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P.S. 76 A. Philip Randolph

Grades: Pre-K, K-8
220 West 121st Street
Manhattan NY 10027
Phone: 212-678-2865

Our Insights

What’s Special

Welcoming school with lots of extra adults

The Downside

Lots of kids are homeless and chronically absent

PS 76 has a warm, tolerant culture, despite many challenges. Teachers are happy to be here and children and parents feel safe and welcome, according to school surveys. But nearly one-third of the children at PS 76 are homeless, and the instability in their lives makes it hard for them to succeed at school. Nearly half the children miss more than a month of school so it's no surprise that most PS 76 students have weak academic skills.

Children assigned to the temporary shelter across the street register for PS 76, only to be reassigned to another shelter in Brooklyn or the Bronx within a few weeks, says long-time Principal Charles DeBerry. Some then transfer to schools near their new shelters; others stay at PS 76 and commutebut are often late to school because of the distance involved.

The proliferation of charters schools in the past decade has added to the churn at PS 76, says DeBerry, principal since 2003. Throughout the year, he says, children arrive at PS 76 who have been asked to leave charters because they are struggling academically or have behavior problems; at the beginning of each year, some childrenoften the most academically successful onesleave PS 76 for the charters, De Berry says.

"There's a constant turnover," DeBerry says. He said 20 children transferred into his school from charters between August 2016 and the first week of March 2017; in the same period, 23 children left for charters.

Although most of the children who live in the attendance zone choose charter schools, gifted programs or other public school options downtown, PS 76 attracts children from adjoining District 5 in Manhattan and the Bronx. "We're a desirable school for children who aren't zoned for it," DeBerry says with a smile. "We go out of our way to make everyone welcome." The school has added a 6th, 7th and 8th grade in recent years to boost enrollment and to offer children some continuity from elementary to middle school, he said.

There are lots of extra adults in the classroom and special services provided by the Harlem Children's Zone, a community organization. The school opens its gym and computer lab for middle school students at 7 am (elementary school students may arrive for breakfast at 7:30 am). Harlem Children's Zone offers free afterschool until 6 pm. DeBerry, who came to teaching after a career as a first lieutenant in the Air Force, is well-liked by parents and staff, according to school surveys.

The academics are mostly traditional. On our visit, pre-kindergartners traced letters; kindergartners played word bingo; and 2nd graders listed to their teacher read aloud from The Earth Dragon Awakens, historical fiction about the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, while 3rd graders read short passages from stories and answered questions as part of preparation for the state's standardized reading tests.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: The school offers SETSS (special education teacher support services) and self-contained classes for children with special needs only. The building houses a District 75 school for children with severe disabilities.

ADMISSIONS: Neighborhood school. More than half the children enrolled in the school live outside the attendance zone. (Clara Hemphill, March 2017)

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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 students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
80% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
56% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
78% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
79% 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?
83% 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
How many middle school students scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
52% Citywide Average
How many middle school students scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
57% Citywide Average

From the 2022-23 School Quality Guide

How many 8th-graders earn high school credit?
91% 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
3-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?
35% Citywide Average

From the 2020 School Directories

Uniforms required?

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?
27% Citywide Average
How many students with disabilities scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
21% Citywide Average
How many English language learners scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
17% 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


Harlem (District 3)
Trains: B Line, C Line to 116th St; 2 Line, 3 Line, A Line, D Line to 125th St
Buses: Bx15, BxM3, BxM4, M1, M10, M100, M101, M102, M104, M11, M116, M2, M3, M60-SBS, M7


Charles Deberry
Parent Coordinator
Cecilia Crawford

Other Details

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

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

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