P.S. 98 Shorac Kappock
MANHATTAN NY 10034 Map
P.S. 98 Shorac Kappock
PS 98 has beautifully maintained community garden, a welcoming building, and a pleasant and cheerful staff. Teachers are devoted and experienced, and often stay until retirement. While some classes are held in trailers, the school, built in 1920, is not as crowded as some others in District 6 and has plenty of room for learning and exploration.
PS 98, also known as the Shorackappock School, has a well-equipped technology room, SmartBoards in the upper grades, and 15 piano keyboards. Students receive science, gym, music, art and technology. Second grade classes have weekly instruction from Urban Voices, the educational branch of the Metropolitan Opera. The art teacher integrates current events and social consciousness in her lessons, resulting in creative student work. There is a well-stocked library with a full-time librarian and a large play yard. Even the lunchroom-– a noisy, disorderly place in most schools—is well-managed and clean, and students were cheerful and respectful the day of our visit.
Class trips are an important part of the school. Children visited the Clearwater Hudson River Sloop. They welcomed the Little Kids Rock music program into the school (see a performance at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=glqms3h1u4Q&feature=related). The chess team, The Knightmares, has played at national chess tournaments.
PS 98 offers a dual language as well as transitional bilingual and English-only classes. The Gifted and Talented program began phasing out in 2009 but will serve older students until they age out.
Despite its strengths, PS 98 has significant challenges. The school has a high poverty rate and about half of the students are English language learners. In 2009 the state designated Shorackappock school as a School In Need of Improvement because of poor performance on state tests.
Principal Maritza Rodriguez is working to improve test performance by offering extended day two days per week as well as a Saturday Academy. The school has one full-time AIS (Academic Intervention Services) teacher, three full-time English as a Second Language teachers, and a full time literacy and math coach.
PS 98 has an active Parent Association. On our visit, parents, some with younger children, chatted or worked on computers in the parent room. Through a translator the PA president, Elizabeth Alvarez, spoke about fundraisers hosted by the Parents Association and most recently a chess tournament attended by over 400 people. The school also offers Title I parent programming such as GED and ESL classes.
Special education: There are both self-contained and CTT classes. Approximately 14% of the student body in 2010-2011 had IEP’s. About twice as many students are in a self-contained classroom as in CTT classrooms. In addition, students may receive occupational, physical therapy and speech services on site.
Admissions: Neighborhood school. PArents may choose to have their children enroll in dual language classes. (Sharon McCann-Doyle, May 2011)