PS 343 The Peck Slip School

Phone: (212) 346-5210
Website: Click here
Admissions: Neighborhood school
Principal: Maggie Siena
Neighborhood: Lower Manhattan
District: 2
Grade range: 0K and 01

What's special:

New school to relieve neighborhood overcrowding; experienced principal

The downside:

Temporary location in Tweed Courthouse

The InsideStats


Our review

Run by an experienced principal, the new Peck Slip School is meant to alleviate overcrowding in schools downtown, where new construction has outpaced school expansion. The school will be housed in the Department of Education headquarters at the former Tweed Courthouse until 2015, when it will move into a remodeled space in the old Peck Slip post office building, according to DNAinfo.

Founding principal Maggie Siena comes to Peck Slip School after six years at the helm of the popular progressive elementary school PS 150 in Tribeca.

Being in Tweed for the next three years means no cafeteria, no auditorium and no gym. But, Siena told DNAinfo, lack of traditional facilities doesn't worry her--PS 150 has similar limitations. There, Siena found creative solutions to make the most of the small space, with students serving each other family style meals in their classrooms for lunch, taking lots of field trips, and allowing areas like the art room to double as a parent meeting space. Besides, Siena, a former teacher, has experience working within space constraints at Tweed: she co-founded the (now-defunct) City Hall Academy there in 2003.

Siena told DNAinfo she expects the school's educational philosophy to be similar to other downtown schools, like PS 234. "There will be the same emphasis on inquiry, critical thinking [and] social and emotional learning," Siena told the local news website, and the school will focus on sustainability. 

The new Peck Slip School opened with two kindergarten classes and will add a grade a year until it expands into a K-5 with over 700 students, according to DNAinfo. The local Community Education Council carved out a new zone for the school, according to DNAinfo, and has twice added more seats to alleviate overcrowding. Even so, DNAinfo reported a waitlist months before the school opened its doors.

Admissions: Neighborhood school. (Anna Schneider, September 2012. Compiled from DNAinfo articles and the DOE website.)

(Photo of tweed courthouse by Joseph A/Flickr)


Please post comments

  • Give specific examples. Tell us why this school rocks (or doesn't)
  • No profanity. No racial or ethnic slurs. No personal attacks
  • Criticism is fine but don't be nasty.
  • Flag inappropriate comments. (Hover your cursor over comments to see flag)

Find another elementary school

Elementary forum posts

Forum offline