P.S. 110 Florence Nightingale
MANHATTAN NY 10002 Map
P.S. 110 Florence Nightingale
PS 110, known as the Florence Nightingale School, is a Lower East Side elementary best known for accommodating a diverse collection of children with a wide range of academic abilities. The school features the only gifted-and-talented elementary program in tiny District 1, but it also serves "general education" kids as well as special-needs students who require extra help. The three tracks may learn at different speeds, but all students in each grade follow essentially the same curriculum — and administrators say all students get individual attention.
"We really try to craft an educational plan for each of them, whether they have an IEP or not," said Principal Karen Feuer (pronounced "FOYer"). Since arriving in September 2008, Feuer has been a visible presence in the school ("Parents have commented to me that I'm omnipresent, which they appreciate," she said) but has angered some parents with some policy changes. (Parents are no longer are allowed to wait inside the building to pick up children at dismissal time, even on rainy days.)
Feuer acknowledges academic shortfalls and says she is revising lessons and methods, sometimes forcing teachers to "retool" and learn new approaches. Her message to teachers, she said, is, "Kids need to move, and you're responsible for moving them." It's not clear how that message is being received: Feuer earned low marks in the 2010-11 Learning Environment Survey from teachers, 50 percent of whom said they didn't trust the principal's word.
PS 110 is housed within a five-story building constructed in 1903, the same year the nearby Williamsburg Bridge was completed. The historic structure has narrow hallways lavishly decorated with student work or custom-made benches. The building has no gym, so PE classes take place in an open area on the ground floor or in a multipurpose room that also serves as an auditorium. Outdoor play space is limited.
Classrooms are brightly painted, and each has a handcrafted entry portal decorating its doorway. And a few modern touches exist: Teachers use Elmo projectors to display lessons on walls, and the school has a large library (renovated in 2008), a Mac-equipped computer lab and shared laptops.
Each grade typically has three classes, one of which is for gifted students who learn topics at a faster pace or have more in-depth assignments. The second class has "general education" students, and the third is an integrated co-teaching (ICT) class that combines general education students and students with special needs. ICT classrooms feature at least two teachers, one of whom is certified to teach special education. General education students are assigned to be in the ICT class about every other year. Parents sometimes worry children might feel segregated by ability, but "the kids don't feel it," Feuer said. Students come from a variety of backgrounds, creating one of the most diverse student populations in the city.
Classrooms follow a "workshop model" that emphasizes routine, Feuer said. Teachers typically deliver lessons, then guide students as they practice what they were taught. Individual work is assigned, and results are shared in a group setting. (Math is often the exception, and students work more on their own.) Feuer said the school strives to be academically rigorous as it works to foster independence among students. Classrooms we visited were orderly, and the students seemed interested and engaged, particularly in the G&T classes.
Arts education is supplemented through Henry Street Settlement (a social-service organization that supplies an artist-in-residence at the school) and the National Dance Institute. In the small music room, students learn to sing, dance and play simple instruments, and some can choose to take violin as early as 4th grade. A variety of after-school programs are available, some of them free. Parents are involved through the school's PTA, which runs PS 110's website.
PS 110 has a half-day Pre-K program, offering one class in the morning and a second one in the afternoon. Each class has about 18 students.
Admissions: Three classes of kindergartners are admitted each September. One of the three is a gifted and talented class, made up of kids in District 1 who meet G&T requirements with test scores of 90 or higher. Students in the other two classes are chosen by lottery, and District 1 parents must rank PS110 their first choice to have a chance at being selected. A lottery also selects children for the half-day Pre-K classes; priority goes to siblings of enrolled students. (Skip Card, February 2012)
At a glance
Number of Students 416
Average Daily Attendance 95%
Safety & vibe
How many teachers say bullying is a problem at school?9% 17% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained in the school?88% 83% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
ARE CLASSES BIG?
Number of students in an average kindergarten class20 23 CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Number of students in an average fifth grade class24 26 CITYWIDE AVERAGE
DO TEACHERS LIKE THE SCHOOL?
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?52% 80% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
How many teachers would recommend this school to other parents?70% 83% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
How many students are chronically absent?13% 22% 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?83% 75% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Do parents like the school?
How many parents would recommend this school to other parents?92% 94% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Special ed & ELL
How well does this school serve students with disabilities?
This school offers self-contained classes.
Percent of self-contained students who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam:0% 5% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of self-contained students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:0% 2% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
This school offers team teaching (ict).
Percent of ICT students who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam:11% 13% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of ICT students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:6% 7% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
This school does not offer SETSS.
Percent of SETSS students who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam:NA 11% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of SETSS students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:NA 7% 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?