P.S. 101 School In The Gardens

QUEENS NY 11375 Map
Phone: (718) 268-7231
Website: Click here
Admissions: Neighborhood school
Neighborhood: Forest Hills
District: 28
Grade range: 0K thru 06
Parent coordinator: RANDY ST GERMAIN

What's special:

Beautiful location.

The downside:

Too much emphasis on test scores; limited playtime in early grades.

The InsideStats



Our review

The School in the Gardens, true to its name, is set in beautiful lush surroundings. The school has been consistently high-performing and has a warm, welcoming atmosphere. Staff and administrators work well together to help create a cohesive school community.

Some parents have complained that competition with nearby PS 196, where test scores are among the highest in the city, and a low score on the school’s 2011 progress report, have pushed the school place too much emphasis on test prep. An article in the New York Times used the school as an example of the trend of replacing creative play with rigid academics as early as kindergarten.

Still, many parents like the school and reported a high level of satisfaction with its staff on the 2011 Learning Environment Survey. And teachers rate principal Valerie Capitulo-Saide highly - 93% said she was an effective manager on the 2011 survey. Parents say they feel welcome in the school and the relatively small student body means kids don’t get lost. Teachers in each grade produce monthly newsletters for parents. SMART boards can be found in most classrooms.

The emphasis on academic achievement has not diminished the school’s commitment to the arts – all students take music and art and some also get dance and theater.

Classes in the lower grades don’t usually go above 25 students and rise to about 30 in the upper grades. The teachers are experienced – only about a quarter of the staff has fewer than 10 years on the job.

After school: Classes are available for a fee and include artistic dessert, chess, cartooning, debate, art, music, dance, school newspaper, yoga and test prep.

Special education: There is one self-contained classroom and two Integrated Co-Teaching classes that combine special and general education students.

Admissions: Neighborhood school. (Meredith Kolodner, interviews, DOE stats, March 2012)

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