PS/MS 83 Donald Hertz

Grades K-8
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What’s Special

Experienced teachers and a pleasant atmosphere.

The Downside

Large classes in middle school.

Our Review

With students changing classes in nearly silent formation, classical music playing in the halls and art adorning walls throughout the school, PS/MS 83 is permeated by a calm, quiet atmosphere.

Situated in a quaint neighborhood peppered with small houses, the school has two buildings. Kindergarten through 4th grade students are housed in the "annex," which is actually a three-story brick building and was at capacity with more than 800 students in 2011. Upper grade students learn in the five-story middle school.

Classes tend to be large, ranging from 32 to 34 students in middle school. However, the school has a small-community feel. The halls are full of art and student projects, and many students move from one subject to another together, staying with the same class all day. Assistant principal Brandon Muccino, who has been at the school for more than a decade, seemed familiar with many students. As kids ran up and down the stairs and walked through the halls, he joked with some and issued friendly orders to others. [Muccino became principal in 2013.]

PS/MS 83 has a Regent's program in which middle schoolers can receive high school credit for classes such as earth science. There is also a middle-school guitar program, funded by VH1; a high-school prep course beginning in 7th grade; and clubs, including dance, drama and sports.

The school eliminated some of its programming for high achievers. Honors classes are available to eighth graders.

Both buildings have a cafeteria and gym, and the middle school has an auditorium, which got new seats in 2010. The school received a new playground in 2011, complete with basketball courts, play equipment and a track. Nearly all of the classrooms were equipped with Smart Boards, and every teacher had a laptop.

All the elementary classes were saw were chock full of books. Kindergarten rooms had play areas and communal rugs, although such things were absent in other elementary-level classes we viewed.

In 2011, the school had just five untenured teachers and Muccino said the majority had been in the system for more than 10 years. The staffers we met all seemed open, friendly and happy to be doing their jobs.

Each grade has about 200 students, and Muccino said in 2011, 13 students got into specialized high schools, with eight of those kids bound for the Bronx High School of Science. "A lot" of students enter parochial schools, and the rest tend toward small high schools, Muccino said.

Special education: The school offers separate classes for students with special needs, but there are also integrated classes in every grade. English language learners are also integrated into general education classrooms. Sometimes, students considered at risk work in groups of six in order to get up to speed before returning to their classrooms. Not all teachers are trained in special education, but there is professional development to help them learn more.

Admissions: The school accepts both zoned and out-of-zone students in elementary school. Most of the students who go to PS 83 enter the middle school. As a result, there is not much room for those who apply through the middle school choice process. (Nikki Dowling, November 2011; updated November 2014)

About the students

Enrollment
1750
Asian
9.0%
Black
7.5%
Hispanic
49.0%
White
33.8%
Other
0.8%
Free or reduced priced lunch
100%
Students with disabilities
18%
English language learners
15%

About the school

Shared campus?
No
This school is in its own building.
Uniforms required?
Yes
How crowded? (Full is 100%)
110%
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?
12%
19% Citywide Average

Is this school safe?

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
82%
75% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
28%
25% Citywide Average
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
84%
85% Citywide Average
How many teachers say their students are safe outside around this school?
95%
84% Citywide Average
How many students say most students treat each other with respect?
35%
46% Citywide Average

About the leadership

Years of principal experience at this school
2.8
6.4 Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
75%
79% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal has a clear vision for this school?
96%
86% Citywide Average
How many teachers trust the principal?
67%
79% Citywide Average

About the teachers

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
85%
78% Citywide Average
Teacher attendance
95%
96% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
88%
79% Citywide Average
How many teachers think the staff collaborate to make this school run effectively?
90%
85% Citywide Average

Do parents like the school?

How many parents responded to the school survey?
50%
59% Citywide Average
How many parents say they are invited to visit classrooms?
71%
79% Citywide Average
How many parents say this school offers enough courses, activities and services to keep their children interested in school?
90%
84% 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?
39%
39% Citywide Average
How many students scored 3-4 on the state ELA exam?
38%
40% Citywide Average

Arts offerings

This school has 2 dedicated spaces for Music and an Auditorium
This school has 1 licensed arts teacher in Music

Engaging curriculum?

How many students say this school offers enough programs, classes and activities to keep them interested?
75%
72% Citywide Average
How many students say they are challenged in most or all of their classes?
51%
55% Citywide Average
How many students say the programs, classes and activities here encourage them to develop talent outside academics?
72%
70% Citywide Average

Are students prepared for high school?

Accelerated courses offered for high school credit
Algebra I, Earth Science
How many 8th graders earn high school credit?
15%
28% Citywide Average
How many graduates of this school pass all their classes in 9th grade?
88%
87% Citywide Average
What high schools do most graduates attend?
Bronx HS for the Visual Arts, Collegiate Institute for Math and Science, and Harry S Truman HS
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?
3%
7% Citywide Average
How many former English language learners score 3-4 on the State ELA exam?
24%
18% 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
1.85
1.9 Citywide Average
Average math score for self-contained students
2.11
2.2 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for ICT students
1.79
1.9 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for self-contained students
2.04
2.2 Citywide Average
Average math score for SETSS students
2.13
2.3 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for SETSS students
2.19
2.3 Citywide Average
How many students say that students with disabilities are included in all activities?
67%
69% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
94%
84% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school works to achive the goals of their students' IEPs?
98%
89% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say they are satisfied with the IEP development process at this school?
94%
87% Citywide Average
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data
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