P.S. 304 Early Childhood School

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

Strong teaching and thoughtful curriculum

The Downside

Very limited art and music classes

Our Review

PS 304 in Throgs Neck has a long history of high achievement: experienced, passionate teachers and an administration that really understands how kids learn. All academic areas are strong--reading, writing, social studies, math and science. At the same time, children have a chance to play and to build the social skills they need to be successful in both school and life.

Top students get the challenges they need while kids who are having trouble get plenty of extra help. Many classes have more than one adultincluding teachers, student teachers, parents and classroom aidesso children get individual attention. Children not only learn the written skills they need to master standardized tests, they also learn how to speak and write clearlyskills that are just as important but not as easy to measure.

Kindergarten classrooms have plenty of LEGOs, wooden blocks, trains and dress up corners where children may play together. This is their time for discussion, said Assistant Principal Bonnie Boltax. They need to speak to other students. Youre not only sitting at a desk. Children go on science-related field trips to the Bronx Zoo, the Bronx Botanical Garden, the Queens Hall of Science, and the Gateway National Park in Jamaica Bay.

Long-time principal Joseph Nobile is popular with parents and staff and has an easy way with the children.

The administration doesnt go in for academic fads, but it does continuously adapt its curriculum and teaching techniques to take advantage of new books and approaches as they become available. Teachers at PS 304 understand that no single reading or math program can serve all children; rather, they carefully combine elements of various programs depending on what each child needs. They committed to more training for staff from the Teachers College Reading and Writing program in 2016.

Classroom teachers are responsible for reading, writing and math, but specialists teach science and social studies two or three times a week. Only the lower grades get instruction in art. There is an after school band. Every grade gets one period of music during the day, such as recorder for 3rd grade.

The building is shared with MS 101 and P10, a District 75 program for children with special needs. The three principals get along well and share ideas.

Special education: The school offers team teaching and self-contained classes, as well as Special Education Teacher Support Services (SETSS). Some students from P10 attend PS 304 classes. The instruction we saw in a self-contained class was just as good as in general education classes and children were full engaged in the lesson.

Admissions: Students must live in District 8, which covers the eastern Bronx. Preference is first given to siblings who attend PS 304, and then to students living in the surrounding neighborhood or those students zoned for PS 14, PS 71, and PS 72. There are usually about 200 on the wait list.(Clara Hemphill, October 2013; updated by phone, August 2016)

About the students

Enrollment
490
Pre-K seats
35
Asian
6.1%
Black
5.1%
Hispanic
61.2%
White
25.7%
Other
1.8%
Free or reduced priced lunch
71%
Students with disabilities
19%
English language learners
1%

About the school

Shared campus?
Yes
This school shares the building with MS 101 and a District 75 program, PS X010
How crowded? (Full is 100%)
114%
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?
11%
21% Citywide Average

Is this school safe?

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
92%
81% Citywide Average
How many teachers say their students are safe outside around this school?
96%
85% Citywide Average

About the leadership

Years of principal experience at this school
14.0
6.6 Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
92%
80% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal has a clear vision for this school?
92%
87% Citywide Average
How many teachers trust the principal?
92%
79% Citywide Average

About the teachers

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
86%
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?
93%
87% Citywide Average

Do parents like the school?

How many parents responded to the school survey?
68%
64% Citywide Average
How many parents say they are invited to visit classrooms?
68%
85% Citywide Average
How many parents say this school offers enough courses, activities and services to keep their children interested in school?
84%
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?
77%
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?
57%
40% Citywide Average
How many students scored 3-4 on the state ELA exam?
57%
39% Citywide Average

Arts offerings

This school has 2 dedicated spaces for Visual arts and an Auditorium
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)
Average math score for ICT students
1.81
2.0 Citywide Average
Average math score for self-contained students
2.45
2.3 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for ICT students
1.74
1.9 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for self-contained students
2.58
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?
91%
91% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say they are satisfied with the IEP development process at this school?
90%
89% Citywide Average
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data
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