P.S. 160 Walter Francis Bishop

Grades Pre-K, K-5
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Location

109-59 Inwood Street
Queens NY 11435
Jamaica (District 28)
Buses: Q112, Q40, Q6, Q60, Q9, QM21, X63

Contact

Phone
718-526-5523
Principal
Tiffany Hicks
Parent Coordinator
Cristina Guzman

Zone for the 2017-2018 school year. Call school to confirm.

What’s Special

Rich arts and interesting long-term projects

The Downside

Large classes in some grades

Our Review

Rising above a sea of single- and multi-family homes in Jamaica, Queens, PS 160 has ambitious plans to boost the arts, test scores and attendance. It's off to a promising start with an infusion of grant money in 2015 that makes it possible for teachers to prepare two-month-long explorations on topics such as colonial America and the water cycle. Children use iPads, digital cameras and LEGOs to augment their studies alongside traditional workbooks.

Tiffany Hicks became principal in 2013. Formerly a teacher and literacy coach at nearby PS 80, she is an even-keeled leader with a healthy mix of ambition and practicality. Already in her second year, the extra coaching she'd put in place for teachers, as well as arts classes, and technology, had begun to breathe new life into old practices. "I say 'yes' to everything," Hicks said.

To branch out from one-size-fits-all instruction, teachers plan nine-week project-based learning units that begin with a question such as: "What happens when the water cycle is interrupted?" Fourth-graders focused on the drought in Haiti to explore the answer. A Haitian-born staff member spoke to students to bring a personal perspective, and kids brainstormed ways they could assist those affected by the drought at the end of the unit. Teachers plan together now more than in the past. During a unit on Nigeria, 3rd-graders made traditional masks in art. "I'm liking this magnet grant," said the art teacher, who has been at the school for two decades. "We're definitely all working together more now."

Undoubtedly the school has a ways to go. Test scores lag below the citywide level in math and language. Challenging high-achievers is a work-in-progress according to the school's yearly plan. We saw children working on the same workbook page in math; but teachers also trained in the use of LEGOs as part of the arts grant, and after a community walk, kindergartners and 1st graders re-created what they saw.

The principal hopes artists-in-residence at the school will improve the attendance rate. "We try to have residencies every day," she said. Pre-k students participate in creative movement. Children study chess in kindergarten through 2nd-grade. Third-graders study ballet. Fourth-graders learn ballroom dance. Children learn to play keyboard and other instruments. It should be noted that the school must find ways to sustain new practices and the arts after the three-year flow of grant money ends in 2018.

Kindergarten classes are large; we counted 27 in one classroom. On a cold day we saw kids shuttled from the cafeteria into the auditorium to watch a movie, but the principal said teachers also use "activity works" (12-minute exercise videos) to get kids moving. The pre-k rooms are in cramped portables on the school grounds.

After-school is offered on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and on Wednesdays, about 30 kids in grades 3-5 make lava lamps, marshmallow catapults and electrical circuits in science club.

After 5th grade, students attend MS 72, MS 8, MS 157 or the Queens College Schoo l, among other choices.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: A Queens Hospital psychiatrist works with children and families in need. There are two full-time speech therapists. ICT team-taught classes incorporate children with special needs in general ed classrooms. Small classes are available for children with more serious special needs. An adaptive physical education teacher helps kids customize activities in gym.

ADMISSIONS: Neighborhood school. Plans call for two more pre-kindergarten classes in 2015 bringing the number up to five. (Lydie Raschka, March 2015)

About the students

Enrollment
676
Pre-K seats
47
Asian
14.1%
Black
53.6%
Hispanic
19.8%
White
0.9%
Other
11.7%
Free or reduced priced lunch
79%
Students with disabilities
18%
English language learners
7%

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
92%
94% Citywide Average
How many students are chronically absent?
32%
21% Citywide Average

Is this school safe?

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
89%
82% Citywide Average
How many teachers say their students are safe outside around this school?
92%
88% Citywide Average

About the leadership

Years of principal experience at this school
2.8
6.6 Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
100%
82% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal has a clear vision for this school?
100%
90% Citywide Average
How many teachers trust the principal?
100%
82% Citywide Average

About the teachers

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
85%
78% Citywide Average
Teacher attendance
96%
96% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
94%
85% Citywide Average
How many teachers think the staff collaborate to make this school run effectively?
98%
89% Citywide Average

Do parents like the school?

How many parents responded to the school survey?
29%
65% Citywide Average
How many parents say they are invited to visit classrooms?
75%
85% Citywide Average
How many parents say this school offers enough courses, activities and services to keep their children interested in school?
87%
86% Citywide Average
How many parents say their child's teacher helped their child adjust to Pre-K?
100%
98% Citywide Average
How many parents say this Pre-K program helped them consider which elementary schools would meet their childrens' needs?
88%
92% Citywide Average
How many Pre-K parents say their child's teacher gave helpful ideas for how to support their child's learning?
100%
97% 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?
22%
43% Citywide Average
How many students scored 3-4 on the state ELA exam?
28%
42% Citywide Average

Arts offerings

This school has 3 dedicated spaces for Music, Visual arts, and Media arts
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?
20%
9% Citywide Average
How many former English language learners score 3-4 on the State ELA exam?
30%
46% 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
2.2
2.0 Citywide Average
Average math score for self-contained students
2.09
2.4 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for ICT students
1.92
1.9 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for self-contained students
2.16
2.2 Citywide Average
Average math score for SETSS students
1.77
2.8 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for SETSS students
2.11
2.2 Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
95%
86% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school works to achive the goals of their students' IEPs?
95%
91% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say they are satisfied with the IEP development process at this school?
90%
89% Citywide Average
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data
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