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Elementary School Middle School High School

P.S. 36 Margaret Douglas

Grades: 3-K, Pre-K, K-5
123 Morningside Drive
Manhattan NY 10027
Phone: 212-690-5807
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Our Insights

What’s Special

New principal has won the trust of teachers

The Downside

Academics have a long way to go

PS 36, perched on a rock outcropping just around the corner from Teachers College, has long suffered from low levels of academic achievement. The building could use some sprucing up and classrooms need more supplies. But a dynamic new principal, who arrived in 2012, has taken steps to improve attendance, motivate teachers and hire staff to help with behavior problems. While the school has a long way to go, there are signs it is moving in the right direction.

More than 90 percent of teachers say the principal, Heather Jn Baptist, is an effective manager, compared to barely half of the teachers who said the same of her predecessor. Nearly 90 percent of teachers said order and discipline were maintained in 2012-13, compared to fewer than half the year before, according to the Learning Environment Survey.

I love the principal, 5th-grade teacher Pamela Eccles told us. Her door is always open and she is willing to do whatever she can. Eccles teaches her students poetry and has regular communication with parents.

On our visit, we met friendly office staff and some inspired teachers. A very committed music teacher gives a lot of his personal time to provide great experiences for the kids. The music room is well-equipped. Children learn to sing and play percussion instruments, the recorder and keyboards; a few also learn to play the guitar after school. Each year, there is a theme, such as music of the Caribbean.

A pre-kindergarten teacher helped children explore the topic of water, explaining that children in different parts of the world are hungry and that water is very precious to them. This teacher brought in members of the community to talk to the children about water and conservation. The gym teachers daughter, born in Africa, spoke about her experience carrying water on her head to provide for the entire family. (The class then adopted an African family and helped them to get clean water.) Another visitor to the class was a sanitation worker who discussed recycling.

Allison Mathurin, a warm and nurturing guidance counselor, gets high marks from colleagues.

Unfortunately, the quality of teaching is uneven: We heard one teacher use poor grammar. Classrooms lack resources and there are few books in classroom libraries. The playgrounds are old and run-down. The slide in the pre-k playground has electric tape covering what looks like a hole at the bottom and a piece of wood blocking the entrance so that kids will not use it. Teachers told us budget cuts, caused by declining enrollment at the school, have had a serious impact on their work.

Still, PS 36 has potential, and if the principal can encourage more parents to enroll their children, the school may begin to turn around.

Admissions: Neighborhood school. (Mahalia Watson, May 2014)

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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 2018-19 NYC School Survey

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
79% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
81% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
83% Citywide Average

From 2017-18 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 2018-19 School Quality Guide

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
80% Citywide Average
Years of principal experience at this school

How do students perform academically?

From 2018 State ELA+Math Results Summary

How many elementary school students scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
51% Citywide Average
How many elementary school students scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
49% Citywide Average

What is the Pre-K like?

From the NYC Program Assessment (CLASS and ECERS-R) Database through 2018-2019

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 2018-19 Demographic Snapshot

Free or reduced priced lunch
Students with disabilities
English language learners
Pre-K seats
3-K seats

From 2018-19 School Quality Guide

Average daily attendance
93% Citywide Average
How many students miss 18 or more days of school?
25% Citywide Average

From 2018 School Directories

This school offers Transitional Bilingual Education in Spanish.

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?
28% 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?
28% Citywide Average
How many English language learners scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
17% Citywide Average

For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data · More DOE statistics for this school

Contact & Location


Morningside Heights (District 5)
Trains: 1 Line, A Line, B Line, C Line, D Line to 125th St
Buses: Bx15, M10, M100, M104, M11, M116, M2, M3, M4, M5, M60-SBS


Heather Jn Baptist
Parent Coordinator
Lisa Flores

Other Details

Shared campus?
This school is in its own building.

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

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