P.S. 199 Jessie Isador Straus

Grades K-5
Staff Pick
Marquee homepage

What’s Special

Exciting lessons in every class

The Downside

Waitlist for kindergarten

Our Review

A unified staff with a shared vision of education; an active parent organization; and a long history of stable, effective leadership make PS 199 one of the most sought-after schools in the city. Walk into the school at any time, and youre likely to see lively instruction and happy, engaged kids in every class.

The school leadership and staff are self-confident enough to resist the latest education fads. Instead, they rely on their long experience to offer a sophisticated approach to teaching writing and math. Student teachers from Teachers College perfect their craft hereand some are hired as regular teachers when they finish their graduate work.

Children learn to read from picture books and childrens literaturenot textbooks. The Everyday Math curriculum incorporates math games and paper-and-pencil work. Science involves hands-on projects and exploration. In one class we visited, 3rd-graders learned about adaptation by stroking a live rabbit and pondering why it had eyes on the sides of its head (to better spot predators) and strong back legs (to better escape).

The depth and volume of student writing is impressive. Posted on the walls were thoughtful essays on topics such as Columbus: Hero or Villain and lesser known explorers like Amazing John Cabot and Jacques Cartier.

The school boasts big, bright classrooms, a gym with soaring windows, a music room, a wheelchair-accessible playground, two art rooms and a well-equipped library. All classrooms are well-equipped and kid-friendly. Kindergarten classrooms have blocks and play areas; one 5th-grade classroom has comfy sofas. The PTA, which raises more than $800,000 a year, pays for teaching assistants in the lower grades.

The reason we are able to fill the classrooms with all of these wonderful materials is the PTA, said longtime parent coordinator Allison Sansoucie, who gave us our tour.

The school has partnerships with several arts organizations, including the New York Philharmonic, Vital Theatre, Lincoln Center Institute and National Dance Institute, whose teaching artists work with each of the 4th-grade classes once a week. A "Special Forces" class combines general education pupils with special needs students, including some in wheelchairs, in a dance collaboration.

New construction in the area has caused overcrowding at the school, and some classes have ballooned to 31 children. In 2015, the Department of Education proposed shrinking the schools attendance zone and sending new pupils to nearby PS 191. Hundreds of parents protested, and the DOE withdrew the proposal. Nonetheless, rezoning seems inevitable in coming years. The school has had waitlists in kindergarten and 1st and 2nd grades in recent years, and some children who live in the zone have been assigned to nearby PS 452 instead.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: One of the city's first barrier-free schools, PS 199 has a legacy of serving students with physical challenges. The playground is wheelchair accessible.

ADMISSIONS: Neighborhood school. In recent years, not all children who live in the zone have been offered seats because of overcrowding. (Clara Hemphill, November 2015)

About the students

Enrollment
884
Asian
14.9%
Black
4.1%
Hispanic
11.3%
White
62.2%
Other
7.5%
Free or reduced priced lunch
6%
Students with disabilities
18%
English language learners
4%

About the school

Shared campus?
No
This school is in its own building.
Metal detectors?
No
How crowded? (Full is 100%)
138%
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?
5%
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
1.8
6.6 Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
57%
80% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal has a clear vision for this school?
72%
87% Citywide Average
How many teachers trust the principal?
65%
79% Citywide Average

About the teachers

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
83%
78% Citywide Average
Teacher attendance
97%
96% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
95%
83% Citywide Average
How many teachers think the staff collaborate to make this school run effectively?
80%
87% Citywide Average

Do parents like the school?

How many parents responded to the school survey?
59%
64% Citywide Average
How many parents say they are invited to visit classrooms?
93%
85% Citywide Average
How many parents say this school offers enough courses, activities and services to keep their children interested in school?
92%
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?
81%
39% 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 Dance (part-time), Music, and Theater
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

How does this school serve English Language Learners?

How many former English language learners score 3-4 on the State ELA exam?
0%
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 SETSS students
4.63
2.8 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for SETSS students
2.79
2.2 Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
86%
86% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school works to achive the goals of their students' IEPs?
87%
91% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say they are satisfied with the IEP development process at this school?
76%
89% Citywide Average
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data
  • Give specific examples. Tell us why this school rocks (or doesn't).
  • Criticism is fine, but no profanity, racist or ethnic slurs, or personal attacks.
  • All users must comply with our Terms of Use.