Ella Baker School

Grades: Pre-K, K-8
Staff Pick
317 East 67th Street
Manhattan NY 10065
Phone: 212-717-8809

Our Insights

What’s Special

A joyful, informal school open to children from across the city

The Downside

Test scores could be higher

Founded on the model of Central Park East in East Harlem, Ella Baker is a happy, informal place where children call grown-ups by their first names and there's plenty of time to build with blocks, dance, or explore the neighborhood on class trips. Two grades of kids are taught together (PK-K), (12), (34), and (56) so students have the same teacher for two years. Children are encouraged to explore their own interests and work at their own pace.

Although the school is located in District 2, it is open to children citywide. Tours are offered from October through February. It is one of the few schools in the neighborhood that offers pre-kindergarten classes.

Both the student body and the faculty are ethnically diverse, and there are an unusual number of men. The staff, led by Principal Laura Garcia, is stable and experienced. We heard no raised voices on our tour, and kids seemed reassured by clear classroom routines.

As other public schools have increasingly focused on preparing children for standardized tests, Ella Baker has maintained its commitment to learning through play and discovery. The school has no textbooks, only fun-to-read picture books and novels, science discovery books, and historical fiction. There are weekly trips to museums, parks and ice-skating rinks.

The school is part of the Julia Richman Educational Complex, a large building that houses several alternative high schools. Ella Baker shares the complex's two gyms, pool, auditoriums, ballet studio, library and Mount Sinai health facility.

The homework load is light and the tiny middle school does not offer Regents-level math or sciencea plus or minus depending on your point of view. The school won high marks on the Department of Education's Quality Review, with a rating of "well developed" in every category.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: Students with special needs are fully integrated into all classes.

ADMISSIONS: The school is unzoned, and families in all five boroughs are welcome to attend a tour and apply for a spot. The school encourages parents who work or study in the neighborhood to inquire about their program. The school is part of the DOE kindergarten application process. (Clara Hemphill, 2012 visit; updated with DOE data, August 2016; admissions update January 2022)

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 students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
91% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
32% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
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 the 2020-21 School Quality Guide

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
83% 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?
54% Citywide Average
How many elementary school students scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
50% Citywide Average
How many middle school students scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
45% Citywide Average
How many middle school students scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
50% Citywide Average

From the 2020-21 School Quality Guide

How many 8th-graders earn high school credit?
35% 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
91% Citywide Average
How many students miss 18 or more days of school?
27% Citywide Average

From the 2020 School Directories

Uniforms required?

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: F Line to Lexington Ave-63 St; 6 Line to 68th St - Hunter College; 4 Line, 5 Line, N Line, Q Line, R Line to Lexington Ave-59 St
Buses: BxM1, BxM10, BxM11, BxM3, BxM4, BxM6, BxM7, BxM8, BxM9, M1, M101, M102, M103, M15, M15-SBS, M2, M3, M31, M4, M57, M66, M72, M98, Q101, Q32, Q60, QM2, QM20, QM3


Joshua Satin
Parent Coordinator
Valerie Kirk Kamali

Other Details

Shared campus?
This school shares the Julia Richman Educational Campus with four other schools
Uniforms required?
Metal detectors?


  • Is this your school? Please post any news, updates, events, changes, or other information!
  • We welcome questions, open discussions, and disagreements but comments with personal attacks, rude language, or those with seemingly malicious intent will be deleted.
  • Very long comments, those that contain links, or repeat comments may be blocked by our spam filter.
  • Problems? email us at [email protected].
  • Users must comply with our Terms of Use.