P.S. 201 The Discovery School for Inquiry and Research

Grades Pre-K, K-5
Staff Pick

What’s Special

Hands-on learning and lots of activities keep children engaged.

The Downside

Below average attendance

Our Review

PS 201, The Discovery School for Inquiry and Research, is a sweet school humming with activity. On a typical day you may find students learning tae kwon do, ballroom dancing or even some Mandarin. Its a place where parents feel welcome and supported, and students are encouraged to ask questions and explore ideas. The school, which has long served families from the nearby Pomonok Houses and surrounding community in Flushing, also accepts students from outside its zone.

The school received a three-year magnet grant in 2016 designed to boost enrollment and foster greater socio-economic diversity among its student body. The grant will expand the schools STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) offerings through the construction of a lab space equipped with additional resources such as LEGO Robotics and K'NEX. During their weekly STEM classes students already tackle hands-on work such as 2nd-graders designing solutions to soil erosion which they head outside to test and then revise; 3rd-graders design Rube Goldberg machines that can serve as mouse traps.

The school does a good job of engaging students with lots of activities. The longtime principal, Rebecca Lozada, has sought out grants and partnerships to support a variety of programs including swimming lessons at a local YMCA, general music and keyboard instruction, Tae Kwon Do, ballroom dancing, and Mandarin. Children learn to code, research on the Internet, and proper keyboarding technique in the technology lab. Through a partnership with nearby Queens College, professors work with teachers to weave in science instruction into classrooms, on top of students weekly lessons with the fulltime science teacher.

The vibe throughout the school is cheery and calm. Theres a lot of student art, writing and math on display. Children move around for various activities, rather than sit at desks for long stretches of time. We walked into one classroom where students were taking a brain breakjumping and wiggling to music before settling into the next lesson. One nice touch: fresh fruit is delivered daily to every class through a grant from NYC SchoolFood.

Subjects are not taught in isolation. Classes pay weekly visits to the schools modern library, constructed by the Robin Hood Foundation, for social studies lessons that teachers expand on in their classrooms. For instance, as part of the 4th grade study of Native American cultures, students research, read and write about the Lenape Tribe culture; in STEM class they design and construct miniature canoes; in the technology lab they create miniature replicas of totem poles with a 3D printer; in music they learn Native America songs and dances; in gym class, the play traditional Lenape games.

One downside: below average attendance. Some teachers reported in the annual NYC School Survey that classroom discipline is not consistently maintainedalthough the school seemed orderly on our visit.

Parents, however, give the school high marks on the NYC School Survey. During our visit we encountered several helping out, while others lingered after drop-off to chat with each other and school staff.

The school serves a low-income community, and many children live in singe-parent households. A mental health consultant funded by ThriveNYC connects families in need with outside services and works with teachers to help them tackle issues such as bullying and stress reduction in the classroom.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: In addition to SETSS there are ICT (Integrated Co-Teaching) and self-contained classes. The school is also home to program for visually impaired students (overseen by District 75, the citywide district for special education) equipped with computers and special typewriters that translate documents into Braille as well as assistive technology to help blind and low vision students take notes.

ADMISSIONS: Zoned, neighborhood school with space for students living outside the zone. (Laura Zingmond, November 2016)

About the students

Enrollment
522
Pre-K seats
66
Asian
21.1%
Black
39.1%
Hispanic
34.7%
White
3.3%
Other
1.9%
Free or reduced priced lunch
100%
Students with disabilities
20%
English language learners
9%

About the school

Shared campus?
No
This school is in its own building.
How crowded? (Full is 100%)
101%
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Attendance

Average daily attendance
93%
94% Citywide Average
How many students are chronically absent?
26%
21% Citywide Average

Is this school safe?

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
59%
81% Citywide Average
How many teachers say their students are safe outside around this school?
85%
85% Citywide Average

About the leadership

Years of principal experience at this school
6.3
6.6 Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
68%
80% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal has a clear vision for this school?
84%
87% Citywide Average
How many teachers trust the principal?
62%
79% Citywide Average

About the teachers

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
81%
78% Citywide Average
Teacher attendance
95%
96% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
81%
83% Citywide Average
How many teachers think the staff collaborate to make this school run effectively?
85%
87% Citywide Average

Do parents like the school?

How many parents responded to the school survey?
65%
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?
93%
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?
96%
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?
29%
40% Citywide Average
How many students scored 3-4 on the state ELA exam?
32%
39% Citywide Average

Arts offerings

This school has 9 dedicated spaces for Music, Theater, Visual arts, an Auditorium, and a Film Studio
This school has 3 licensed arts teachers in Music (part-time), Visual arts (part-time), and 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?
33%
10% Citywide Average
How many former English language learners score 3-4 on the State ELA exam?
0%
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
1.92
2.0 Citywide Average
Average math score for self-contained students
1.9
2.3 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for ICT students
1.86
1.9 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for self-contained students
1.86
2.2 Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
82%
86% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school works to achive the goals of their students' IEPs?
93%
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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