The East Village Community School

Grades Pre-K, K-5
Staff Pick
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Location

610 East 12 Street
Manhattan NY 10009
East Village (District 1)
Trains: L to 1st Ave
Buses: M14A, M14D, M15, M15-SBS, M23, M8, M9

Contact

Phone
212-982-0682
Principal
Bradley Goodman
Parent Coordinator
Jamie Mowrey

What’s Special

Joyful, progressive school; extra recess and plenty of field trips

The Downside

Some space constraints in shared building; no full sized gym

Our Review

At East Village Community School, a school-wide morning meeting begins with a few dads, moms and teachers strumming banjos and guitars leading an audience sing-along of "This Land is Your Land." It's a family affair, with long-haired dads bouncing infants; toddlers clapping along with the kids on the stage; and one tyke even crying inconsolably after the show ended because he wanted to stay at school with his older sibling.

"This is my favorite time of the month," said a pre-k dad at this progressive East Village school. "We get to sing all these old songs. The principal is doing a great job of bringing all the kids together and it starts with the morning meeting."

EVCS can seem almost like a throwback to the 1960's, even down to the singing of the 1972 song "Free to Be You and Me." Kindergarten still looks like kindergartens of old, where children learn through play to read, write and get along with one another. The block corner doesn't disappear after pre-k - it's an active place used even in 1st grade lessons about community buildings.

When longtime, popular principal Robin Williams left in 2014 for a job in the District 1 office, the school didn't skip a beat, as assistant principal Bradley Goodman took over."I'm carrying the torch," said Bradley, a musician who used to run a sing-along club at the school and who taught there for seven years prior to becoming assistant principal.

He has pumped up the responsive classroom method as a technique that "sets a positive tone." Every class starts the day with a meeting - a ritualized share, and activity. "Students acknowledge one another, make eye contact and say kind words," he said. Certain hand signals and a chime show students it's time to pay attention, move to a different activity or request permission to use the bathroom.

There is joy in the classrooms, and plenty of exploration. Each class goes on as many as 10 fields trips a year, not counting the many neighborhood walks. Pre-kindergartners consider the question: "Where does food come from?" and then visit the Union Square Farmers Market. Even the youngest children help plan what they are going to do or study.

Art, music and social studies lessons frequently are intertwined. The kindergarten adopted a special elm tree in nearby Tompkins Square Park in their study of trees. As part of a Lenape Indian study, 2nd-graders built longhouses and created a mural about Lenape Indians; 3rd graders studying China created costumes and performed a dragon dance.

The atmosphere is informal: teachers and administrators go by their first names and students may pull out snacks if they're hungry. Freedom does not lead to chaos, however: classrooms are tidy and all items, from books to blocks, have clearly defined homes in color-coded bins and on brightly labeled shelves.

Homework isn't assigned until 2nd grade and there are no consequences for not doing it. "We don't get too freaked out about homework," said Goodman, himself the parent of two young children.

Test scores are among the highest in the district although about one-third of the families decided in 2015 to opt their children out of taking state exams. Teachers do lots of pre-assessments to determine how children are doing, said Goodman, which "allows us to tailor instruction to a wide range of learners."

There's a fulltime math coach. Kids are taught to understand the reasoning behind math problems and there is a balance between conceptual learning and memorization of facts such as multiplication tables.

Children arrive as early as 8 am for a half hour of supervised play before school starts at 8:30 and every child gets 25 minutes for outdoor play at daily lunchtime recess. Older kids spend 1.5 hours a week in electives such as a rock band, drama, martial arts or chess.

The colorful building is located close to city housing complexes but the effects of the neighborhood's changing demographics are seen in the faces of the children: pre-k, kindergarten and 1st are largely white; there are more Hispanic and black children in the upper grades. Only 28 percent of families qualify for free lunch, far fewer than at many of the neighborhood's more traditional public schools.

EVCS shares a 100-year old building with the Children's Workshop School, and PS 94, a District 75 school for children with special education needs.

Special education: There is an ICT class on each grade and an inclusive atmosphere throughout the classrooms.

Admissions: District 1 lottery. There was a waitlist of about 100 students for admission to pre-kindergarten in 2015. There is never space for out of district students in pre-k or kindergarten; occasionally slots may open up in older grades. (Pamela Wheaton, December 2015)

About the students

Enrollment
315
Pre-K seats
36
Asian
10.2%
Black
5.4%
Hispanic
19.4%
White
58.4%
Other
6.7%
Free or reduced priced lunch
22%
Students with disabilities
18%
English language learners
1%

About the school

Shared campus?
Yes
This school shares the building with the Children's Workshop School
How crowded? (Full is 100%)
142%
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Attendance

Average daily attendance
95%
94% Citywide Average
How many students are chronically absent?
9%
21% Citywide Average

Is this school safe?

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
71%
82% Citywide Average
How many teachers say their students are safe outside around this school?
96%
88% Citywide Average

About the leadership

Years of principal experience at this school
1.9
6.6 Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
46%
82% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal has a clear vision for this school?
58%
90% Citywide Average
How many teachers trust the principal?
59%
82% Citywide Average

About the teachers

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
58%
78% Citywide Average
Teacher attendance
97%
96% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
76%
85% Citywide Average
How many teachers think the staff collaborate to make this school run effectively?
79%
89% Citywide Average

Do parents like the school?

How many parents responded to the school survey?
65%
65% Citywide Average
How many parents say they are invited to visit classrooms?
96%
85% Citywide Average
How many parents say this school offers enough courses, activities and services to keep their children interested in school?
97%
86% Citywide Average
How many parents say their child's teacher helped their child adjust to Pre-K?
100%
98% Citywide Average
How many parents say this Pre-K program helped them consider which elementary schools would meet their childrens' needs?
90%
92% Citywide Average
How many Pre-K parents say their child's teacher gave helpful ideas for how to support their child's learning?
90%
97% Citywide Average
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Test scores

How many students scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
59%
43% Citywide Average
How many students scored 3-4 on the state ELA exam?
55%
42% Citywide Average

Arts offerings

This school has 3 dedicated spaces for Dance, Music, and Visual arts
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

How does this school serve students with disabilities?

This school offers self-contained classes
This school offers team teaching (ICT)
Average math score for self-contained students
2.34
2.4 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for self-contained students
2.34
2.2 Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
91%
86% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school works to achive the goals of their students' IEPs?
95%
91% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say they are satisfied with the IEP development process at this school?
96%
89% Citywide Average
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data
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