P.S. 93 Albert G. Oliver
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Small class size
Many children miss at least a month of school
PS 93 offers small class sizes for 3-year-olds through 5th grade students. The school has a spacious gymnasium and a renovated library with a full-time librarian. It also boasts a mini soccer field donated by the NYC Soccer Initiative.
Small class size is the norm at PS 93, and this is a plus and a minus, allowing kids more individual time with teachers, but also impacting enrollment and funding for the arts. The school has only one visual arts teacher, though teachers incorporate West African art into literacy lessons, the Comprehensive Educational Plan (CEP) shows.
Most of the classes for 3- and 4-year-olds serve fewer than the enrollment limit. Grades 3 to 5 are also small with roughly 20 students per class.
Test scores have a ways to go. PS 93 serves a large number of students who score Level 1 (out of 4) on the state reading and math tests, according to the CEP. The Quality Review says students who are on grade level and above are not as challenged as they could be as teachers work to help struggling students catch up.
However, the school has seen some gains, particularly in math. PS 93 was one of the first schools in the city to adopt "Building Blocks for Math" in pre-k—short daily math activities for the youngest kids, focused on shapes, counting and patterns. A math coach works to build consistency across the grades and to infuse more hands-on lessons. All children use the same five-step problem-solving plan, according to the CEP, and math is represented through pictures, tables and objects to help kids grasp math concepts a variety of ways.
Many children miss at least a month of school, in part due to illness or bad weather days or to attend doctor appointments. An attendance teacher follows up by phone and makes home visits. A social worker helps families obtain referrals for health services, and assists them with employment, eviction, housing and more.
PS 93 is located south of the Bruckner Expressway. Children who live on the other side of the Bruckner are no longer zoned for the school, so there are fewer students than there once were. The school added three 3K classes in 2018, which boosted enrollment.
Housed in a yellow brick building constructed in 1928, PS 93 has had portable classrooms on its renovated playground for more than three decades. The “mini school,” as the portables are called, house 3-K through 1st grade classes.
The school shares the main building with Icahn Charter School 7. The schools share the cafeteria, gymnasium and the yard. Icahn classes are located mostly on the second and third floors; their students use a separate stairway and have a later dismissal time.
SPECIAL EDUCATION: Integrated co-teaching classes on every grade mix up to twelve children with disabilities into general education classrooms with two teachers. There are also several small mixed-age “self contained” classes for children with disabilities only.
ADMISSIONS: Neighborhood school. (Lydie Raschka, web reports and interview, February 2020)