P.S. 115 The James J. Ambrose School

Grades Pre-K, K-5

What’s Special

High expectations; children play electric guitar

The Downside

No formal physical education program

Our Review

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)

About the students

Enrollment
720
Pre-K seats
54
Asian
68.8%
Black
6.3%
Hispanic
12.9%
White
7.6%
Other
4.4%
Free or reduced priced lunch
41%
Students with disabilities
9%
English language learners
6%

About the school

Shared campus?
No
This school is in its own building.
How crowded? (Full is 100%)
106%
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?
7%
21% Citywide Average

Is this school safe?

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
83%
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
3.4
6.6 Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
67%
80% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal has a clear vision for this school?
87%
87% Citywide Average
How many teachers trust the principal?
59%
79% Citywide Average

About the teachers

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
79%
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?
87%
87% Citywide Average

Do parents like the school?

How many parents responded to the school survey?
38%
64% Citywide Average
How many parents say they are invited to visit classrooms?
80%
85% Citywide Average
How many parents say this school offers enough courses, activities and services to keep their children interested in school?
83%
87% Citywide Average
How many parents say their child's teacher helped their child adjust to Pre-K?
95%
97% Citywide Average
How many parents say this Pre-K program helped them consider which elementary schools would meet their childrens' needs?
80%
91% Citywide Average
How many Pre-K parents say their child's teacher gave helpful ideas for how to support their child's learning?
90%
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?
76%
40% Citywide Average
How many students scored 3-4 on the state ELA exam?
70%
39% Citywide Average

Arts offerings

This school has 3 dedicated spaces for Music, Visual arts, and an Auditorium
This school has 3 licensed arts teachers in Dance (part-time), Music, 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 former English language learners score 3-4 on the State ELA exam?
43%
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
1.96
2.0 Citywide Average
Average math score for self-contained students
2.55
2.3 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for ICT students
1.87
1.9 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for self-contained students
2.21
2.2 Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
92%
86% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school works to achive the goals of their students' IEPs?
92%
91% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say they are satisfied with the IEP development process at this school?
92%
89% Citywide Average
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data
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