P.S. 333 Manhattan School for Children

Grades: K-8
Staff Pick for Special Ed Noteworthy
154 West 93rd Street
Manhattan NY 10025
Phone: 212-222-1450

Our Insights

What’s Special

Unusual level of parent involvement, beautiful science lab

The Downside

Friction between administration and staff

At Manhattan School for Children, housed in the former Joan of Arc Junior High School building, kids call teachers by their first names and parents are welcome throughout the day. Parents come right to the classroom to drop off their children, and many stay for a few minutes to read a book or chat. A wide corridor serves as an informal meeting place for parents, kids, and teachers during the day.

Manhattan School for Children is a pioneer in including children with special needs (particularly physical challenges) in regular classrooms, and the children are accepting of one another, whether they use a wheelchair or a walker or have difficulty speaking clearly. Classrooms are sunny and cheerful, and there are plenty of books and supplies. A stunning rooftop greenhouse serves as a science lab. The school has a nice wheelchair-accessible playground surrounded by red oak trees and shrubs.

Some of the classrooms are a bit messy, but Principal Claire Lowenstein says that’s part of the plan. "Through messiness can come genius," she said.

Lowenstein, a former assistant principal and long-time teacher at the school, was named principal in February 2014, replacing the founding principal, Susan Rappaport, who retired. Unfortunately, there is friction between Lowenstein and staff; fewer than half the teachers responding to school surveys say they trust the principal and barely one-third say she is an effective leader.

The school places as much emphasis on children's social and emotional development as it does on academics, and children seem to be unusually kind to one another. The school encourages friendships across the grades and it’s common to see older children helping younger children. Firmly in the progressive camp, the administration favors learning by doing. For example, kindergartners watch duck eggs hatch in classroom incubators, hooked up to a webcam so they can also watch them at home. Children may build a terrarium in the greenhouse or draw a timeline representing the history of the subway. They also may spend several days on a math problem, learning fractions by imagining they have to divide sandwiches among their classmates.

The administration believes in the importance of recess, not just as a time to run around but also a time to develop social skills. Recess times are staggered; some children go out to play as early as 9:15 am and others go out after lunch.

The arts offerings are rich, and Manhattan School for Children has full-time teachers for visual art, dance, drama and storytelling. The school launched a music program in the lower grades in 2015, with the hope of expanding it to upper grades in coming years. Children put on an annual musical with singing and dancing.

For years, some parents have complained that the atmosphere may be too relaxed, but many others defend the school with a passion and are thrilled with the experience their children are getting. While many children once left after 5th grade, students are increasingly staying for middle school. Top students are admitted to some of the city’s most selective and demanding high schools, including LaGuardia High School for Music and Art and Performing Arts.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: The school, which is wheelchair-accessible, is at the forefront of "inclusion," integrating disabled children in general education classes. The school goes to great lengths to help disabled children take part in regular classes. For example, a keyboard with pictures allows a child who cannot speak to express himself. Most classes have at least two teachers. The school does not admit severely disabled children from District 75 and does not have segregated or self-contained classes.

ADMISSIONS: Admissions are by lottery, limited to District 3. For details, see the school's website. (Clara Hemphill, May 2014, updated with surveys on friction between teachers and principal, June 2019)


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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 2019-20 NYC School Survey

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
71% Citywide Average
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
84% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
51% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
78% Citywide Average

From 2019-20 NY State Report Card

How many students were suspended?
2% Citywide Average

From this school's most recent Quality Review Report

Are teachers effective?

From 2019-20 School Quality Guide

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

From 2021 Middle School Directory

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

From 2019-20 School Quality Guide

How many 8th-graders earn high school credit?
32% Citywide Average

Who does this school serve?

From 2020-21 Demographic Snapshot

Free or reduced priced lunch
Students with disabilities
English language learners

From 2019-20 School Quality Guide

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

From 2020 School Directories

Uniforms required?

How does this school serve special populations?

From 2019 State ELA+Math Results Summary

How many students with disabilities scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
25% Citywide Average
How many students with disabilities scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
22% 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


Claire Lowenstein
Parent Coordinator
Malaka Banks

Other Details

Shared campus?
This school shares a building with MS 256 and MS 258
Uniforms required?
Metal detectors?


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