P.S. 125 Ralph Bunche

Grades Pre-K, K-5
Noteworthy
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What’s Special

Nice pre-kindergarten classes, small classes allow for individualized learning, swimming pool

The Downside

Poor attendance, no licensed phys ed teacher, low enrollment means a limited budget

Our Review

A tiny school with a sweet atmosphere, PS 125 shows how a multiracial group of parents can work together to improve their neighborhood schooleven in a district with few good options.

"I remember parents would get together in the park and talk about 'Where do we go?'" said Tomoi Zeimer, whose child now attends PS 125. "Either it's a super-expensive private school or a really low-rated public school. We thought, 'Is there a way that we can go into a school and make it better?'"

PS 125 has long had a popular Pre-k, but many parents left for kindergarten. That's partly because the upper grades had a traditional approach to education, not the play-based or child-centered approach that many parents said they wanted. "There were so many parents looking for a progressive choice, but one didn't exist in the district," said Daiyu Suzuki, father of two PS 125 pupils.

Parents lobbied the principal and superintendent to adopt a less scripted approach to teaching. The principal, Reginald Higgins, agreed, and enlisted Julie Zuckerman, the principal of Castle Bridge School in Washington Heights, to serve as a mentor. Higgins worked with Borough of Manhattan Community College to help revise the curriculum and coach teachers.

Higgins plans to introduce the progressive techniques one grade at a time, beginning with the youngest children. His plan seems to be working: On our visit, the lower grades had excellent teachers, engaged kids, and beautifully equipped classrooms, and the upper grade teachers seemed excited by the prospect of change. Enrollment is increasing after a long decline.

Attendance is well below average and test scores have room for improvement. But our visits convinced us the school is moving in the right direction. "We haven't seen a final product yet," said Suzuki. "We're a community in the making."

SPECIAL EDUCATION: The school has both self-contained and ICT (integrated co-teaching) classes.

ADMISSIONS: Neighborhood school. (Mahalia Watson and Clara Hemphill, April 2015; updated August 2016)

About the students

Enrollment
262
Pre-K seats
47
Asian
4.2%
Black
42.4%
Hispanic
38.2%
White
11.5%
Other
3.8%
Free or reduced priced lunch
73%
Students with disabilities
18%
English language learners
8%

About the school

Shared campus?
Yes
This school shares its building with Columbia Secondary School and KIPP STAR Charter Middle School
Metal detectors?
No
How crowded? (Full is 100%)
116%
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Attendance

Average daily attendance
91%
94% Citywide Average
How many students are chronically absent?
40%
21% Citywide Average

Is this school safe?

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
100%
82% Citywide Average
How many teachers say their students are safe outside around this school?
77%
88% Citywide Average

About the leadership

Years of principal experience at this school
4.8
6.6 Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
100%
82% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal has a clear vision for this school?
100%
90% Citywide Average
How many teachers trust the principal?
100%
82% Citywide Average

About the teachers

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
94%
78% Citywide Average
Teacher attendance
97%
96% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
100%
85% Citywide Average
How many teachers think the staff collaborate to make this school run effectively?
100%
89% Citywide Average

Do parents like the school?

How many parents responded to the school survey?
40%
65% Citywide Average
How many parents say they are invited to visit classrooms?
82%
85% Citywide Average
How many parents say this school offers enough courses, activities and services to keep their children interested in school?
96%
86% Citywide Average
How many parents say their child's teacher helped their child adjust to Pre-K?
100%
98% Citywide Average
How many parents say this Pre-K program helped them consider which elementary schools would meet their childrens' needs?
89%
92% Citywide Average
How many Pre-K parents say their child's teacher gave helpful ideas for how to support their child's learning?
94%
97% Citywide Average
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Test scores

How many students scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
56%
43% Citywide Average
How many students scored 3-4 on the state ELA exam?
56%
42% Citywide Average

Arts offerings

This school has 2 dedicated spaces for Music and Media arts
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

How does this school serve students with disabilities?

This school offers self-contained classes
This school offers team teaching (ICT)
Average math score for ICT students
2.77
2.0 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for ICT students
2.42
1.9 Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
100%
86% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school works to achive the goals of their students' IEPs?
93%
91% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say they are satisfied with the IEP development process at this school?
100%
89% Citywide Average
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data
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Location

425 West 123 Street
Manhattan NY 10027
Morningside Heights (District 5)
Trains: 1, A, B, C, D to 125th St
Buses: Bx15, M10, M100, M104, M11, M116, M2, M3, M4, M5, M60-SBS

Contact

Phone
212-666-6400
Principal
Reginald Higgins
Parent Coordinator
Griselda Hernandez

Zone for the 2017-2018 school year. Call school to confirm.

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