P.S. 380 John Wayne Elementary

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

Excellent work teaching English Language Learners

The Downside

Structured approach may not appeal to everyone

Our Review

PS 380 is a highly-structured, award-winning school that has room for students outside its attendance zone. It serves many Spanish-speaking children and as of 2016 will offer a Spanish-English dual language program. It also has an unusual bilingual special education program for Yiddish-speakers.

Many children who live in this Hasidic Jewish neighborhood in Williamsburg attend private religious schools. Still, enrollment at PS 380 has been steadily increasing, at least in part because of a magnet grant designed to attract children from other neighborhoods.

This safe, nurturing school has strong leaders and teachers who keep up with whats current in education. The staff sprinkles the air with warm praise such as Good job! and Love it! while making sure that no child falls through the cracks.

Little is left to chance, from how to hold a pencil correctly to how to speak clearly during a power point presentation. Students also participate in old-fashioned math fact contests. The walls of a staff meeting room are covered with test score results so teachers can see at-a-glance who needs what kind of help. If a teacher is weak, as evidenced by test scores and observation, Principal Diane Vitolo assigns a teacher-mentor to help out. [Elsa Nuez became principal in 2014.]

Substantial reading sessions are broken up into lessons on phonics and other skills, read-aloud, silent reading, and talking and writing about books. Grades K-2 sit in rows for 30-to 40-minute phonics lessons. The step-by-step approach (in which everyone reads the same book or works on the same skill at the same pace, and children sometimes answer questions in unison) may not suit every child. But children also work on projects of their own choosing and have time to read books independently. The school delivers high test scores and parents who responded to the Learning Environment Survey are overwhelmingly satisfied.

Classrooms in all grades tend to be quiet because children from Spanish-speaking homes who are just learning English need quiet to hear and listen to themselves speak, according to former principal Josephine Viars, who has been instrumental in shaping the school and coordinates the magnet grant.

Faster learners are challenged too. Teachers provide learning tasks designed for different levels of difficulty. Children who really excel may join older grades for certain lessons (about seven children do this according to Vitolo). PS 380 has won a Blue Ribbon Award from the U.S. Department of Education for its dramatic student achievement results.

Technology has been thoughtfully incorporated, thanks in part to money for the Literary Arts and Technology Grant, meant to increase diversity. Yet, the grant has been only marginally successful in attracting white and Asian parents to the primarily Hispanic population.

After school clubs are offered twice a week and include drama, screen-printing, art, computer/photography, dance, fitness and games. Grades 1 and 2 participate in a musical theater program. In the spring, the older children switch to test prep. Early morning academic help and morning clubs take place Monday through Thursday. Sportsmanship and character are emphasized throughout the school, with leaders groomed through the future teachers program, in which older kids tutor younger ones.

Parents may attend workshops organized by the belovedbilingual parent coordinator. Two big dance programs are highlights of the year, as are $1 Movie Nights when the gym is set up like a theater complete with ropes, ushers, hotdogs and popcorn.

Special education: There are six self-contained classes in grades K-5,in which two adults teach up to twelve children. Three are Bi-Y - Bilingual Yiddish and English. The school has a growing Integrated Co-Teaching program in which general education students are mixed with children who have special needs and two teachers. Children with special needs are often mainstreamed, according to the principal.

PS 141, a District 75 program for children with serious disabilities occupies the first floor. They share the auditorium, cafeteria, playground and the services of a school psychologist and other therapists.

In 2011, PS 380 won the Pete & Carrie Rozelle Award from the National Center for Learning Disabilities for its work addressing children's learning and social/emotional needs. The group praised PS 380 for its inclusion efforts and said, "Students identified with learning disabilities have their progress closely monitored and receive the additional time and support that they need to be successful."

Admissions: Zoned neighborhood school. Out of zone families may fill out a magnet application, usually available at the school at the end of January.There are openings in grades K-2, especially kindergarten. Its harder to enter in the upper grades. Pre-K classes usually have a waiting list except for children with special needs. (Lydie Raschka, December 2012; updated principal information August 2015; updated dual language December 2015)

About the students

Enrollment
584
Pre-K seats
53
Asian
1.4%
Black
18.5%
Hispanic
72.4%
White
7.4%
Other
0.3%
Free or reduced priced lunch
100%
Students with disabilities
24%
English language learners
22%

About the school

Shared campus?
No
This school is in its own building.
How crowded? (Full is 100%)
103%
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?
17%
21% Citywide Average

Is this school safe?

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
91%
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
1.9
6.6 Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
83%
80% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal has a clear vision for this school?
87%
87% Citywide Average
How many teachers trust the principal?
89%
79% Citywide Average

About the teachers

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
75%
78% Citywide Average
Teacher attendance
96%
96% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
90%
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?
100%
64% Citywide Average
How many parents say they are invited to visit classrooms?
88%
85% Citywide Average
How many parents say this school offers enough courses, activities and services to keep their children interested in school?
90%
87% Citywide Average
How many parents say their child's teacher helped their child adjust to Pre-K?
98%
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?
98%
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?
47%
40% Citywide Average
How many students scored 3-4 on the state ELA exam?
47%
39% Citywide Average

Arts offerings

This school has 2 dedicated spaces for Visual arts and an Auditorium
This school has 0 licensed arts teachers in Dance, Music, Theater or Visual arts
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

How does this school serve English Language Learners?

This school offers Transitional Bilingual Education in Yiddish.
This school offers Dual Language classes in Chinese.
How many English language learners score 3-4 on the State ELA exam?
11%
10% Citywide Average
How many former English language learners score 3-4 on the State ELA exam?
38%
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
1.85
2.0 Citywide Average
Average math score for self-contained students
2.71
2.3 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for ICT students
1.75
1.9 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for self-contained students
2.4
2.2 Citywide Average
Average math score for SETSS students
3.85
2.8 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for SETSS students
2.17
2.2 Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
96%
86% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school works to achive the goals of their students' IEPs?
98%
91% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say they are satisfied with the IEP development process at this school?
97%
89% Citywide Average
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data
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