P.S. 85 Judge Charles Vallone

Grades Pre-K, K-5
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Location

23-70 31 Street
Queens NY 11105
Astoria (District 30)
Trains: N, W to Astoria Blvd-Hoyt Ave
Buses: M60-SBS, Q101, Q19, Q69

Contact

Phone
718-278-3630
Principal
Ann Gordon Chang
Parent Coordinator
Margareta Kalis

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

What’s Special

Small class size

The Downside

School is next to elevated tracks of the N and Q lines

Our Review

PS 85 has STEM Academy, the only citywide gifted program in Queens, and the school also serves general education and special needs students. Were unique on many levels, said Principal Ann Gordon-Chang. We have every type of student in our school. In 2009 the Science, Technology, Enrichment, and Math (STEM) Academy opened with a kindergarten and 1st grade, drawing active, savvy parents who embrace this diversity.

Every child is offered the same resources, and the parent association is one combined group where money is pooled for the benefit of all. Whatever lifts up G&T lifts up the whole school, said a 1st-grade parent from STEM. Parents raised $10,000 during an online auction in 2011 for free after-school clubs, like painting, digital photography, and drums. Clubs are open to children in grades 1 to 5, from 3 to 5 p.m., three days a week. The other after-school program, Serious Fun, costs about $15 per day and runs until 5:45 p.m., five days a week. Parents volunteer at lunch and recess. When children cant go outside they exercise to a program called Activity Works.

Uniforms of light blue shirts and dark blue pants are gently encouraged. Children are not overly pressured in other areas either. No one complains about too much homework, said another 1st-grade parent whose child is in STEM. If you want your 1st grader doing 4th-grade math, this isnt the place for you. Teachers are going to sing with them. Six-year-olds learned the lyrics to the 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin Groovy) in class, and a whole busload sang it while crossing the actual 59th Street bridge on a field trip.

Columbia University doctoral students were piloting iPad apps in 1st grade that teach multiplication games. Kids sat at tables in groups of four or five to take an assessment before trying the app. In the spacious library, the librarian used a SMARTboard to teach 4th graders about animal categories. The school supplements the Everyday Math program with a variety of other resources, and teachers get help from a math coach. A science lab, unusual for an elementary school, is home to fish, a turtle, a guinea pig, an albino frog, and Madagascar cockroaches.

PS 85 has an abundance of outdoor play space. Theres enough room to separate older and younger kids during recess and dismissal time, and enough for a garden, a greenhouse, and a small climbing wall. The one thing that mars the setting is the elevated tracks of the N and W train lines, which run directly along the front of the building at classroom window height. The rumble of the trains requires teachers to raise their voices or be drowned out, especially during warmer months when open windows must suffice for lack of air-conditioning.

Special Education: Two self-contained classrooms and three Integrated Co-Teaching classes. Grades change year to year as needed.

Admissions: PS 85 is a zoned neighborhood school. There is one G&T class on each grade. Families interested in the STEM program may apply only after their child scores high marks on the Department of Educations gifted and talented tests. Students need to score at least in the 97th percentile on the G&T tests to qualify. The DOE controls admissions. Spring tours are conducted after test results are announced. In accordance with DOE transportation policy, bus service is available for Queens students living within five miles of the school. Others arrange their own transportation. STEM parents have a Facebook page (STEM @ PS 85 Q) where they share information about carpooling, tours, and more. (Lydie Raschka, May 2011)

About the students

Enrollment
605
Pre-K seats
49
Asian
18.5%
Black
2.6%
Hispanic
30.6%
White
43.1%
Other
5.1%
Free or reduced priced lunch
100%
Students with disabilities
12%
English language learners
12%

About the school

Shared campus?
No
This school is in its own building.
Metal detectors?
No
How crowded? (Full is 100%)
128%
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Attendance

Average daily attendance
95%
94% Citywide Average
How many students are chronically absent?
14%
21% Citywide Average

Is this school safe?

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
80%
82% Citywide Average
How many teachers say their students are safe outside around this school?
96%
88% Citywide Average

About the leadership

Years of principal experience at this school
13.0
6.6 Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
64%
82% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal has a clear vision for this school?
75%
90% Citywide Average
How many teachers trust the principal?
68%
82% Citywide Average

About the teachers

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
86%
78% Citywide Average
Teacher attendance
95%
96% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
92%
85% Citywide Average
How many teachers think the staff collaborate to make this school run effectively?
80%
89% Citywide Average

Do parents like the school?

How many parents responded to the school survey?
42%
65% Citywide Average
How many parents say they are invited to visit classrooms?
76%
85% Citywide Average
How many parents say this school offers enough courses, activities and services to keep their children interested in school?
90%
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?
93%
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?
65%
43% Citywide Average
How many students scored 3-4 on the state ELA exam?
69%
42% Citywide Average

Arts offerings

This school has 5 dedicated spaces for Music, Theater, 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?
5%
9% Citywide Average
How many former English language learners score 3-4 on the State ELA exam?
71%
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 self-contained students
2.08
2.4 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for self-contained students
1.94
2.2 Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
85%
86% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school works to achive the goals of their students' IEPs?
93%
91% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say they are satisfied with the IEP development process at this school?
89%
89% Citywide Average
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data
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