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Middle School High School

P.S. 200 The James Mccune Smith School

Grades: 3-K, Pre-K, K-5
2589 7 Avenue
Manhattan NY 10039
Phone: 212-491-6636
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Our Insights

What’s Special

Promising new pre-kindergarten classes and good community partnerships

The Downside

Academics in upper grades have a way to go

PS 200 has a promising pre-kindergarten program, cheery and nicely-equipped facilities, and strong community partnerships that provide kids with free medical care, swimming lessons and quality art instruction.

The school has long struggled with declining enrollment and low test scores. Some teachers complain of discipline problems, according to the Learning Environment Survey. But principal Renee Balton is hopeful that the expansion of pre-kindergarten program in 2014 will lead to positive changes in the rest of the school.

The school's pre-k program is headed by the school's long-time, Montessori-trained early childhood director. The pre-k program has a nice mix of play and instruction-based learning. The curriculum emphasizes science and social studies. A day in the life of a pre-k student includes circle time, music and movement, literacy, thematic units, such as a study of dinosaurs, and center time, where classmates work together in small groups on activities such as painting, puzzles or math games. Volunteers from the Harlem YMCA teach American Sign Language (ASL) to pre-k students.

Children in pre-k have their own playground, bathrooms in their rooms, and lunch served in their rooms.

Belton, a former dance student who attended law school and grew up in Harlem, took the helm in 2004, after teaching in the city's public schools for seven years. She has brought in the structured Orton-Gillingham phonics-based program that has been shown to help struggling readers, and staffers say they have already seen results in the upper grades. Belton said she is hopeful that a school-wide shift away from teacher-led lessons and toward a more progressive, hands-on approach will foster a love of learning and translate into better academic results.

The school makes good use of community partnerships to help bolster academics, services and supports for students. For instance, Harlem Hospital sponsors an on-site clinic staffed by a physician assistant and a registered nurse where children receive inoculations, physicals and any other type of medical care they require. Those who need further medical care can be evaluated in the clinic before being transferred to the hospital. In addition to volunteer ASL instructors, the YMCA provides an after-school program, ESL instruction for parents, and both tutors and teaching assistants for kindergarten and first grade. Swimming instruction starts in third grade.

Partnerships also help provide a welcoming school environment. Rich student artwork is on display thanks to a program with Studio in a School, which sponsors teaching artists to provide art instruction in city schools.

School facilities include a cheery, well-stocked library, a dance studio, a small auditorium and an outdoor yard with a climbing equipment and tricycles for young students to ride. A roof garden is slated to open at the start of 2014-15 school year. Unfortunately, the school currently lacks a gymnasium. Physical education classes are held  in a multi-purpose room. (Mahalia Watson, April 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 this school's most recent Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS)

Instruction: Teachers ask kids to explain their reasoning when they solve problems

From this school's most recent Early Childhood Environmental Rating System (ECERS-R)

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

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

Pre-K seats
3-K seats
This school offers Transitional Bilingual Education in Spanish.
This school offers Dual Language classes 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


Harlem (District 5)
Trains: A Line, B Line, C Line, D Line to 145th St; 3 Line to Harlem - 148 St
Buses: Bx13, Bx19, Bx6, M1, M10, M102, M2, M3, M7


Renee Belton
Parent Coordinator
Garry Fields

Other Details

Shared campus?
This school shares a building with Frederick Douglass Academy

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

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