P.S. 36 Unionport

Grades: Pre-K, K-5
1070 Castle Hill Avenue
Bronx NY 10472
Phone: 718-822-5345

Our Insights

What’s Special

Longtime steady leadership and seasoned staff

The Downside

Some class sizes are large

PS 36 is a well-regarded neighborhood school in the southeast Bronx led by a long-time principal and a seasoned staff who welcome an ethnically diverse population. The staff continues to hone their practice to serve a wide range of learners.

Newcomers arrive throughout the school year—some speaking Spanish, Arabic, Bengali, Chinese or Thai—and are greeted with smiles and information. The school celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month, Black History Month, Chinese New Year and other special days. There are two ENL (English as a New Language) teachers on staff, and several others who are dual-certified in elementary education and ENL.  

The school's century-old building has remnants of past glory, with Tiffany chandeliers in the auditorium, stained glass windows, and an oak-and-leather banquette in a hallway. It boasts a renovated library with a librarian, and music, visual arts and dance programs.

Principal Elvira Maresca was assistant principal for ten years at this school before becoming principal in 2009, and has said she runs PS 36 "like a parochial school," with an emphasis on traditional values and methods, and a formal, respectful tone. Yet in recent years the school has adopted new practices to infuse more rigor in instruction, including more student discussion in math, and more choice in reading and writing, according to the school’s Comprehensive Educational Plan (CEP).

Results so far look good: state test scores are beginning to rise. Teachers work with consultants from the Teachers College Reading and Writing Program, as well as a math coach, and do more small-group instruction than in the past. Kids choose books on topics of interest and write multiple drafts in writing; they learn to edit their own work from a young age.  At the same time, struggling readers get the support they need using highly structured phonics programs, such as Fundations and Sounds in Motion, according to the CEP. 

PS 36 works with Yale University’s Center for Emotional Intelligence. In this program, called by the acronym RULER, kids and adults practice recognizing, understanding, labeling, expressing and regulating their emotions. 

Some classes run large with more than 30 students.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: Every grade has an ICT (integrated co-teaching) classroom that mixes up to twelve children with disabilities into general education classrooms. There are several small "self-contained" classrooms, as well as services such as speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, hearing services and adaptive physical education. 

ADMISSIONS: Zoned neighborhood school. (Lydie Raschka, web reports, January 2020) 




Read more

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 the principal is an effective manager?
86% Citywide Average

From 2019-20 NY State Report Card

How many students were suspended?
0% 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?
86% 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?
51% Citywide Average
How many elementary school students scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
50% 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 2020-21 Demographic Snapshot

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

From 2019-20 School Quality Guide

Average daily attendance
92% Citywide Average
How many students miss 18 or more days of school?
26% Citywide Average

From 2020 School Directories

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?
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


Unionport (District 8)
Trains: 6 Line to Castle Hill Ave
Buses: Bx22, Bx4, Bx5, Q44, Q50


Elvira Maresca
Parent Coordinator
Karina Ali

Other Details

Shared campus?
This school is in its own building.
Metal detectors?

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

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