The Queens College School for Math, Science and Technology

Grades Pre-K, K-8
Staff Pick
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Location

148-20 Reeves Avenue
Queens NY 11367
Flushing (District 25)
Trains:
Buses: Q17, Q25, Q44, Q88

Contact

Phone
718-461-7462
Principal
Simi Minhas
Parent Coordinator
Lora Rowe

What’s Special

High-achieving, diverse school that admits students by lottery from across Queens

The Downside

Only two classes per grade; commute may be tough for some

Our Review

PS/MS 499, the Queens College School for Math, Science and Technology is a cheery place that attracts students of different income levels and backgrounds from all over Queens. With only two classes per grade, the school feels like a close-knit community where teachers and staff get to know all the students well. Though the commute may be long for some, PS 499 is a good option for families willing to travel.

As its name suggests, the school was founded with support from Queens College and is housed in a spacious, contemporary building on the edge of the college campus. College professors work with teachers to develop the curriculum and the school benefits from a steady supply of student teachers.

The vibe is welcoming and creative. Children are calm and engaged in class and teachers and staff seem attuned to students. For instance, students having a bad day may visit Principal Simi Minhas to decompress for few minutes and read a book, play a game on an iPad or feed the fish in a large tank she keeps in her office. To reduce anxiety, a 3rd grade teacher lets her students use rods and counters (called manipulatives) to solve problems both during lessons and during a test After all theyre only eight, she said. Teachers open their classrooms to children who need extra support or a quiet place during their lunch period.

The school uses the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project curriculum, which encourages students to read a wide array of books of their choosing and at their skill level as well as write and revise multiple drafts of work on a variety of topics. They read serial stories, mysteries and historical fiction as well as biographies, memoirs, and books on social issues and science. Teachers also connect readings to topics studied in other subjects. For instance, 8th-graders studying immigration in social studies read the New Colossus by Emma Lazarus in their English class as a lead-in to a discussion on the pre- and post-Ellis Island waves of immigrants.

In fifth grade, classes are departmentalizedessentially a modified middle school format. Both teachers teach social studies but one specializes in English and the other in math. Students travel with their class between rooms for instruction in those two subjects. The benefit is that students are taught by a specialist in a classroom filled with resources to support that subject. Students change classes for each subject starting in 6th grade.

There are three science teachers, each one serving a different grade range: pre-k to 3, 4 to 6 and 7 to 8. Students in the grades 6 to 8 have science daily. In other grades students visit a science lab for lessons and their classroom teachers supplement with projects and studies. For instance, kindergartners take nature walks on campus to collect acorns and fallen leaves to learn about their various shapes, textures and colors. In science they learn about decomposition by noting changes in leaves over time and crumbling some by hand to mimic the process.

Weekly enrichment classes include Latin dance, robotics, music, art and technology.

Spanish is taught in grades 5 to 8.

Children may participate in a range of afterschool activities such as sports, arts, debate, chess and dance. The PTA sponsors programs for the elementary school and Queens Community Housing provides free activities for the middle school.

Most students stay on through the 8th grade. Graduates go on to schools such as the specialized high schools, Francis Lewis, Townsend Harris, Queens School of Inquiry and Aviation High School.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: There are no formal ICT classes, but special education teachers visit classrooms to support students with special needs, rather than pulling them out of class. PS/MS 499 also shares the facilities a District 75 program for students with severe disabilities.

ADMISSIONS: The school admits students by lottery. For pre-k, contact the school for an application. For kindergarten the school aims to admit an equal number of students from each Queens district. The school typically has room in kindergarten for students who are neither siblings of current students nor continuing from its pre-k. There are usually a few seats open for new students in the 4th grade, when class sizes get a bit larger. Sixth grade is the only entry point into middle school; new students are not accepted in grades 7 or 8. Contact the school for a middle school application. (Laura Zingmond, November 2016)

About the students

Enrollment
479
Pre-K seats
18
Asian
52.8%
Black
22.3%
Hispanic
13.6%
White
8.1%
Other
3.1%
Free or reduced priced lunch
51%
Students with disabilities
10%
English language learners
5%

About the school

Shared campus?
No
This school is in its own building.
Uniforms required?
Yes
Metal detectors?
No
How crowded? (Full is 100%)
77%
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?
3%
19% Citywide Average

Is this school safe?

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
100%
76% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
42%
50% Citywide Average
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
92%
84% Citywide Average
How many teachers say their students are safe outside around this school?
100%
88% Citywide Average
How many students say most students treat each other with respect?
61%
45% Citywide Average

About the leadership

Years of principal experience at this school
1.0
6.4 Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
91%
81% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal has a clear vision for this school?
95%
87% Citywide Average
How many teachers trust the principal?
86%
81% Citywide Average

About the teachers

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
89%
78% Citywide Average
Teacher attendance
97%
96% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
91%
82% Citywide Average
How many teachers think the staff collaborate to make this school run effectively?
100%
86% Citywide Average

Do parents like the school?

How many parents responded to the school survey?
58%
60% Citywide Average
How many parents say they are invited to visit classrooms?
92%
78% Citywide Average
How many parents say this school offers enough courses, activities and services to keep their children interested in school?
76%
82% Citywide Average
How many parents say their child's teacher helped their child adjust to Pre-K?
83%
97% Citywide Average
How many parents say this Pre-K program helped them consider which elementary schools would meet their childrens' needs?
83%
91% Citywide Average
How many Pre-K parents say their child's teacher gave helpful ideas for how to support their child's learning?
83%
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?
73%
39% Citywide Average
How many students scored 3-4 on the state ELA exam?
76%
42% Citywide Average

Arts offerings

This school has 4 dedicated spaces for Dance, Music, Visual arts, and Media arts
This school has 3 licensed arts teacher in Music (part-time), Visual arts (part-time), and Music

Engaging curriculum?

How many students say this school offers enough programs, classes and activities to keep them interested?
62%
71% Citywide Average
How many students say they are challenged in most or all of their classes?
51%
59% Citywide Average
How many students say the programs, classes and activities here encourage them to develop talent outside academics?
67%
68% Citywide Average

Are students prepared for high school?

Accelerated courses offered for high school credit
Spanish, Algebra I
How many 8th graders earn high school credit?
66%
28% Citywide Average
How many graduates of this school pass all their classes in 9th grade?
92%
86% Citywide Average
What high schools do most graduates attend?
Francis Lewis HS and Robert F. Kennedy Community 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?
7%
6% 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
2.33
1.9 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for ICT students
2.2
1.9 Citywide Average
Average math score for SETSS students
2.45
2.3 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for SETSS students
2.41
2.3 Citywide Average
How many students say that students with disabilities are included in all activities?
56%
69% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
75%
85% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school works to achive the goals of their students' IEPs?
84%
90% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say they are satisfied with the IEP development process at this school?
79%
88% Citywide Average
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data
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