P.S. 2 Meyer London

Grades Pre-K, K-5
Staff Pick
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What’s Special

Stellar pre-kindergarten program for little scientists

The Downside

Four floor walk-up with no elevators

Our Review

PS 2 seems to be a place where the American Dream begins. The school serves many children whose families come from China and speak no English. By second grade, however, most children speak fluent English. Part of the secret of the school's success: the hands-on science classes in which children learn to talk about things such as snails and worms.

The pre-kindergarten program is one of the best in the district. An experienced pre-K teacher built a rainforest in her classroom nearly a decade ago. Today, the rainforest with a canopy of paper foliage and an interactive mural still stands, and some real critters in tanks and a number of plants have been added. Students grow vines from pumpkin seeds to add to the classroom foliage, write about their experiences watching butterflies hatch in their classroom (as best as 4-year-olds can), and examine snail eggs under microscopes.

There are two science rooms but the subject is present in all classrooms. On the day of our visit, 5th graders were conducting science experiments to determine the carbohydrate content of pieces of cereal and 4th graders were learning about how germs spread. The 4th grade science class was a bilingual class and the science teacher placed special emphasis on the spelling of words such as "disperse."

The school uses TERC math curriculum which requires students to explain how they answer math problems, which in turn builds students' language skills. Classroom tasks vary depending on the English speaking skills of students. For example, students in bilingual classes draw more pictures to show how they answer a math problem, as opposed to writing out their answers.

In addition to core academics, PS 2 students get music, art and computer classes. Every Wednesday, a chess master comes to the school to coach students. Students swim at the nearby Chinatown YMCA. All classes take field trips to the neighborhood library to check out books. PS 2's 5th graders work with the National Dance Institute (NDI) to learn special dance routines. The program, "brings out what children didn't know they could do," said Principal Bessie Ng, as we watched a group of 5th graders in a bilingual Chinese class dancing on stage in the school's auditorium.

Ng became principal in 2012 after the school's long-time principal moved out of state. She was the school's assistant principal for seven years prior to becoming principal. At the time of our visit, she had not yet hired a new assistant principal and wore many hats. She rushed around doing everything from receiving UPS boxes to comforting a crying child in the hallway to sitting in on a session for 1st grade teachers with a math coach.

The number of undocumented immigrant parents has decreased in recent years, said Ng, and that has led to an increase in parent involvement. Parents have raised money to install air conditioners in all the classrooms and they decorated the building hallways.

English Language Learners: PS 2 offers bilingual Chinese classes in all grades for students who are brand new English speakers. There are also self-contained ESL (English as a Second Language) classes, where instruction is strictly in English, for students on the intermediate level. The most advanced students who still require extra support get it from ESL teachers who work with small groups outside the regular class instruction. We saw some books written in both Chinese and English in the libraries.

Special education: For students with special needs, PS 2 offers both self-contained classes and co-teaching classes, which combine general education and special education students who are taught by two teachers.

Admissions: Zoned school (Catherine Man, May 2007, updated by Anna Schneider, May 2013)

About the students

Enrollment
603
Pre-K seats
36
Asian
80.8%
Black
5.6%
Hispanic
12.4%
White
1.2%
Other
0.0%
Free or reduced priced lunch
96%
Students with disabilities
20%
English language learners
32%

About the school

Shared campus?
No
This school is in its own building.
How crowded? (Full is 100%)
88%
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Attendance

Average daily attendance
98%
94% Citywide Average
How many students are chronically absent?
5%
21% Citywide Average

Is this school safe?

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
81%
81% Citywide Average
How many teachers say their students are safe outside around this school?
88%
85% Citywide Average

About the leadership

Years of principal experience at this school
3.9
6.6 Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
76%
80% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal has a clear vision for this school?
69%
87% Citywide Average
How many teachers trust the principal?
78%
79% Citywide Average

About the teachers

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
83%
78% Citywide Average
Teacher attendance
96%
96% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
90%
83% Citywide Average
How many teachers think the staff collaborate to make this school run effectively?
86%
87% Citywide Average

Do parents like the school?

How many parents responded to the school survey?
89%
64% Citywide Average
How many parents say they are invited to visit classrooms?
98%
85% Citywide Average
How many parents say this school offers enough courses, activities and services to keep their children interested in school?
95%
87% Citywide Average
How many parents say their child's teacher helped their child adjust to Pre-K?
100%
97% Citywide Average
How many parents say this Pre-K program helped them consider which elementary schools would meet their childrens' needs?
100%
91% Citywide Average
How many Pre-K parents say their child's teacher gave helpful ideas for how to support their child's learning?
100%
96% 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?
72%
40% Citywide Average
How many students scored 3-4 on the state ELA exam?
49%
39% Citywide Average

Arts offerings

This school has 3 dedicated spaces for Music, Theater, and Visual arts
This school has 4 licensed arts teachers in Dance (part-time), Theater, and Visual arts
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

How does this school serve English Language Learners?

This school offers Transitional Bilingual Education in Chinese.
How many English language learners score 3-4 on the State ELA exam?
31%
10% Citywide Average
How many former English language learners score 3-4 on the State ELA exam?
53%
22% 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 ICT students
1.63
2.0 Citywide Average
Average math score for self-contained students
2.8
2.3 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for ICT students
1.68
1.9 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for self-contained students
2.37
2.2 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for SETSS students
1.93
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?
93%
91% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say they are satisfied with the IEP development process at this school?
92%
89% Citywide Average
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data
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