P.S. 122 Mamie Fay

Grades Pre-K, K-8
Staff Pick
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What’s Special

Creative academics in warm and welcoming school

The Downside

Cafeteria lacks a full service kitchen

Our Review

A large neighborhood school with a sought-after gifted and talented program, PS 122 has a sweet, welcoming tone, strong arts programs, and a focus on civic awareness. In every class we visited, teachers seemed to engage children in interesting projects.

Students take classes in music, dance, and visual arts. On our visit, 5th graders practiced ballroom dancing to prepare for a citywide competition. In a music class, students worked in small groups to learn to play Big Yellow Taxi on the ukulele by ear. Students in grades K-3 participate in the schools orchestra through a partnership with the Little Orchestra Society.

The school emphasizes the importance of reading and writing in all classes. Students read independently, in small groups, and as a whole class, and beginning in kindergarten, they write and revise multiple drafts of a variety of writing styles for different subjects. Thanks to a partnership with the Teachers and Writers Collaborative, students get to work with a poet each year to create their own anthology of poetry.

Near the last stop on the N and Q trains in a quiet and residential section of Astoria, PS 122 has two gyms, a library, an art room with a kiln, and a garden. It has a new school yard, a playground, track, and tennis courts. Unfortunately, the school lacks a full service kitchen; school meals are prepared off site and heated in warming ovens before being served in the cafeteria.

The school has long been home to The Academy, a very successful middle school program open to children from gifted classes at PS 85, PS 122, PS 166 and PS 150. Standards are high, and students are given lots of challenging work. At the Academy, 6th graders take the equivalent of a year and a half of math and science; 7th graders learn algebra, and by 8th graders take the Regents Algebra exam. Standards are high, and students are given lots of challenging work. "This school is not for everyone," said Principal Pamela Sabel. "It's very rigorous."

In the past, most non-G&T students attended their zoned middle school, with some attending private and religious schools as well as selective public schools including The Academy. PS 122's G&T students attend The Academy; nearly all Academy graduates attend specialized high schools or selective schools such as Townsend Harris, Bard Early College in Manhattan, and Cardozo.

Middle school students grapple with real world issues in their schoolwork. Every year they participate in the Center for Civic Educations Project Citizen program, which promotes engagement with policy issues through research projects. Past projects have included researching the health effects from cars idling in front of the school building and the honey bee colony collapse disorder. The projects engage children in real and meaningful issues and show them that they can make a difference, explained Sabel.

Extracurricular activities are offered through the Sports and Arts in Schools Foundation, which allows PS 122 to offer fee-based afterschool activities such as chess, debate, and sports for all grades.

Special education: The school offers Special Education Teacher Support Services (SETSS), Collaborative Team Teaching (CTT) classes, and self-contained classes for students with special needs. There is a special education resource room where students can get individual and small group attention.In grades K-2 there are self-contained ELL classes. In the upper elementary classes, ELLs are integrated into the general education classroom and receive extra support as needed from the ESL teacher.

Admissions: Zoned elementary school. Admissions for the district G&T program begins in kindergarten, and admittance is based on the citywide assessment process. For The Academy, seats are filled in grade 6 from schools in District 30, including PS 122 and PS 150, with remaining seats filled through the competitive selection process based on a combination of factors that make up a "composite score"the final 4th grade report card counts for 35 percent, state tests 35 percent, student performance indicators 20 percent and attendance ten percent. Students in the elementary G&T program at PS 122 may continue on to The Academy. (Pauline Zaldonis, February 2013; admissions updated January 2015)

About the students

Enrollment
1366
Pre-K seats
36
Asian
27.2%
Black
5.9%
Hispanic
21.2%
White
41.1%
Other
4.6%
Free or reduced priced lunch
49%
Students with disabilities
10%
English language learners
6%

About the school

Shared campus?
No
This school is in its own building.
Uniforms required?
No
How crowded? (Full is 100%)
110%
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?
9%
19% Citywide Average

Is this school safe?

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
72%
75% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
2%
25% Citywide Average
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
96%
85% Citywide Average
How many teachers say their students are safe outside around this school?
100%
84% Citywide Average
How many students say most students treat each other with respect?
80%
46% Citywide Average

About the leadership

Years of principal experience at this school
7.9
6.4 Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
79%
79% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal has a clear vision for this school?
84%
86% Citywide Average
How many teachers trust the principal?
78%
79% Citywide Average

About the teachers

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
90%
78% Citywide Average
Teacher attendance
95%
96% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
89%
79% Citywide Average
How many teachers think the staff collaborate to make this school run effectively?
86%
85% Citywide Average

Do parents like the school?

How many parents responded to the school survey?
93%
59% Citywide Average
How many parents say they are invited to visit classrooms?
82%
79% Citywide Average
How many parents say this school offers enough courses, activities and services to keep their children interested in school?
79%
84% Citywide Average
How many parents say their child's teacher helped their child adjust to Pre-K?
100%
97% Citywide Average
How many parents say this Pre-K program helped them consider which elementary schools would meet their childrens' needs?
83%
88% Citywide Average
How many Pre-K parents say their child's teacher gave helpful ideas for how to support their child's learning?
94%
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?
74%
39% Citywide Average
How many students scored 3-4 on the state ELA exam?
75%
40% Citywide Average

Arts offerings

This school has 5 dedicated spaces for Dance, Music, Visual arts, and an Auditorium
This school has 4 licensed arts teachers in Dance, Music, and Theater

Engaging curriculum?

How many students say this school offers enough programs, classes and activities to keep them interested?
87%
72% Citywide Average
How many students say they are challenged in most or all of their classes?
48%
55% Citywide Average
How many students say the programs, classes and activities here encourage them to develop talent outside academics?
84%
70% Citywide Average

Are students prepared for high school?

Accelerated courses offered for high school credit
Spanish, Algebra I, Living Environment
How many 8th graders earn high school credit?
100%
28% Citywide Average
How many graduates of this school pass all their classes in 9th grade?
99%
87% Citywide Average
What high schools do most graduates attend?
Bronx HS of Science, Stuyvesant HS, and Brooklyn Technical HS
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?
26%
18% 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
1.69
1.9 Citywide Average
Average math score for self-contained students
2.5
2.2 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for ICT students
1.69
1.9 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for self-contained students
2.51
2.2 Citywide Average
Average math score for SETSS students
2.03
2.3 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for SETSS students
1.97
2.3 Citywide Average
How many students say that students with disabilities are included in all activities?
39%
69% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
83%
84% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school works to achive the goals of their students' IEPs?
93%
89% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say they are satisfied with the IEP development process at this school?
90%
87% Citywide Average
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data
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