Queens NY 11426
A solid k-8 school in a beautiful building with good parent involvement
Hard to get to by public transportation
Bright and beautiful, PS/IS 208 opened in September 2003, as one of a trio of schools built to alleviate overcrowding for children in District 29. The school is adept at involving parents, especially fathers, and has solid test scores.
The campus is shared with PS/IS 266 and the High School of Teaching, Liberal Arts and Sciences. The airport-like setting is on the former site of the Creedmore Psychiatric Center. Children are taken by bus or car to drop-off points, at the end of an access road, which limits casual encounters among families. Still, the spacious 32-acre campus features a well-equipped playground, plenty of green space and pleasant walkways.
Some teachers have special training in a structured reading program called Wilson, which stresses phonics, and has been shown to be helpful for children who are behind in reading. Children may also work on individualized computer programs for extra practice.
Born and raised in Cap-Hatien, Principal James Philemy has maintained an excellent attendance rate and a safe atmosphere, according to school surveys. Many of his students are of African descent, with a sprinkling of South Asian, white and Hispanic students.Teachers report he is a good manager. The dress code is dark blue bottoms and white tops.
The school does an especially good job of creating community and support for fathers, who even have their own website with pictures of their activities. These include an afterschool reading program, Saturday workshops, a toy drive and "Dads take your child to school day."
In the middle grades, there are elective classes in theatre, visual arts, music, African dance and dance. The arts are mostly integrated into regular classrooms in the lower grades: One of the school's goals is to incorporate more art into social studies classes, according to the Annual Arts in School Report.
Special education: PS/IS 208 has team-taught classrooms that mix children with special needs with their general education peers. There are also self-contained classes for only children with special needs. A District 75 school that serves children with severe disabilities shares the building.
Admission:District 29 priority. (Lydie Raschka, web reports and school data, August 2014)