazines like Harper’s Weekly. They learn about the frigid winter of 1866 when ferries couldn’t cross the frozen East River. They take a ferry to Brooklyn, and they walk across the bridge to see the difference. They learn basic principles of engineering.

Children call the teachers, including the principal, by their first names. The school has an informal, joyful atmosphere. Routines are clear and children move from one activity to another without a lot of wasted time. Children are free to move around the classroom and stand and stretch.

The school prides itself on its vegetarian lunchroom. A typical meal: vegetarian chili, rice, corn and salad. Children go outside for recess on the rooftop playground on all but the most frigid days. (Pre-kindergartners go out twice a day). The physical education teacher supervises the games outside; children who have trouble socializing are invited to take part in “structured recess,” with grown-ups guiding the play.

The school, which began with a few classes in 2012 and was housed in the Department of Education headquarters while its new building was under construction, is adding a grade each year. It’s too new to have a track record, but it’s off to a promising start. 

SPECIAL EDUCATION:  The school offers ICT team-teaching classes. It has a full-time speech therapist and a part-time occupational therapist. Sometimes children receive these services right in their classroom; sometimes they are pulled out for individual attention.

ADMISSIONS: Neighborhood school. The school has its own pre-k for zoned children, but children from outside the zone may attend pre-kindergarten at the “pre-k center,” housed in the building but not formally affiliated with the 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 161

Average Daily Attendance 95%

Students at this school

Asian

  
15%

Black

  
4%

Hispanic

  
11%

White

  
59%

Free Lunch

  
8%

Special ed

  
14%

English Language Learners

  
6%

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

21 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?

76% 63% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

79% 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?

98% 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?

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?

98% 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?

82% 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?

100% 90% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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