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Middle School High School

P.S. 158 Bayard Taylor

Grades: Pre-K, K-5
Staff Pick Staff Pick for Special Ed
1458 York Avenue
Manhattan NY 10075
Phone: 212-744-6562
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Our Insights

What’s Special

Enrichment activities in all grades, strong support for students with special needs

The Downside

Cramped classrooms

PS 158 is a high-performing neighborhood school with strong leadership, engaging instruction and lots of arts enrichment across all grades. Housed in a large building constructed in 1898, PS 158 has long, winding corridors, high ceilings, large windows, and original details such as oak coat closets. It has two gyms, a small but adequate auditorium and an elevator.

Dina Ercolano became principal in December 2014 after the midyear departure of the school's longtime principal, Darryl Alhadeff. A former literacy coach and assistant principal at 158, Ercolano is credited with fostering a friendlier, more kid-centric vibe, one parent said.

The atmosphere is calm and cheery. It's very easy to know what students are learning as the colorful hallways are lined with projects, essays and art work.

Some classrooms can feel cramped, especially in the older grades, but teachers arrange their spaces thoughtfully to encourage students to move around. On a typical day, students will spend some time gathered on the rug for class-wide lessons and a lot of time working on their own and in small groups at their tables, in cozy corners or sprawled out on the rug.

During our visit we noticed a lot of consistency in instruction across the grades, owing in part to full-time specialists in math, literacy, special education and technology who work with teachers to help them develop and revise lessons and practices. For instance, during independent reading time—especially in the older grades—it's common to find teachers engaged in what Ercolano calls "spinning plates." While most students are quietly immersed in their books, the teacher bounces between two or three small groups of students, monitoring their work on a focused reading task. Ercolano says the practice lets teachers check in with students' progress more frequently than relying on brief, weekly conferences with individual students.

Teachers use technology judiciously. "We don't do technology for its own sake," said Ercolano. Each class has a large television monitor, which is similar to an overhead projector, for use as a teaching tool, and laptop computers are available for research and writing, but during our visit we found the rich classroom libraries and hands-on materials, such as blocks and aides for math including dice and counters, to be the most heavily used resources.

The school uses the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project curriculum, which encourages students to read a wide array of books of their choosing and at their skill level. Starting in kindergarten, students write and revise multiple drafts of work on a variety of topics. In the younger grades they may write and illustrate stories and information books drawn from personal experiences and books they read. By 5th grade, students write complex essays on a range of topics as well as more creative pieces such as fiction and poetry.

Typical of many District 2 schools, 158 uses Investigations Math, which emphasizes conceptual learning and multiple approaches to problem solving, and they draw from the Math in the City program. Teachers balance this with some drilling of math facts.

In addition to visual art, music, gym and science classes, all students have enrichment activities that vary by grade and are funded by the very active PTA. For instance, Marquis Studios provides movement classes to pre-kindergartners and circus arts to 1st-graders; 5th-graders have drama through the New Victory Theater and learn about law as well as stage a mock appellate hearing through Constitution Works.

Instructors from E3Sports organize sports and games during lunch recess to encourage students to get more physical activity.

The school runs its own after-school program. Students may participate in a range of activities for a fee.

SPECIAL EDUATION: The school offers extensive support for students with special needs, including occupational and physical therapy, speech, vision and hearing services, and adaptive physical education. There are ICT classes in each grade and SETSS. Select grades also have part-time ICT, where special education teachers visit classrooms daily during math and English instruction to work with students who need extra support but don't require full-time ICT.

ADMISSIONS: Zoned, neighborhood school with four full-day pre-k classes. The school fills its pre-k seats with zoned students only, and mostly with siblings of older students. (Laura Zingmond, January 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 2018-19 NYC School Survey

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
63%
79% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
91%
81% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
95%
83% Citywide Average

From 2017-18 NY State Report Card

How many students were suspended?
0%
1% Citywide Average

From this school's most recent Quality Review Report

Are teachers effective?

From 2018-19 School Quality Guide

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
60%
80% Citywide Average
Years of principal experience at this school
4.4

How do students perform academically?

From 2018 State ELA+Math Results Summary

How many elementary school students scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
82%
51% Citywide Average
How many elementary school students scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
84%
49% Citywide Average

What is the Pre-K like?

From this school's most recent Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS)

Instruction: Teachers ask kids to explain their reasoning when they solve problems

From this school's most recent Early Childhood Environmental Rating System (ECERS-R)

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 2018-19 Demographic Snapshot

Enrollment
796
Asian
13%
Black
2%
Hispanic
8%
White
70%
Other
7%
Free or reduced priced lunch
12%
Students with disabilities
15%
English language learners
5%

From 2018-19 School Quality Guide

Average daily attendance
95%
93% Citywide Average
How many students miss 18 or more days of school?
10%
25% Citywide Average

From 2018 School Directories

Pre-K seats
72

How does this school serve special populations?

From 2018 State ELA+Math Results Summary

How many students with disabilities scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
52%
28% Citywide Average
How many students with disabilities scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
54%
23% Citywide Average
How many English language learners scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
81%
28% Citywide Average
How many English language learners scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
50%
17% Citywide Average


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

Contact & Location

Location

Upper East Side (District 2)
Buses: M102, M15, M15-SBS, M31, M66, M72, M79, M98, Q102

Contact

Principal
Dina Ercolano
Parent Coordinator
Mary Semack

Other Details

Shared campus?
Yes
This school shares a building with Yorkville East Middle School
Metal detectors?
No

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

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