PS 527 - East Side School for Social Action

Grades K-4
Staff Pick
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What’s Special

Kids read classics like "The Tale of Peter Rabbit" and "The Wizard of Oz"

The Downside

No pre-k, seven-story building has no elevator

Our Review

Opened in 2012 to ease overcrowding at other Upper East Side schools, PS 527 has quickly developed its own personality and culture. There is a lot of emphasis on being niceand on being a good citizen. The school is orderly but not rigid. Children move smoothly from one activity to another without a lot of wasted time.

PS 527 is a shade more traditional than some of the other schools in the neighborhood. It uses the Core Knowledge curriculum, based on the work of E.D. Hirsch, which includes classics like The Tale of Peter Rabbit and The Wizard of Oz. Every child takes part in a guided reading group every day, and there is explicit phonics instruction.

At the same, teachers adapt Core Knowledge to include more child-friendly stuff and activitieslike making paper-bag puppets about nursery rhymes, said Principal Dan McCormick. He added that Core Knowledge texts are too challenging and lessons are too teacher-centered, with too much passive learning and not enough activity. On our visit, we heard children talk about the difference between fiction and nonfictionhow Balto was a real, live dog, but Alice in Wonderland was a character in book.

Housed in a former parochial school with seven floors and no elevator, PS 527 had lavishly equipped roomsincluding many that were emptyat the time of our visit. Unfortunately, it does not offer pre-kindergarten, because city officials decided small children could not easily climb the stairs.

The theme of the school is social action and children are encouraged to take part in community service, such as making sandwiches for a local food pantry, or raising money for a charity such as the ASPCA or a campaign to save the rain forest.

McCormick (Principal Dan to the kids), formerly assistant principal at the Talented and Gifted School for Young Scholars in East Harlem, knows every child by name.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: The school takes pains to ensure that children with special needs are distributed across different classes and not clustered in one. ICT classes (with two teachers) tend to have fewer special needs children than the 40 percent that is typical. The school has a full-time speech therapist and an occupational therapist.

ADMISSIONS: Zoned neighborhood school. (Clara Hemphill, October 2015)

About the students

Enrollment
294
Asian
11.6%
Black
4.4%
Hispanic
17.0%
White
63.6%
Other
3.4%
Free or reduced priced lunch
16%
Students with disabilities
15%
English language learners
2%

About the school

Shared campus?
No
This school is in its own building.
How crowded? (Full is 100%)
35%
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?
15%
21% Citywide Average

Is this school safe?

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
100%
81% Citywide Average
How many teachers say their students are safe outside around this school?
100%
85% Citywide Average

About the leadership

Years of principal experience at this school
4.0
6.6 Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
100%
80% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal has a clear vision for this school?
100%
87% Citywide Average
How many teachers trust the principal?
100%
79% Citywide Average

About the teachers

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
24%
78% Citywide Average
Teacher attendance
97%
96% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
100%
83% Citywide Average
How many teachers think the staff collaborate to make this school run effectively?
100%
87% Citywide Average

Do parents like the school?

How many parents responded to the school survey?
66%
64% Citywide Average
How many parents say they are invited to visit classrooms?
78%
85% Citywide Average
How many parents say this school offers enough courses, activities and services to keep their children interested in school?
99%
87% 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?
85%
40% Citywide Average
How many students scored 3-4 on the state ELA exam?
83%
39% Citywide Average

Arts offerings

This school has 1 dedicated space for Visual arts
This school has 1 licensed arts teacher in Music
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)
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
100%
86% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school works to achive the goals of their students' IEPs?
100%
91% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say they are satisfied with the IEP development process at this school?
100%
89% Citywide Average
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data
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