P.S. 204 Morris Heights

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

Lots of music and science in a beautiful building

The Downside

No full-time social worker

Our Review

A gorgeous building, science lessons three times a week as well as music, dance, art and lots of field trips make PS 204 a sought-after school.

Parents and teachers are very satisfied with the school, according to the Department of Educations annual surveys, and its an open secret that some parents lie about their address so their children can enroll.

Amanda Blatter become principal in 2014 when longtime principal Marcy Glattstein retired. Blatter, who served as principal of PS 109 for 11 years, is energetic and really seems to care about the kids. "Teachers absolutely love her," said school secretary Rosalie Carbone. Blatter said teacher turnover is low, and teachers support one another and work collaboratively.

On our visit, pre-k children were engaged in dramatic play and painting, thoroughly enjoying themselves. "It's what pre-k should be," Blatter said. "I love mess. That means they are getting creative in their play."

The school has introduced the Teacher's College Reading and Writing Workshop, in which children may select books that interest them and write essays on topics they choose themselves. Blatter says the school is shifting from a traditional form of instructionwith teachers doing most of the talkingto one in which children are encouraged to take part in class discussions.

The music program seems particularly strong. Children in every grade from pre-k to 5th learn to sing or play musical instruments. They also study music theory. Instruments include recorder, drums, xylophone, guitar and piano.

There are lots of fun activities, such as a class trip to see a puppet show in Central Park, the New York Historical Society or Wave Hill gardens. Children learn ballroom dancing, singing, studio art and even put on musicals such as "Aladdin." They have physical education two or three times a week in a large gym. Children go out for recess every day.

There are two full-time science teachers, and a dedicated science labrare in elementary school. On one of our visits, we saw kids look at pictures of animals and identify which features show their adaptation to their environment. For example, an ostrichs long legs allow it to run fast and escape its predators. A giraffes long neck allows it to eat leaves in the treetops and spot predators from a distance.

The school serves a needy population, including many children in shelters or living doubled up with relatives. Good Shepherd Services offers therapy for children. On the principal's wish list: a full-time social worker and an additional guidance counselor.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: PS 204 offers a range of services, including SETSS, ICT team-teaching and self-contained classes. The school shares a building with a District 75 program for children with severe disabilities. A handful of children with autism from the District 75 school are integrated into general education classes.

ADMISSIONS: Zoned neighborhood school. (Clara Hemphill, December 2013; Mahalia Watson, November 2015)

About the students

Enrollment
619
Pre-K seats
36
Asian
1.6%
Black
28.0%
Hispanic
67.7%
White
1.8%
Other
1.0%
Free or reduced priced lunch
100%
Students with disabilities
21%
English language learners
11%

About the school

Shared campus?
No
This school is in its own building.
Metal detectors?
No
How crowded? (Full is 100%)
109%
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Attendance

Average daily attendance
94%
94% Citywide Average
How many students are chronically absent?
18%
21% Citywide Average

Is this school safe?

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
90%
81% Citywide Average
How many teachers say their students are safe outside around this school?
43%
85% Citywide Average

About the leadership

Years of principal experience at this school
1.9
6.6 Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
74%
80% 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?
59%
79% Citywide Average

About the teachers

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
78%
78% Citywide Average
Teacher attendance
97%
96% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
98%
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?
91%
64% Citywide Average
How many parents say they are invited to visit classrooms?
85%
85% Citywide Average
How many parents say this school offers enough courses, activities and services to keep their children interested in school?
91%
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?
94%
91% Citywide Average
How many Pre-K parents say their child's teacher gave helpful ideas for how to support their child's learning?
95%
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?
43%
40% Citywide Average
How many students scored 3-4 on the state ELA exam?
41%
39% Citywide Average

Arts offerings

This school has 3 dedicated spaces for Music, Visual arts, and an Auditorium
This school has 1 licensed arts teacher in Theater
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?
9%
10% Citywide Average
How many former English language learners score 3-4 on the State ELA exam?
24%
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 ICT students
2.4
2.0 Citywide Average
Average math score for self-contained students
2.38
2.3 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for ICT students
1.99
1.9 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for self-contained students
2.22
2.2 Citywide Average
Average math score for SETSS students
2.54
2.8 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for SETSS students
2.27
2.2 Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
94%
86% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school works to achive the goals of their students' IEPs?
97%
91% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say they are satisfied with the IEP development process at this school?
93%
89% Citywide Average
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data
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