P.S. 115 The James J. Ambrose School
Queens NY 11004
Zone for the 2017-2018 school year. Call school to confirm.
High expectations; children play electric guitar
No formal physical education program
PS 115 has high academic expectations, a district-wide gifted and talented program, and a music program that includes instruction on electric guitars.
Its a traditional school in some respects. For example, children begin the day by reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. But it also incorporates some innovative practices. For example, an architect works on design principles with children in the G+T program.
Situated on a quiet residential street lined with large shade trees and small private homes, the school draws the majority of its students from the surrounding community, which is home to a burgeoning Indian population. The brick building is surrounded by well-kept shrubs and greenery. [See photo from schools website]
The school has stable leadership and experienced teachers. Kathleen Sciortino, a long-time teacher and assistant principal, became principal in 2012 after the death of James Ambrose, who had been principal since 2003. About two-thirds of the teachers have more than 10 years experience, according the Learning Environment Survey. Parents and teachers give high marks to the principal and say academic expectations are high.
Theres a very warm atmosphere, said District Superintendent Anita Saunders. The principal is lovely to speak to and very open. They work together as a team. The parent coordinator gives loads of workshops for parents.
The school does not have a gym teacher on staff to provide a formal physical education program. Instead, each class is allotted use of the gym once or twice a week for activities under the supervision of their teachers. The Samuel Field Y offers and after school program. The Y offers an after school gardening program at the Queens Botanical Garden.
Special education: There are "self-contained" classes, which are only for children with special needs, as well as Special Education Teacher Support Services (SETSS).
Admissions: Neighborhood school. Students are admitted to the districtwide G+T program according to their scored on a test administered by the Department of Education. The parent coordinator gives tours to prospective parents on request. (Clara Hemphill, DOE statistics, interview, October 2013)