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M.S. 245 The Computer School

Grades: 6-8
Staff Pick
100 West 77th Street
Manhattan NY 10024
Phone: 917-441-0873
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Our Insights

What’s Special

Tried and true progressive school where diversity is seen as a plus

The Downside

No full time music teacher

The Computer School is a good choice for kids who like to write, collaborate, solve problems, take trips and make things by hand-with or without technology. You are as likely to see two heads bent over a math problem or a small group of children building an earthquake-proof structure out of marshmallows and dried spaghetti as you are to see laptop computers or Smart Boards. We want kids who like to mix it up, said Principal Henry Zymeck.

Opened in 1982, the school feels as comfortable as a sturdy old shoe. Even though the school is screened-and the student with good test scores is most likely to get in-a lower-scoring student, with strong attendance and good leadership skills, also has a chance. Zymeck and his staff shun the gifted label and take pride in the fact that the school has children of different academic abilities as well as a mix of races and ethnic groups.

English, social studies, art and digital media classes mix 6th and 7th graders as a way to integrate the youngest students into the life of the school. They follow a two-year curriculum, studying colonial history one year, immigration the next. While humanities and science classes mix children of different abilities, math is tracked; students complete a placement exam upon entrance to get into level 1 or level 2. Classes are divided by grade in physical education and Spanish. The school is divided into two small houses, each with its own teachers.

On our visit, students were calm, inquisitive and trusted to work with little supervision even in the hallway. Instead of textbooks, students use documents, paintings, articles, and go outside to augment their studies, such as a walking tour of Harlem or a trip to the Tenement Museum. Eighth graders visit a mosque, a synagogue and a church to learn about world religions. However the lack of textbooks may be a downside depending on the child; one parent said her son failed to bring order to the mess of handouts packed in his 3-ring binder.

We saw typed writing samples in a variety of genres including poetry, flash fiction and research papers on themes ranging from R & B singer Rihanna to the Political Zionism Activities of Theodor Herzl. Integration of subjects is a hallmark of the lessons: a study of Ancient Greece may include a visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art, charcoal drawings of Greek vases, and an exploration of the book Heroes, Gods and Monsters of the Greek Myths. We try to help the kids make connections and be thinkers, said parent coordinator Sara Sloves.

Technology is in the mix too, although it no longer seems as cutting edge as the schools name implies. (Even the name seems dated, when many things dont happen on actual computers these days but on tablets, mobile devices and iPads) Still, the building is wireless, there are laptops and Smart Boards, and every child visits the Digital Media lab twice a week. Those who want more can stop by the Maker Space at lunch to learn how to make animations, squishy circuits and LED lights, and sign up for the after school Robotics program.

The newsy, family-friendly website has a list of after school programs including volleyball, flag football, chorus, dance, printmaking and more for a nominal fee (some scholarships are available). One downside: there is no full-time music teacher but chorus and music lessons are offered after school.

The school shares a building with PS 452 and the Anderson School.

Special education: Children may join their general education peers for certain subjects or be pulled out for special help as needed. There are two self-contained classrooms for children with special needs only.

Admissions: Tours are offered in the fall. Students are divided into groups of twelve during the screening process for group problem solving, a listening activity and a writing prompt. Portfolios, grades and attendance are factored in. There are typically 300 applicants for 130 seats. (Lydie Raschka, April 2013)

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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 2017-18 NYC School Survey

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
79% Citywide Average
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
83% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
50% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
84% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
83% Citywide Average

From this school's most recent Quality Review Report

Are teachers effective?

From 2017-18 School Quality Guide

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
73% Citywide Average
Years of principal experience at this school

How do students perform academically?

From 2018 State ELA+Math Results Summary

How many middle school students scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
36% Citywide Average
How many middle school students scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
44% Citywide Average

From 2018 Middle School Directory

What high schools do most graduates attend?
Beacon High School, Frank McCourt High School, and Millennium High School
Accelerated courses offered for high school credit
Algebra I, English, Spanish

From 2017-18 School Quality Guide

How many 8th-graders earn high school credit?
29% Citywide Average

Who does this school serve?

From 2017-18 Demographic Snapshot

Free or reduced priced lunch
Students with disabilities
English language learners

From 2017-18 School Quality Guide

Average daily attendance
93% Citywide Average
How many students miss 18 or more days of school?
23% Citywide Average

From 2018 School Directories

Uniforms required?

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?
15% Citywide Average
How many students with disabilities scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
18% 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: 1 Line to 79th St; 2 Line, 3 Line to 72nd St; B Line, C Line to 81st St-Museum of Natural History
Buses: M5, M7, M10, M11, M57, M72, M79-SBS, M104, M86-SBS


Henry Zymeck
Parent Coordinator

Other Details

Shared campus?
This school shares a building with the Anderson School and MS 247
Uniforms required?
Metal detectors?

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