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P.S. 9 Sarah Anderson

Grades: Pre-K, K-5
Staff Pick
100 West 84 Street
Manhattan NY 10024
Phone: 212-678-2812

Our Insights

What’s Special

An unusually calm atmosphere pervades the building

The Downside

Some upper grade classes are a bit cramped

PS 9 is an unusually quiet and orderly school, with little of the restlessness and chatter that often override classroom decorum. Teachers have clear expectations and children seem happy to follow the classroom routines. It has demanding academics, creative arts and an active Parents Association.

The teaching is a bit more traditional than at some other Upper West Side schools, with more emphasis on skills like handwriting and spelling and consistent units across all classes. Although there are blocks and dress-up corners in kindergarten, there is a focus on academics and early reading skills rather than play. For example, in diagrams for a unit on penguins, kindergartners spelled words like "beak" and "flipper" correctly.

At the same time, children go outside for recess every day, and there is room to explore music, art and dance. Classrooms clearly have personalities and creativity is valued; one 5th-grade class named all their group tables after Hogwarts dormitories, while a kindergarten class had a cache of bright ukuleles they are learning to play, inspired by their guitar-loving teacher. Children's artwork covers the walls; 5th-graders learn square dancing and younger children work with the visiting teachers from the New York City Ballet. Essays posted on the walls show both creativity and caresuch as 3rd-graders' letters imagining they were Civil War soldiers orimmigrants to Ellis Island.

Social studies projects bring history to life. Children made their own documentaries about the age of exploration, learning about Christopher Columbus or Giovanni da Verrazano while mastering the art of video editing on shiny new Macintosh computers. As part of their study of American history, 4th and 5th graders go on trips to historical sitesoutside the city.

Even recess is orderly: Children line up on the playground to listen to instructions from school aides before they are permitted to play. Still, maintaining calm doesn't come at the expense of caring; when a boy with a history of behavioral issues had a tantrum during our visit, administrators and teachers swiftly and sweetly helped him work through his feelings outside the room and within minutes he was back inside participating with his friends. Parents are welcome to volunteer, but must undergo training by the Learning Leaders organization that includes a background check.

In 2015, Katherine Witzke, the former assistant principal, replaced Diane Brady, who had been principal since 1997. Parents we spoke to outside the school gushed about Witzke. "She's very approachable and has really improved communication with parents," one mom told us. Enrollment has grown by more than 50 percent in the past decade, a sign of the school's increasing popularity. Class size ranges from 25 in kindergarten to 30 in 5th grade, and a few classes feel a bit cramped.

The Parents Association raises a significant amount of money for extras like assistant teachers in all classrooms, and for chess, Spanish, class trips, art and music programs. They also installed tennis balls on the bottoms of all classroom chair legs to avoid those distracting screeches.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: The school works to ensure that academic problems are identified and corrected early. For example, all teachers in grades k-2 have been trained in Orton-Gillingham, a multisensory approach to reading that has been successful with children with dyslexia. The school serves a range of children with special needs, including those with significant disabilities who would normally be assigned to segregated or "self-contained" classes. Instead, Witzke assigns these children to ICT team-teaching classes in which a special education teacher and a general education teacher work together in the same classroom. The school offers speech, occupational and physical therapy. It is not wheelchair accessible.

ADMISSIONS:Zoned neighborhood school. Tours are held in December and January. (Aimee Sabo, June 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


Upper West Side (District 3)
Trains: B Line, C Line to 81st St-Museum of Nat Hist; 1 Line, B Line, C Line to 86th St
Buses: M10, M104, M11, M5, M79


Stephanie Saunders
Parent Coordinator
Rita Yoskowitz

Other Details

Shared campus?
This school shares a building with MS 243
Metal detectors?

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

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