The Gordon Parks School

Grades Pre-K, K-8

What’s Special

A districtwide k-8 school in a beautiful facility that values the arts

The Downside

Math scores have room for improvement

Our Review

The Gordon Parks School is a districtwide k-8 school that values art, dance, music and theaterand has the space to make them happen in a new, modern building. Children wear uniforms and there has been an emphasis on character building since the school's founding.

Visitors are met by a startling piece of arta cascade of spheres resembling bowling ballsand a dramatic vertical building that takes up a corner of busy, commercial Merrick Boulevard just off the Belt Parkway.

PS/IS 270 opened as an elementary school in 2003. Following some parent lobbying, the school was quickly transformed into one serving kids from kindergarten through 8th grade. A downside is that the building lacks the lockers that middle school kids crave. In addition, classrooms were built to fit children, not large adolescents.Whatever its shortcomings, the building is beautiful, with a common area on each floor featuring attractive benches where kids can gather and work. Kindergarten classrooms have lofts with tables where kids may work together.

Each year the art department collaborates on a special gala at the school to showcase student work. Around 100 students in grades 1-8 contribute visual artwork and another 80 show off their musical, dramatic and dance skills, according to a newsletter published by the United Federation of Teachers. Just like in a real gallery, middle school students work as docents and serve refreshments to over 300 parents, students and community members who attend the event.

Principal Chayvonne Harper replaced founding principal Eleanor Andrews in 2012. Harper was formerly principal of PS 127 in Queens. She also taught children and mentored teachers at PS 28 in northern Manhattan and has a master's degree in elementary education from Long Island University and an undergraduate degree in political science from Johnson C. Smith University. It is too early to say how her leadership will impact the school long-term but school surveys indicate she has struggled to follow such a longtime and well-respected principal. Teachers grumble that she is not a good manager, and students say there are issues with respect among students.

Math scores could be better, but data from the Department of Education shows that children in the self-contained special education classrooms do better academically than the citywide average for children in self-contained rooms. Students may receive extra help after school or in small groups. A girls' group called "Soiree" provides girls with social support.The school sponsors an enrichment program including drama, visual arts, dance, music and sports for which kids may audition or try out. There are two outdoor play yards.

Special education: Self-contained classes are combined as follows: grades 2/3, 4/5 and 6/7. One kindergarten is self-contained as well. There are also team-taught classes that mix children with special needs with their general education peers. A District 75 program for severely disabled children has its own wing in the building.

Admissions:Open to District 29 students only.(Lydie Raschka, web reports and school data, August 2014)

About the students

Enrollment
706
Pre-K seats
18
Asian
0.7%
Black
96.3%
Hispanic
1.6%
White
0.1%
Other
1.3%
Free or reduced priced lunch
54%
Students with disabilities
15%
English language learners
0%

About the school

Shared campus?
No
This school is in its own building.
Uniforms required?
Yes
How crowded? (Full is 100%)
121%
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?
8%
19% Citywide Average

Is this school safe?

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
84%
75% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
23%
25% Citywide Average
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
83%
85% Citywide Average
How many teachers say their students are safe outside around this school?
96%
84% Citywide Average
How many students say most students treat each other with respect?
28%
46% Citywide Average

About the leadership

Years of principal experience at this school
4.2
6.4 Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
92%
79% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal has a clear vision for this school?
98%
86% Citywide Average
How many teachers trust the principal?
92%
79% Citywide Average

About the teachers

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
80%
78% Citywide Average
Teacher attendance
98%
96% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
97%
79% Citywide Average
How many teachers think the staff collaborate to make this school run effectively?
97%
85% Citywide Average

Do parents like the school?

How many parents responded to the school survey?
36%
59% Citywide Average
How many parents say they are invited to visit classrooms?
68%
79% Citywide Average
How many parents say this school offers enough courses, activities and services to keep their children interested in school?
71%
84% Citywide Average
How many parents say their child's teacher helped their child adjust to Pre-K?
88%
97% Citywide Average
How many parents say this Pre-K program helped them consider which elementary schools would meet their childrens' needs?
75%
88% Citywide Average
How many Pre-K parents say their child's teacher gave helpful ideas for how to support their child's learning?
88%
95% 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?
31%
39% Citywide Average
How many students scored 3-4 on the state ELA exam?
39%
40% Citywide Average

Arts offerings

This school has 4 dedicated spaces for Dance, Music, Visual arts, and an Auditorium
This school has 3 licensed arts teachers in Music and Theater

Engaging curriculum?

How many students say this school offers enough programs, classes and activities to keep them interested?
69%
72% Citywide Average
How many students say they are challenged in most or all of their classes?
51%
55% Citywide Average
How many students say the programs, classes and activities here encourage them to develop talent outside academics?
81%
70% Citywide Average

Are students prepared for high school?

Accelerated courses offered for high school credit
Algebra I
How many 8th graders earn high school credit?
31%
28% Citywide Average
How many graduates of this school pass all their classes in 9th grade?
95%
87% Citywide Average
What high schools do most graduates attend?
Queens HS of Teaching, Liberal Arts and the Sciences and John Bowne HS
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the 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
1.77
1.9 Citywide Average
Average math score for self-contained students
2.16
2.2 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for ICT students
1.9
1.9 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for self-contained students
2.21
2.2 Citywide Average
Average math score for SETSS students
2.24
2.3 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for SETSS students
2.46
2.3 Citywide Average
How many students say that students with disabilities are included in all activities?
60%
69% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
78%
84% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school works to achive the goals of their students' IEPs?
89%
89% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say they are satisfied with the IEP development process at this school?
85%
87% Citywide Average
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data
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