The Family School

Grades: 3-K, Pre-K, K-5
1116 Sheridan Avenue
Bronx NY 10456
Phone: 718-538-3266

Our Insights

What’s Special

Strong leadership team, safe and welcoming atmosphere

The Downside

No outdoor play space

The Family School has made good strides in recent years, not only in a better safety and tone, but also in effective academic instruction that takes into account different styles and paces of learning. It offers a dual language program in English and Spanish, and extends a warm welcome to families. 

The school has a strong, respected, no-nonsense leader in principal Rowena Penn, who took the helm in 2015, when state test score percentages were well below the citywide average. While scores still have a ways to go, they are improving each year under her leadership. This includes test results for children with disabilities and those learning to speak English. Extra instruction for struggling students and enrichment for high-achievers takes place after school, on Saturday and in the early morning. 

Classrooms were calm when we visited. Children worked well together in small groups, with or without a teacher, as well as independently on a variety of tasks. Teachers do not neglect basic reading and math skills, such as multiplication facts or phonics, but kids also delve into creative writing and are allowed choice about topics they want to read and write about, and how they solve problems in math. Penn wants her students to “have it all,” −a solid grounding in skills as well as extra enrichment if they’re ready. 

Pre-kindergarten is a year devoted to exploration and learning through play. Teachers emphasize big new words—like blueprint, concrete, construction—as kids explore themes, such as “Where I live.” In newsletters posted on the website, teachers in each grade outline what kids are learning so parents can follow up at home. Kindergartners take neighborhood walks to explore their surroundings through their five senses; fourth graders study Native Americans of New York State; 5th graders research how geography impacted Inuit, Pueblo and Mayan culture. 

Parents and caregivers are welcome. They are invited to a monthly “chat and chew” with the principal, honor roll breakfasts and more. Parent workshops may include tips on how to help a child with reading or homework. There are also adult classes for English language learners 

Attendance is rewarded at the school and the progress in this area is good. Yet it is still a work-in-progress: roughly one-third of the students miss at least a month of school. 

The Family School has music and visual arts classes, as well as an array of physical fitness activities, but lacks an outdoor play space.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: Team-teaching classes incorporate up to twelve students with disabilities into general education classrooms; one teacher is certified in special education. 

ADMISSIONS: Zoned neighborhood school. (Jacquie Wayans, Oct. 2019) 

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

This school offers Dual Language classes in Spanish.

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


Concourse (District 9)
Trains: 4 Line, B Line, D Line to 167th St
Buses: Bx1, Bx11, Bx13, Bx18, Bx2, Bx32, Bx35, Bx41


Rowena Penn
Parent Coordinator
Cinthia Rodriguez

Other Details

Shared campus?
This school shares a building with Sheridan Academy
Metal detectors?

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

You may also like …

Wildflower New York Charter School

1332 Fulton Avenue
Bronx, NY 10456

P.S. 132 Garret A. Morgan

1245 Washington Avenue
Bronx, NY 10456


  • Is this your school? Please post any news, updates, events, changes, or other information!
  • We welcome questions, open discussions, and disagreements but comments with personal attacks, rude language, or those with seemingly malicious intent will be deleted.
  • Very long comments, those that contain links, or repeat comments may be blocked by our spam filter.
  • Problems? email us at [email protected].
  • Users must comply with our Terms of Use.