P.S. 191 The Riverside School For Makers and Artists

Grades Pre-K, K-8
Staff Pick
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Location

300 West 61st Street
Manhattan NY 10023
Upper West Side (District 3)
Trains: A, B, C, D to 59th St-Columbus Circle; 1 to 66th St - Lincoln Center
Buses: M10, M104, M11, M12, M20, M31, M5, M57, M66, M72

Contact

Phone
347-478-5228
Principal
Lauren Keville
Parent Coordinator
Damaris Carrion

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

What’s Special

Nice pre-k; new building gives school a fresh start

The Downside

School needs time to build its reputation

Our Review

After years of neglect, PS 191 is beginning to get the attention and resources it needs. It moved into a dramatic new building with rooftop playgrounds, science labs and a large gym in the Riverside Center development (down the street from its old building) in September 2017. It got a new name too. It's now called The Riverside School for Makers and Artists. Lauren Keville, who became principal in 2014, has introduced new writing and math programs, fortified arts offerings, and brought order to a school that once had discipline problems.

The school has long served mostly low-income children, many of whom live in the nearby Amsterdam Houses public housing development. That may change soon: The attendance zone for PS 191 has been redrawn to include less low-income housing and more middle class housing--the result of a contentious rezoning of 11 schools on the Upper West Side designed to ease overcrowding at nearby PS 199 and foster racial and economic integration.

It's too soon to say whether more middle class parents will choose the school as a result of the rezoning. But current parents--both working and middle class--praise the warm atmosphere and the dedication of the teachers. The father of a 7th grade boy with special needs said his son had been ostracized at a charter school but was embraced at PS 191. A mother of a 5th grader who didn't feel welcome at her child's previous school said "I'm totally accepted by everyone here."

The school has a mix of experienced and new teachers and Keville has taken pains to ensure they work together. "The staff has become more collaborative, said 1st grade teacher Stacie Lorraine. On one of our visits, her pupils used iPads to create comic books based on their "personal narratives." In another class, 3rd graders watched a video designed to foster empathy and the ability to see another person's point of view--part of the school's socio-emotional curriculum geared at teaching children to resolve conflicts. Fifth graders grappled with the United Nations' Declaration of Human Rights and learned the difference between writing in the active and the passive voice. Pre-kindergartners played at sand tables and put together pattern blocks.

On another visit, children in the middle school grades wrestled with algebra, practiced scenes in a drama class, and made films in the media center. The school was orderly throughout.

Keville, who began her teaching career at PS 308 in Brooklyn and who taught at School of the Future and School for School for Global Leaders in Manhattan, has introduced the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project, which encourages children to write even before they know how to read and to write multiple drafts of their work. The school has adopted the Investigations math curriculum, which encourages children to learn different ways to solve problems.

Keville hired a full-time social worker and three social work interns (in addition to the school's two full-time guidance counselors) to help children deal with emotional problems that may lead to discipline issues.

Many problems remain. Although the school has robust enrollment in pre-kindergarten--four classes in 2016-17--many parents transfer their children to other schools for kindergarten, which had only two classes with fewer than 20 children each at the time of our visit. Overall enrollment has declined, and Keville hasn't worked to recruit new parents by, for example visiting child care centers in the neighborhood. "My top priority is servicing the people who are here,"_ she said. Attendance is below average, chronic absenteeism is high. Staff are still adjusting to the new teaching techniques--such as the math curriculum. Nonetheless, the school has improved significantly in recent years and seems to be headed in the right direction.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: There are self-contained and ICT (integrated co-teaching) classes.

ADMISSIONS: Neighborhood school for elementary. For middle school admission, top priority to continuing 5th-graders, then children living in zone, and then throughout District 3. Effective September 2017, PS 191 has a gifted and talented program that starts in 3rd grade. The school conducts regular tours for prospective parents. (Clara Hemphill, November 2016; updated August 2017 with new building and name change)

About the students

Enrollment
425
Pre-K seats
68
Asian
7.5%
Black
33.7%
Hispanic
44.7%
White
12.7%
Other
1.4%
Free or reduced priced lunch
78%
Students with disabilities
29%
English language learners
8%

About the school

Shared campus?
No
This school is in its own building.
Uniforms required?
Yes
Metal detectors?
No
How crowded? (Full is 100%)
80%
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Attendance

Average daily attendance
92%
94% Citywide Average
How many students are chronically absent?
32%
19% Citywide Average

Is this school safe?

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
78%
76% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
65%
50% Citywide Average
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
67%
84% Citywide Average
How many teachers say their students are safe outside around this school?
100%
88% Citywide Average
How many students say most students treat each other with respect?
28%
45% Citywide Average

About the leadership

Years of principal experience at this school
1.9
6.4 Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
81%
81% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal has a clear vision for this school?
93%
87% Citywide Average
How many teachers trust the principal?
78%
81% Citywide Average

About the teachers

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
70%
78% Citywide Average
Teacher attendance
98%
96% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
83%
82% Citywide Average
How many teachers think the staff collaborate to make this school run effectively?
88%
86% Citywide Average

Do parents like the school?

How many parents responded to the school survey?
93%
60% Citywide Average
How many parents say they are invited to visit classrooms?
88%
78% Citywide Average
How many parents say this school offers enough courses, activities and services to keep their children interested in school?
88%
82% Citywide Average
How many parents say their child's teacher helped their child adjust to Pre-K?
97%
97% Citywide Average
How many parents say this Pre-K program helped them consider which elementary schools would meet their childrens' needs?
88%
91% Citywide Average
How many Pre-K parents say their child's teacher gave helpful ideas for how to support their child's learning?
92%
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?
14%
39% Citywide Average
How many students scored 3-4 on the state ELA exam?
26%
42% Citywide Average

Arts offerings

This school has 4 dedicated spaces for Dance, Music, Theater, and Media arts
This school has 2 licensed arts teacher in Dance and Theater

Engaging curriculum?

How many students say this school offers enough programs, classes and activities to keep them interested?
65%
71% Citywide Average
How many students say they are challenged in most or all of their classes?
44%
59% Citywide Average
How many students say the programs, classes and activities here encourage them to develop talent outside academics?
60%
68% Citywide Average

Are students prepared for high school?

Accelerated courses offered for high school credit
Algebra I
How many 8th graders earn high school credit?
0%
28% Citywide Average
How many graduates of this school pass all their classes in 9th grade?
79%
86% Citywide Average
What high schools do most graduates attend?
Urban Assembly Gateway School for Technology
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?
7%
6% Citywide Average
How many former English language learners score 3-4 on the State ELA exam?
42%
42% 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
1.7
1.9 Citywide Average
Average math score for self-contained students
1.82
2.2 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for ICT students
1.85
1.9 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for self-contained students
2.01
2.2 Citywide Average
How many students say that students with disabilities are included in all activities?
55%
69% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
93%
85% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school works to achive the goals of their students' IEPs?
94%
90% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say they are satisfied with the IEP development process at this school?
92%
88% Citywide Average
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data
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