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P.S. 59 Beekman Hill International

Grades: Pre-K, K-5
Staff Pick
231-249 East 56th Street
Manhattan NY 10019
Phone: 212-888-7870

Our Insights

What’s Special

Lively teaching, nurturing atmosphere and strong leadership

The Downside

Stairwells and atrium can get noisy

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)

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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

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


Midtown (District 2)
Trains: F Line to Lexington Ave-63 St; 6 Line, E Line, M Line to Lexington Ave-53 St; 4 Line, 5 Line, 6 Line, N Line, Q Line, R Line 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


Nekia Wise
Parent Coordinator
Kathleen King

Other Details

Shared campus?
This school shares the Midtown East Campus with one other school
Metal detectors?

Zone for the 2019-2020 school year. Call school to confirm.

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