P.S. 59 Beekman Hill International

Grades K-5
Staff Pick
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What’s Special

Lively teaching, nurturing atmosphere and strong leadership

The Downside

Stairwells and atrium can get noisy

Our Review

PS 59 combines a strong academic program with an approach to teaching that values play as the foundation for learning. Kindergarten classrooms have dress-up corners for dramatic play, easels for drawing and plenty of wooden blocks. Older children, too, use blocks as part of their study of architecture, bridges and other social studies projects.

Not far from the United Nations, children come from many countries and speak about 40 languages.Parents are welcome: One Friday a month, parents are invited to stop by their childrens classrooms. Kindergarten parents bring children right to their classrooms each day.

The modern building has two science labs, a state-of-the-art auditorium and a spacious library. It is shared with the High School of Art and Design and PS 169a District 75 program for children with special needs, some of whom join PS 59 students for gym, lunch, library and science. The only drawback of the building is that childrens voices ricochet around the cement-block stairwells, the entryway and in the gated yard so loudly that it can be difficult for two people standing side-by-side to hear each other speak.

Longtime Principal Adele Schroeter gets high praise from parents, who also rave about the fabulous teaching. Teachers develop their own lessons with great freedom to reach a complicated populationwithout resorting to too much test prep. We have many English Language Learners, Schroeter said. We do our most thoughtful, conscionable job without compromising how kids learn. We cant give over any more time to test prep.

The lessons we saw were open-ended, exploratory and playful. In a kindergarten class with incubating eggs, a teacher projected a picture on the wall of blood vessels inside an egg and showed children how to place two fingers on their necks to feel their own blood vessels pulsate. The writing in all grades looked strong and we saw solid note-taking with page number references and highlighting. Students are encouraged to ask questions and engage in discussion and debate to an unusual degree. Older kids pair with younger ones for science experiments. They explore plants, the water cycle and simple machines. The walls are filled with student-made charts, drawings, reports, essays and photos in every subject area. Field trips augment their studies.

A math consultant works with teachers on a regular basis, helping them hone lessons each year from a variety of sources. "The construction of a unit [requires] a lot of teacher understanding," said Schroeter. "We keep holding investigations up to each otherit really empowers teachers to be thinkers and doers in the process of designing units." Teachers invite families in to learn more about math and send home a customized plan, in June, for each child with reading level and math strengths, plus suggestions for games parents and kids can play together to improve skills at home.

The tone is very nurturing. Students even create mottos and chants to support one another during testing. If there is a downside it may be that teachers are so good at cushioning difficulties and helping students manage long-term assignments, emotions and social relations, that the transition to middle school is, as one parent put it, a shock.

Fifth-grade teachers try to ease this transition by giving kids planners and long-term projects. In the last month of school they offer rotating mini-courses such as making good choices, executive functioning, and managing relations.

For middle school, some of the strongest students opt for Wagner, a large middle school with a band and many team sports. East Side Middle, Clinton and Salk are also popular choices.

Special education: Manyteachers are certified in special education and it is common practice to rotate their assignment every few years between grades. This has been beneficial particularly for students with disabilities, who have shown recent improvement on standardized test scores in English and math. The school has integrated co-teaching, or ICT classes, that mix children with special needs and those in general education. These classes have two teachers, one of whom is certified in special education.

Admissions: Neighborhood school. The zone was reduced in 2011 to accommodate all zoned students who apply. (Lydie Raschka, June 2014; updated by phone, August 2016)

About the students

Free or reduced priced lunch
Students with disabilities
English language learners

About the school

Shared campus?
This school shares the Midtown East Campus with one other school
Metal detectors?
How crowded? (Full is 100%)
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average


Average daily attendance
93% Citywide Average
How many students are chronically absent?
23% Citywide Average

Is this school safe?

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

About the leadership

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

About the teachers

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
77% Citywide Average
Teacher attendance
96% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
85% Citywide Average
How many teachers think the staff collaborate to make this school run effectively?
89% Citywide Average

Do parents like the school?

How many parents responded to the school survey?
65% Citywide Average
How many parents say they are invited to visit classrooms?
85% Citywide Average
How many parents say this school offers enough courses, activities and services to keep their children interested in school?
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?
43% Citywide Average
How many students scored 3-4 on the state ELA exam?
41% Citywide Average

Arts offerings

This school has 2 dedicated spaces for Music and Visual 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?
9% Citywide Average
How many former English language learners score 3-4 on the State ELA exam?
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 ICT students
2.4 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for ICT students
2.2 Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
86% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school works to achive the goals of their students' IEPs?
91% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say they are satisfied with the IEP development process at this school?
89% Citywide Average
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231-249 East 56 Street
Manhattan NY 10019
Midtown (District 2)
Trains: F to Lexington Ave-63 St; 6, E, M to Lexington Ave-53 St; 4, 5, 6, N, Q, R to Lexington Ave-59 St
Buses: BM1, BM2, BM4, BxM1, BxM18, BxM3, BxM4, BxM7, BxM8, BxM9, M101, M102, M15, M15-SBS, M2, M31, M50, M57, Q101, Q32, Q60, QM12, QM17, QM2, QM21, QM5, X10, X22, X22A, X31, X37, X38, X64, X68


Adele Schroeter
Parent Coordinator
Kathleen King

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

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