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Community Action School - MS 258

Grades: 6-8
Staff Pick Staff Pick for Special Ed
154 West 93rd Street
Manhattan NY 10025
Phone: 212-678-5888

Our Insights

What’s Special

Supportive teachers; promotes a love of reading

The Downside

Test scores, while improving, are only average

MS 258 Community Action School (CAS), a tiny school with a winning mix of structure and free expression, is undergoing a mini renaissance. A renovated art room, laptops for all children, and a new focus on challenging classes for top students have made this a school to watch. Children and parents are quick to say, "I love this school." Test scores are rising. Teachers rarely leave.

Unlike some higher-profile schools, CAS rolls out the red carpet for prospective parents. Two parents actually cried when they told us how welcome they felt when they met parent coordinator Karla Fittipaldi and the staff. The school, which once served mostly low-income families, is gradually becoming more ethnically, racially and economically diverse.

Staff members go the extra mile. Parents are happy they can email teachers, and say the parent coordinator picks up the phone. “If there’s anything they can help you with, they will,” said an 8th-grade parent. Children say teachers “take you to the side” to explain tricky concepts, and invite you to stop by at lunch if you need help. One student said he was able to return to school to retrieve his forgotten homework assignment at 6 p.m. because his teacher was still at school.

The school has long done a good job boosting academic achievement for students who enter with weak skills. Now it is also finding ways to push stronger students. For example, it offers Regents-level algebra and living environment.

Teachers bring history to life. As 7th-graders wrote about jazz great Duke Ellington and African American poet Langston Hughes, a child told us, “I think it’s cool that we’re learning about our past. The Harlem Renaissance was what started to make this city more equal.”

After the lesson, 7th-graders gathered in the school’s large auditorium to hear a racially diverse quartet visiting from Jazz at Lincoln Center.

The school promotes a love of reading. Children in all grades read for about 45 minutes three times a week during the school day. Classrooms are stocked with large book collections. In addition to reading articles and essays, the whole class studies a novel or memoir together in depth, such as To Kill a Mockingbird, delving into themes and elements of a story.

Students say misbehavior is rare and is dealt with promptly through "send-outs,” a short time-out in another classroom, or loss of privileges, like trips.

Longtime assistant principal Andrew Sullivan took the helm in 2017 when the former principal, John Curry, who founded the school in 1994, left to work at the Department of Education. Teachers praise Sullivan for his attention to detail and his even-tempered leadership. “Everybody likes Andrew,” said a staffer.

The building is shared with MS 256 Lafayette Academy and Manhattan School for Children, a laid-back K-8 school. After-school clubs include chess, cross-country, soccer, drama, student government, martial arts and yoga.

Popular high schools graduates attend include Young Women's Leadership AcademyManhattan iSchoolEast Side Community and Pace, while a handful go to Beacon.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: The school has long been at the forefront of "inclusion," integrating children with disabilities in general education classes with two teachers. It has a rare class called ACES with only seven children who have serious cognitive impairments.

ADMISSIONS: Families are encouraged to tour classes to get a feel for the school. All students that apply will have an interview with a staff member and will complete a math, reading and writing assessment. (Lydie Raschka, May 2018)


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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 2022-2023 NYC School Survey

How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
78% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
58% 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?
0% Citywide Average

From the 2019-20 NY State Report Card

How many students were suspended?
4% 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?
79% 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 middle school students scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
46% Citywide Average
How many middle school students scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
51% Citywide Average

From 2023 End-of-year Attendance and Chronic Absenteeism Report

How many 8th-graders earn high school credit?
39% Citywide Average

Who does this school serve?

From the 2022-23 Demographic Snapshot

Free or reduced priced lunch
Students with disabilities
English language learners

From 2023 End-of-year Attendance and Chronic Absenteeism Report

Average daily attendance
90% Citywide Average
How many students miss 18 or more days of school?
38% 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 English language learners scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
15% 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, 2 Line, 3 Line, B Line, C Line to 96th St
Buses: M10, M104, M106, M11, M5, M7, M86-SBS, M96


Andrew Sullivan
Parent Coordinator
Karla Fittipaldi

Other Details

Shared campus?
This school shares a building with MS 256 and PS 333
Uniforms required?
Metal detectors?

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