P.S. 146 Ann M. Short
MANHATTAN NY 10029 Map
P.S. 146 Ann M. Short
UPDATE: Mona Silfen has succeeded Laura Silver as the principal of PS 146.
MARCH 2004 REVIEW: PS 146 is District 4's only barrier-free school, and serves physically-challenged and medically fragile children in the area. Kids in wheelchairs and using walkers are seen in classrooms and hallways throughout the building. The school raised money last year to install a lift next to the auditorium stage so all students can participate in school performances and graduation ceremonies.
The school has a sympathetic and knowledgeable staff developer who helps teachers plan and carry out the curriculum. He joined in lessons, sitting with the kids in every class we visited. PS 146 just voted for "school based option" status, which means that a faculty committee can participate in selecting new teachers.
In 2003, PS 146 showed gains on its math and reading scores. Principal Laura Silver, who has been working hard to pull the school up from failing status since she took over in September, 1999, is proud of those gains.
Silver says she encourages teachers to hone their skills. New teachers are encouraged to visit other classrooms, she says. Parents and teachers are not uniformly happy with the school's administration, however. A letter sent to the chancellor in March 2004, and signed by over 40 parents, complained about strained relations between teachers and the principal, and parents and the principal. The letters also expressed concern about rapid teacher turnover in recent years. Silver says that she did encourage some teachers who weren't meeting her standards to leave.
The school offers Saturday and after-school test prep programs, and a reading specialist gives one-on-one help to lagging readers. While recent gains are dramatic, there is a long way to go, particularly in the upper grades.
Although the school has computers, Silver notes that many glitches go unsolved for lack of technical support. In addition, the school library needs more up-to-date books and materials. On the plus side: Silver has kept Project Arts, which funds school participation in a 92nd Street Y music program. And all students take dance, singing and performance classes. PS 146 also has an Accelerated and Enriched program, a chorus for the most musical kids, a new science lab, a fulltime art teacher and a gym teacher.
Special education: About 50 paraprofessionals aid special needs kids, and the school provides on-site occupational, physical and speech therapy, along with adaptive physical education, which allows physically challenged kids to participate in gym classes with appropriate accommodations, counseling and medical care. "Inclusion" classes, where children with special needs and general education students learn together, are team-taught. Several "self-contained" classes are only for special needs children, but these students often participate in non-academic activities with other kids. All students in the school interact easily.
Admissions: Silver said the accelerated program was started to keep high achieving neighborhood students from leaving the school. Students are tested for admission in pre-kindergarten and kindergarten, and kids who live out of the school zone may apply too. Call the school for information. (Judy Baum, March, 2004)