PS/IS 276 Battery Park City School

Grades K-8
Staff Pick
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Location

55 Battery Place
Manhattan NY 10280
Financial District (District 2)
Trains: N to South Ferry; J, Z to Broad St; A, C to Fulton St-Broadway-Nassau; 4, 5 to Bowling Green; 2, 3 to Wall St; 1, R to Rector St
Buses: BM1, BM2, BxM18, M15, M15-SBS, M20, M5, M9, QM11, QM7, X1, X10, X10B, X12, X14, X15, X17A, X19, X28, X3, X8

Contact

Zone for the 2017-2018 school year. Call school to confirm.

What’s Special

Sleek, airy "green" building; great science programs; Spanish instruction starting in 1st grade

The Downside

Large class sizes and no lockers for middle school students

Our Review

PS/IS 276 The Battery Park City School boasts splendid views of the Hudson River and the Statue of Liberty from its home inside New Yorks first green public school building. Opened in 2009 to alleviate overcrowding in nearby schools, PS/IS 276 quickly has established itself as a popular neighborhood school with a strong science program, lots of extra enrichment activities and Spanish instruction starting in 1st grade.

The vibe throughout the school is cheery and relaxed. Students call their teachers and principal Theresa Ruyter by their first names. During group and independent work, particularly in the lower grades, its common to find students spread out across the classroom, some on the rug or in a corner and others at their desks.

Writing is emphasized in all subjects and there seems to be a nice balance between nonfiction and more creative writing. The hallways are lined with student work, ranging from reflections on math equations and engineering problems to student-authored fantasy stories and poetry.

All elementary school students have science instruction twice a week, though teachers also weave in science during other times. Hands-on learning is emphasized in all grades and teachers do a good job of tying science into other subjects. For example, as part of a 3rd-grade social studies unit on Africa, students read about a Malawian boy who built a windmill to power his familys home in The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, and then built their own windmills as part of a tie-in study on engineering and sustainable energy. Three science teachers hold science classes are in one of the schools three well-equipped labs. By 8thgrade, students study challenging topics such as genetics and learn to write detailed lab reports in preparation for the demands of high school science.

Students also take an active role in the schools green programs. They plant vegetables in a rooftop garden, convert their leftover food scraps to compost and separate recyclables from garbage in clearly marked bins throughout the building.

The school relies on a variety of math curriculums that they tailor to different grades and pushes in extra help during math lessons. Its common to find two or three adults in a room during a math lesson, each working with a small group of students. Students are expected to learn multiple methods for solving problems and to explain their work in detail. Fourth-graders learn to divide using the traditional algorithm with remainders, by using compatible numbers (numbers close in value to those in the equation, which might be more easy to work with), and mental math. By 8th-grade students tackle challenging assignments, such as writing lengthy descriptions of exponential growth patterns. Algebra is offered to select 8th-graders based on teacher observations and class grades.

Lower school students get Spanish instruction twice weekly starting in 1st grade. Middle school students have Spanish three times a week. Theres also the option for independent foreign language study with the computer programRosetta Stone for students who are pulled out of class of lot for special services or who are foreign language phobic, says Ruyter. Students in all grades have art, music and gym classes. Band is offered starting in 4th grade and students in 3rd grade and lower have library once a week.

The lower and middle school grades are mostly kept apart, with different lunch periods, and most classes on separate floors. Class sizes are large in the middle school and there are no lockers, so middle school students store their coats in their homeroom class. The schools gym is large enough to be used for practice by nearby high schools and there is an outdoor track and a small play area with climbing equipment. The large, airy library is open to students during lunchtime recess. A sound-proof music room is used exclusively by the lower school.

Manhattan Youthruns a fee-based after school program that goes until 6 pm. Students can also participate in a variety of lunch clubs such as chess, drama, and puzzles for the lower school and TED talks, improvisation, community service and chorus for the middle school.

Special education: A modified form of Integrated Co-Teaching (ICT) is offered in some grades, where a special education teacher splits her time between two classes, each led by a general education teacher and each serving a mix of general education students and small groups (five or six) of students with special needs. In other grades, special education teachers work with students in classrooms and on a pull-out basis.

Admissions: For elementary school, priority to zoned students. For middle school, priority to continuing 5th-graders, then to zoned students, and then to District 2 students or residents. For the latter two groups, the school will give additional preference to students who demonstrate interest by signing in at an information session, school tour, open house or at a middle school fair. (Laura Zingmond, February 2014)

About the students

Enrollment
850
Asian
19.9%
Black
4.9%
Hispanic
10.6%
White
56.7%
Other
7.9%
Free or reduced priced lunch
8%
Students with disabilities
17%
English language learners
2%

About the school

Shared campus?
Yes
This school shares a building with a District 75 program, M094
Uniforms required?
No
How crowded? (Full is 100%)
116%
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Attendance

Average daily attendance
96%
94% Citywide Average
How many students are chronically absent?
8%
19% Citywide Average

Is this school safe?

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
92%
75% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
15%
25% Citywide Average
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
88%
85% Citywide Average
How many teachers say their students are safe outside around this school?
100%
84% Citywide Average
How many students say most students treat each other with respect?
53%
46% Citywide Average

About the leadership

Years of principal experience at this school
7.0
6.4 Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
94%
79% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal has a clear vision for this school?
95%
86% Citywide Average
How many teachers trust the principal?
94%
79% Citywide Average

About the teachers

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
74%
78% Citywide Average
Teacher attendance
97%
96% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
98%
79% Citywide Average
How many teachers think the staff collaborate to make this school run effectively?
97%
85% Citywide Average

Do parents like the school?

How many parents responded to the school survey?
38%
59% Citywide Average
How many parents say they are invited to visit classrooms?
84%
79% Citywide Average
How many parents say this school offers enough courses, activities and services to keep their children interested in school?
95%
84% 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?
65%
39% Citywide Average
How many students scored 3-4 on the state ELA exam?
71%
40% Citywide Average

Arts offerings

This school has 4 dedicated spaces for Music, Visual arts, and an Auditorium
This school has 4 licensed arts teachers in Music and Theater

Engaging curriculum?

How many students say this school offers enough programs, classes and activities to keep them interested?
81%
72% Citywide Average
How many students say they are challenged in most or all of their classes?
42%
55% Citywide Average
How many students say the programs, classes and activities here encourage them to develop talent outside academics?
67%
70% Citywide Average

Are students prepared for high school?

Accelerated courses offered for high school credit
Spanish, Algebra I
How many 8th graders earn high school credit?
45%
28% Citywide Average
How many graduates of this school pass all their classes in 9th grade?
97%
87% Citywide Average
What high schools do most graduates attend?
Millennium HS, Beacon HS, and N.Y.C. Lab School for Collaborative Studies
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

How does this school serve English Language Learners?

How many English language learners score 3-4 on the State ELA exam?
29%
7% Citywide Average
How many former English language learners score 3-4 on the State ELA exam?
50%
18% 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
2.37
1.9 Citywide Average
Average math score for self-contained students
2.48
2.2 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for ICT students
2.46
1.9 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for self-contained students
2.57
2.2 Citywide Average
Average math score for SETSS students
3.22
2.3 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for SETSS students
3.07
2.3 Citywide Average
How many students say that students with disabilities are included in all activities?
82%
69% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
81%
84% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school works to achive the goals of their students' IEPs?
84%
89% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say they are satisfied with the IEP development process at this school?
78%
87% Citywide Average
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