P.S. 35 The Clove Valley School

Grades K-5
Staff Pick

Location

60 Foote Avenue
Staten Island NY 10301
North Shore (District 31)
Buses: S53, S61, S66

Contact

Phone
718-442-3037
Principal
Melissa Garofalo
Parent Coordinator
Margaret Feminella

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

What’s Special

Intimate, close-knit school with an old-fashioned feel.

The Downside

Cramped facilities mean no dedicated rooms for science or special education service providers.

Our Review

PS 35 The Clove Valley School is one of the highest performing schools on Staten Island even though there is little homework and few tests. It is nestled in leafy, upscale Grymes Hill, on a street with neat brick homes and tidy front lawns, at the edge of Wagner College Campus.

Many parents of current students attended this neighborhood school, as did their cousins, siblings and some of their parents before them.

The school earned a national Blue Ribbon School of Excellence award in 2016. It was graded "well developed" on the city's "quality review," the highest rating a school can receive.

Children are not tested in class as often as at some schools during the year, yet standardized state test scores are above the citywide average in reading and math. A few months before the test, about 50 children in grades 3 to 5 prepare for the test after school in two-hour blocks instead of during regular school hours.

Principal Melissa Garofalo took the helm in 2007. She is a former reading teacher and literacy coach who holds a master's degree from Teacher's College, Columbia University. [Photo of Garofalo with students from the US Dept. of Ed.National Blue Ribbon Schools Program page]

Parent coordinator Margaret Feminella said the principal frequently observes classes and joins discussions. "There's always a lot of group work going on in the classroom," she added.

One of Garofalo's initiatives has been small class size in the early grades. She has also created a departmentalized focus for 4th and 5th grade students, who change classrooms for different subjects, much as they will once they enter middle school. This allows teachers to specialize in one subject such as math or reading.

Garofalo advocates minimal homework. "There is really not a lot of research that says homework leads to academic success in elementary schools," she told the Staten Island Advance.

"We really want kids to be kids," she added. "Research shows kids who eat dinner with their families and actually talk and have conversations do perform better. They learn better when they discuss and can engage in conversation."

With only 15 classrooms and one multi-purpose room serving as the gym, cafeteria, and auditorium, instruction happens in every corner. A few closets have been converted to mini offices. The schoolyard is undergoing renovation and the heating system is getting an upgrade.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: Team-teaching classrooms mix students with disabilities in classroom with typically developing kids so they can all learn from each other.

ADMISSIONS: PS 35 is a neighborhood school. After graduation, most students attend middle school at IS 27 and IS 61 on Staten Island. (Lydie Raschka, news report, school data, March 2017

About the students

Enrollment
392
Asian
9.2%
Black
11.0%
Hispanic
19.1%
White
56.9%
Other
3.8%
Free or reduced priced lunch
34%
Students with disabilities
20%
English language learners
3%

About the school

Shared campus?
No
This school is in its own building.
Metal detectors?
No
How crowded? (Full is 100%)
201%
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Attendance

Average daily attendance
94%
94% Citywide Average
How many students are chronically absent?
13%
21% Citywide Average

Is this school safe?

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
95%
82% Citywide Average
How many teachers say their students are safe outside around this school?
100%
88% Citywide Average

About the leadership

Years of principal experience at this school
9.0
6.6 Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
94%
82% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal has a clear vision for this school?
95%
90% Citywide Average
How many teachers trust the principal?
94%
82% Citywide Average

About the teachers

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
91%
78% Citywide Average
Teacher attendance
97%
96% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
95%
85% Citywide Average
How many teachers think the staff collaborate to make this school run effectively?
94%
89% Citywide Average

Do parents like the school?

How many parents responded to the school survey?
69%
65% Citywide Average
How many parents say they are invited to visit classrooms?
92%
85% Citywide Average
How many parents say this school offers enough courses, activities and services to keep their children interested in school?
88%
86% 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?
82%
43% Citywide Average
How many students scored 3-4 on the state ELA exam?
86%
42% Citywide Average

Arts offerings

This school has 1 dedicated space for Music
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
2.73
2.0 Citywide Average
Average math score for self-contained students
3.05
2.4 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for ICT students
2.93
1.9 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for self-contained students
2.99
2.2 Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
97%
86% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school works to achive the goals of their students' IEPs?
100%
91% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say they are satisfied with the IEP development process at this school?
96%
89% Citywide Average
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data
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