PS 151 Yorkville Community School

Grades: Pre-K, K-5
Staff Pick
421 East 88 Street
Manhattan NY 10128
Phone: 212-722-5240

Our Insights

What’s Special

Strong leadership and lots of parent involvement

The Downside

Cramped gym, cafeteria doubles as auditorium

PS 151 Yorkville Community School is a warm school with strong leadership, a cohesive staff, and lots of parent involvement. In a city thats divided by race and class, the school has a healthy mix of children who live in luxury high-rise buildings, expensive brownstones, modest five-floor walk-ups and public housing.

The vibe throughout the school is cheery and laid-back. Parents pick kindergartners up from their classrooms, easing the transition to big-kid school. Students address teachers and staff by their first names. (The principal is called Miss Samantha.) Large classrooms with high ceilings in the 100-year-old building are arranged so kids have lots of opportunities to move around. There are colorful rugs for class-wide gatherings, low tables for group work and cozy corners for quiet reading. There is a tiny gym, and the cafeteria doubles as an auditorium, but the building is pleasant despite these limitations.

Teachers put a lot of effort into crafting interesting lessons with many emphasizing the school-wide theme of community. Students take walking tours of the neighborhood, advocate for causes, raise money for charity and learn to acknowledge good qualities in others. First-graders study restaurants by visiting local eateries, writing about what they learn and observe, and crafting their own menus. For their study of marine life, 2nd-graders drafted persuasive pleas for causes such as saving coral reefs, whales and walruses. To foster good social and emotional development, students are often asked to write about the good qualities and kind acts of their fellow students.

Art, science, and gym are offered to all students. Students learn music and attend concerts through a partnership with the 92nd Street Y. Visiting instructors from the Salvadori Educational Center teach students about architecture and city infrastructure. Lunchtime sports and games are overseen by visiting instructors from Asphalt Green.

The PTA raises money to support the school and parents volunteer to conduct school tours. Kaplan makes sure there are lots of opportunities, like publishing parties and performances, for parents to come in. Once a month, parents are invited to Family Fridays, where they visit their child's classroom to observe lessons and participate in activities.

Perhaps the most noteworthy part of PS 151 is the story of how it came to be. Formerly housed in a dilapidated building at 91st Street and First Avenue, the old PS 151 served mostly children from the nearby housing projects before it was torn down in 2001 to make way for a high-rise residential building and a new school that would become East Side Middle School. Elementary school children who lived in the zone were dispersed to other schools in the neighborhood for years.

But parents in the community campaigned hard to have the school reopened. Kaplan, who attended PS 41 in Greenwich Village as a child and taught there before becoming assistant principal of PS 217 on Roosevelt Island, met with activist parents at an Upper East Side nursery school regularly for more than a year, sharing her vision for a new school and listening to their dreams for their children. Kaplan built relationships with the community organizations that would offer enrichment classes and built support among elected officials. She gave the school a new nameYorkville Community Schoolto help give it a fresh start. Parents of different backgrounds embraced the new school when it opened in temporary space in an old parochial school on 91st Street on 2009. Several members of the City Council provided money for renovations of a former high school building, and children moved into the current building in 2011.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: There are SETSS (special education teacher support services) and ICT (integrated co-teaching) classes. There are two self-contained classes for children with special needs only.

ADMISSIONS: Neighborhood school. (Clara Hemphill, October 2015)

Read more

School Stats

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

Is this school safe and well-run?

From the 2020-21 NYC School Survey

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
86% Citywide Average

From the 2019-20 NY State Report Card

How many students were suspended?
0% Citywide Average

From this school's most recent Quality Review Report

Are teachers effective?

From the 2020-21 School Quality Guide

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
86% Citywide Average
Years of principal experience at this school

How do students perform academically?

From the 2019 State ELA+Math Results Summary

How many elementary school students scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
51% 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 2018-2019

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 2021-22 Demographic Snapshot

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

From the 2020-21 School Quality Guide

Average daily attendance
92% Citywide Average
How many students miss 18 or more days of school?
26% Citywide Average

From the 2020 School Directories

How does this school serve special populations?

From the 2019 State ELA+Math Results Summary

How many students with disabilities scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
28% Citywide Average
How many students with disabilities scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
23% Citywide Average

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

Contact & Location


Upper East Side (District 2)
Trains: 4 Line, 5 Line, 6 Line, Q Line to 86th St
Buses: M102, M15, M15-SBS, M31, M79, M96


Samantha Kaplan
Parent Coordinator
Christine Falciani

Other Details

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

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

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