P.S. 184 Flushing Manor

Grades Pre-K, K-5

What’s Special

Smart kids, active parents.

The Downside

No regular art or after-school program; some kids have long bus rides to school.

Our Review

PS 184 reminded us a bit of Lake Wobegon, humorist Garrison Keillor\'s fictitious Minnesota town, where \"the women are strong, the men are good-looking, and all the children are above average.\" Tucked away in the middle class neighborhood of Whitestone, PS 184\'s students are bright, high-scoring on exams, and active in student government. Parents are very involved, flocking to the school to run activities ranging from a PTA family fun night at a local bookstore to Halloween parties, movie nights, winter fairs, and elaborate graduation events.

This successful school, one of only 209 the chancellor has exempted from the citywide curriculum, employs many veteran teachers. It would, therefore, be easy for PS 184 to remain on automatic pilot and stick to old-fashioned, tried and true teaching techniques, such as depending heavily on workbooks and graded readers. But Principal Dora Pantelis, whose daughter attended the school years ago, is a strong proponent of the city\'s progressive \"balanced literacy\" approach to reading instructiona method that mixes whole language (sight reading) with phonics (sounding out words), and that encourages children to read fiction and nonfiction books suitable to their skills and interests, rather than graded readers.

The day of our visit, just before a school holiday for Election Day, it was out with the oldincluding dog-eared textbooks and outdated World Book encyclopediasto make room for bins of new books, throughout the school\'s classrooms. The library, too, was undergoing a renewal, as the school discarded many old dusty volumes, to set up a new media center.

In classrooms we saw a combination of old and new approaches. All rooms were set up with rugs and learning areas for subjects such as writing, math, and science. Desks were pushed together so that kids could converse as they studied with each other. We saw many classes where this worked well, and a few where kids listlessly paged through textbooks as the teacher lectured to them. In a social studies lesson we saw, kids were eagerly consulting a well-stocked classroom library of non-fiction books about different countries as a teacher demonstrated how to take notes on their reading.

We saw children making electrical circuits in a science class, and we enjoyed reading the writing samples produced by the youngest children, who had been asked to describe their explorations of a pumpkin\'s innards. \"Smushy\" and \"smelly\" were two of the adjectives they used. We saw photographs celebrating a character study earlier in the year when students came to school dressed as a character in their favorite book.

Each class puts on a play once a year in the auditorium, which is being given new lighting. \"This auditorium is always mobbed with parents,\" the principal said. Teachers are strongly encouraged to take the kids on at least three field trips a year to different places of interest in New York City. The principal favors museums, although not all teachers favor trips.

Although many examples of pupils\' written work and projects are posted on the school\'s bulletin boards, there is a scarcity of artwork and the school had no regular art teacher at the time of our visit.

Adjacent to PS 184 is a spacious public playground that the school uses as a schoolyard. The principal says it\'s a priority for kids to get out every day unless the weather is very bad.

After school: Activities are limited. The PTA runs only a few short-term programs a year, but a number of kids take private buses to nearby YMCA programs.

Admission: PS 184 is a neighborhood school. However, because of long-standing district zoning regulations designed to integrate the schools (in what\'s called a \"skip zone\" system, see zone map below) many children are bused in from Flushing. This results in long bus rides for some students, the principal said. Students who attend PS 242 and PS 130 early childhood schools, which go only through the 3rd grade, have the option of attending PS 184 for the remainder of elementary school.

Special education: There were three \"collaborative team-teaching\" (CTT) classes at the time of our visit, and more were to be added. In such classes, often known by their acronym, CTT, two faculty members, one a specialist in special education, teach mixed groups of general education students and students with special needs. The team-teaching approach appeared to be working well at PS 184. (Pamela Wheaton, November 2005)

About the students

Enrollment
516
Pre-K seats
35
Asian
40.5%
Black
0.0%
Hispanic
12.8%
White
44.4%
Other
2.3%
Free or reduced priced lunch
43%
Students with disabilities
16%
English language learners
9%

About the school

Shared campus?
No
This school is in its own building.
How crowded? (Full is 100%)
133%
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Attendance

Average daily attendance
97%
94% Citywide Average
How many students are chronically absent?
4%
21% Citywide Average

Is this school safe?

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
100%
81% Citywide Average
How many teachers say their students are safe outside around this school?
100%
85% Citywide Average

About the leadership

Years of principal experience at this school
2.5
6.6 Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
100%
80% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal has a clear vision for this school?
100%
87% Citywide Average
How many teachers trust the principal?
100%
79% Citywide Average

About the teachers

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
77%
78% Citywide Average
Teacher attendance
96%
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?
100%
87% Citywide Average

Do parents like the school?

How many parents responded to the school survey?
85%
64% 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?
90%
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?
100%
91% Citywide Average
How many Pre-K parents say their child's teacher gave helpful ideas for how to support their child's learning?
96%
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?
72%
40% Citywide Average
How many students scored 3-4 on the state ELA exam?
64%
39% Citywide Average

Arts offerings

This school has 1 dedicated space for Visual arts
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 English Language Learners?

How many English language learners score 3-4 on the State ELA exam?
17%
10% Citywide Average
How many former English language learners score 3-4 on the State ELA exam?
40%
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 self-contained students
2.42
2.3 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for self-contained students
2.29
2.2 Citywide Average
Average math score for SETSS students
4.57
2.8 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for SETSS students
2.49
2.2 Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
79%
86% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school works to achive the goals of their students' IEPs?
87%
91% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say they are satisfied with the IEP development process at this school?
84%
89% Citywide Average
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data
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