P.S. 157 Grove Hill
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A focus on trust and respect
Many children miss a least a month of school
Housed on a little hill in Mott Haven, PS 157 is known for its respectful and trusting tone. School leaders greet children as they arrive in the morning to start the day off right. “Every student is known well by at least one adult,” according to the Quality Review Report. The school has won several awards in the city’s Respect for All campaign.
Principal Ramona Duran has led the school since 1999. She trained at Bank Street College and Teachers College, Columbia University, but she's found their progressive approaches are not structured enough for her many first-generation immigrant families.
A focus on reading and writing starts early, with homework in pre-kindergarten. The youngest kids enjoy block-building, LEGOs and finger puppets, but learning through play or "choice" time in kindergarten is only on "fun Fridays."
Field trips help bring lessons to life. Kindergartners visit a firehouse, a pizza parlor and St. Mary's Park. Older children take trips to the Intrepid, the Bronx Zoo and the Tenement Museum. Children plant seeds and harvest vegetables in their own courtyard garden.
PS 157 has long had low attendance; many children miss at least a month of school. An attendance team has tried various solutions, such as helping a child with a long commute find a school closer to home, and keeping nebulizers and pumps at school for children with asthma.
PS 157 offers chorus and visual art for grades 3 – 5, and a public speaking program for 5th-graders. Third grade classes participate in a program with the New York City Ballet and see The Nutcracker. Several forms of dance (jazz, tap, ballet) and visual art are woven into social studies lessons, according to the Arts in Schools Report.
ADMISSIONS: District 7 choice. (Lydie Raschka, web reports, April, 2020)