P.S. 164 Caesar Rodney

Grades Pre-K, K-5
Staff Pick
Marquee homepage

Location

4211 14 Avenue
Brooklyn NY 11219
Borough Park (District 20)
Trains: G to Church Ave; F to Ditmas Ave; D to 50th St
Buses: B11, B16, B35, B67

Contact

Phone
718-854-4100
Principal
Erica Steinberg
Parent Coordinator
Solange Cisneros Steine

Zone for the 2017-2018 school year. Call school to confirm.

What’s Special

Well-rounded school with solid academics and a rich music program

The Downside

A room with pillars serves as the gymnasium

Our Review

PS 164 delivers quality special education, offers gifted and talented classes and boasts a robust music program. Until recently, students in this orderly neighborhood school, which has served immigrant children for more than 100 years, recited the Pledge of Allegiance and sang "The Star Spangled Banner" every morning. The staff is moving away from a traditional teaching approach to a more modern approach, with good results: Test scores are in the "high average" citywide range, and improving.

The building is located in a largely Orthodox Jewish neighborhood where many children enroll in religious schools. Enrollment is rising at PS 164, however, as the school admits children from across the district into their gifted and talented program. It is also serving more children of Chinese and Eastern European ancestry than in the past, and accepts students from PS 69 and PS 160, which are overcrowded.

Principal Erica Steinberg, a former special education teacher and former assistant principal at PS 32 in Brooklyn, replaced principal Margaret Choy-Shan in 2014. Choy-Shan left the school in very good shape; the Department of Education called the school "well-developed," the highest ranking, on the 2013-2014 Quality Review.

Recognizing that children learn at different rates, Principal Steinberg and Assistant Principal Melissa Jamieson have emphasized a shift from a more traditional, lecture-style of teaching to increased small group instruction. "I meet more often with those who need it," said a veteran teacher, who seemed to welcome the change.

In order to help children who are still learning English, teachers enlist the help of bilingual children or staff in the building. For example, a 4th-grade Hungarian student was thrilled to be able to help out (and befriend) a 5th-grade Hungarian classmate during reading time, and a Mandarin-speaking teaching assistant was helping out in a kindergarten with many Mandarin-speaking children.

A full-time math specialist meets with children once a week, and works with teachers too. One result: A color-coded, step-by-step chart to make it easier for children to work through long word problems.

PS 164 is known for its strong music program. Fifth-graders sat straight and tall in their seats as teacher Peter Mancini (a former baker) conducted them in singing the national anthem, giving keen attention to phrasing and enunciation, with surprisingly moving results. More than 40 children participate in the afterschool band; students meet with Mancini during lunch to learn their instruments. The school has a partnership with the Metropolitan Opera Guild; children learn about the historical context and other aspects of an opera before attending a performance.

Most classrooms are filled to capacity but the rooms are so airy and spacious, the children so calm, and the ceilings so high, that they don't feel uncomfortable. A few classrooms are led by two adults, one trained in special education; the gifted classrooms have only 15 students.

The school has separate rooms and trained teachers for music, art, science, library, math, English as a second language (ESL) and special education. Depending on the size of the school budget, however, teachers have sometimes had to lead physical education themselves in a makeshift gymnasium.

Special education: Team-taught classes in several grades mix children with special needs with their general education peers in one room. Several "self-contained" classes hold up to 12 children with special needs only. More than a dozen teaching assistants work one-on-one with children who need further assistance. Parents are pleased that their children are included in all activities, according to school satisfaction surveys. A District 75 program occupies part of the fourth floor and serves children on the autism spectrum.

Admissions: Neighborhood school.(Lydie Raschka, October 2014)

About the students

Enrollment
658
Pre-K seats
50
Asian
38.2%
Black
1.4%
Hispanic
45.0%
White
13.2%
Other
2.3%
Free or reduced priced lunch
100%
Students with disabilities
19%
English language learners
18%

About the school

Shared campus?
No
This school is in its own building.
Metal detectors?
No
How crowded? (Full is 100%)
117%
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?
11%
21% Citywide Average

Is this school safe?

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
92%
82% Citywide Average
How many teachers say their students are safe outside around this school?
100%
88% 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?
91%
82% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal has a clear vision for this school?
98%
90% Citywide Average
How many teachers trust the principal?
96%
82% Citywide Average

About the teachers

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
80%
78% Citywide Average
Teacher attendance
97%
96% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
96%
85% Citywide Average
How many teachers think the staff collaborate to make this school run effectively?
95%
89% Citywide Average

Do parents like the school?

How many parents responded to the school survey?
96%
65% Citywide Average
How many parents say they are invited to visit classrooms?
92%
85% Citywide Average
How many parents say this school offers enough courses, activities and services to keep their children interested in school?
85%
86% Citywide Average
How many parents say their child's teacher helped their child adjust to Pre-K?
100%
98% Citywide Average
How many parents say this Pre-K program helped them consider which elementary schools would meet their childrens' needs?
100%
92% Citywide Average
How many Pre-K parents say their child's teacher gave helpful ideas for how to support their child's learning?
100%
97% 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?
56%
43% Citywide Average
How many students scored 3-4 on the state ELA exam?
49%
42% Citywide Average

Arts offerings

This school has 3 dedicated spaces for Music, Visual arts, and Media 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 Spanish.
How many English language learners score 3-4 on the State ELA exam?
4%
9% Citywide Average
How many former English language learners score 3-4 on the State ELA exam?
58%
46% 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
2.21
2.0 Citywide Average
Average math score for self-contained students
2.25
2.4 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for ICT students
2.21
1.9 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for self-contained students
2.22
2.2 Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
97%
86% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school works to achive the goals of their students' IEPs?
94%
91% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say they are satisfied with the IEP development process at this school?
91%
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.