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P.S. 20 Anna Silver

Grades: Pre-K, K-5
166 Essex Street
Manhattan NY 10002
Phone: 212-254-9577

Our Insights

What’s Special

Lots of music, art and extras; promising new leadership

The Downside

Will take time for new leaders' vision to take hold

PS 20 has a strong commitment to the arts, sparkling facilities, and dual language programs in both Mandarin-English and Spanish-English. Promising new leadership makes this school one to watch.

Principal Sarah Pinto and Assistant Principal Carrie Orr, who both arrived in 2016, bring a thoughtful approach to curriculum and a can-do spirit to a school community that needs it after a weathering an atmosphere of mistrust between staff and the previous principal. Both Pinto and Orr have experience in top-performing Manhattan schools: Pinto taught special education at PS 11 in Chelsea and Orr taught at PS 41 in Greenwich Village.

The two met with parents the summer before their first semester and made common sense changes to improve communication, by, for example being accessible to families at pick-up and drop-off. Its important that I can talk to a parent as a person and solve a problem, Pinto said. Curriculum nights now end in potluck dinners where staff and families can mingle, and every Friday morning parents are invited into their childs classroom to observe instructional time. All school meetings and communications are translated into Mandarin and Spanish.

Efforts to re-engage staff have also been strong. The previous principal, Carmen Colon, was mistrusted by many staff members, according to school surveys. To help build a collegial atmosphere, Pinto asked teachers what they wanted to learn and based teacher-training on their responses, such as how to integrate technology into classrooms, how to foster independence, and how to address behavior. Catering to a mix of new hires and teachers who have been at the school 20 years, Pinto encouraged staff to visit nearby schools; she hired a full-time science teacher and tried to breathe new life into math, writing and technology programs.

Not every classroom in PS 20 looks or feels the same; some offer students more choices than others, some feel calm while others are boisterous. Still, on our visit, just a month after the new leadership arrived, children seemed engaged, teachers were thoughtful and there were standouts. A kindergarten class giggled and sang Head, shoulders, knees and toes in fluent Mandarin, while a riveted class of 5th-graders listened to a seasoned teacher give careful feedback to a student writing a story about staying safe in baseball. Pre-k rooms were full of rich, hands-on materials like play-doh, blocks, magnifying glasses, plants and LEGOs.

There are full-time gym, art and music teachers; once a week students may partake in morning yoga and 2nd-graders learn martial arts through a partnership with Gentlemen for Judo. Rosies Theater Kids teaches drama to 5th-graders and 4th-graders dance with resident teachers from the National Dance Institute. Students head to MoMA, the American Natural History Museum and Green Meadow Farms. Pinto says that plans for one overnight educational trip (and one fun trip) for the 5th-graders are in the works.

Special education: Hailing from a special education background, Pinto believes that special education practices can benefit the entire school by helping teachers reach students of all levels in innovative ways. All classes are encouraged to offer different options for homework in math, for example. Children assigned to so-called self-contained classes are included with general education peers whenever possible. The school has a part time physical therapist and occupational therapist, and two full-time (and one part-time) speech teachers.

Admissions: District, 1 lottery. Applicants to the dual language program apply through normal DOE process and will be assessed in the summer before school starts to determine language proficiency. (Aimee Sabo, October 2016)

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School Stats

Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Is this school safe and well-run?

From the 2022-2023 NYC School Survey

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
82% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
84% Citywide Average

From the 2019-20 NY State Report Card

How many students were suspended?
1% Citywide Average

From this school's most recent Quality Review Report

Are teachers effective?

From 2023 End-of-year Attendance and Chronic Absenteeism Report

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
85% Citywide Average
Years of principal experience at this school

How do students perform academically?

From the New York State 2022-2023 Assessment Database

How many elementary school students scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
53% Citywide Average
How many elementary school students scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
50% Citywide Average

What is the Pre-K like?

From the NYC Program Assessment (CLASS and ECERS-R) Database through 2019-2020

Instruction: Teachers ask kids to explain their reasoning when they solve problems
Activities: Children explore art, music, sand/water, dramatic play and more
Language: Teachers talk and listen to kids in a supportive way
Interaction: Teachers ask kids good questions and invite back-and-forth conversation

Who does this school serve?

From the 2022-23 Demographic Snapshot

Free or reduced priced lunch
Students with disabilities
English language learners
Pre-K seats

From the 2022-23 School Quality Guide

Average daily attendance
91% Citywide Average
How many students miss 18 or more days of school?
36% Citywide Average

From the 2020 School Directories

This school offers Dual Language classes in Chinese and Spanish.

How does this school serve special populations?

From the New York State 2022-2023 Assessment Database

How many students with disabilities scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
30% Citywide Average
How many students with disabilities scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
23% Citywide Average
How many English language learners scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
21% Citywide Average
How many English language learners scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
12% Citywide Average

For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data · More DOE statistics for this school

Contact & Location


Lower East Side (District 1)
Trains: J Line, M Line, Z Line to Delancey St-Essex St; F Line to 2 Line Ave; B Line, D Line to Grand St
Buses: B39, M103, M14A, M14D, M15, M15-SBS, M21, M8, M9


Sarah Pinto
Parent Coordinator
Yue Teng Mo

Other Details

Shared campus?
This school is in its own building.
Metal detectors?

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