P.S. 24 Spuyten Duyvil
A robust arts program and passionate teachers
PS 24 is housed in a pleasant, two-story red-brick building on a street lined with maple trees. Built in the 1950s, the building is spotless, with shiny floors and polished brass rails. It has an art studio, a well-equipped library, and a science room that even has a planetarium. Instrumental music is offered in all grades. Classrooms are large and sunny.
Long one of the highest performing schools in the Bronx, PS 24 has suffered in recent years from significant overcrowding and squabbling between the administration and staff.
There has long been bad blood between some teachers and the administration. The New York Post had a field day when former Principal Donna Connelly apparently tossed teachers desks on the street and was quoted as saying "It's the 21st Century. You don't need desks!" Connelly, who replaced a principal forced out by teachers who accused him of religious proselytizing in 2009, was forced out herself in 2015.
Overcrowding has been particularly severe since 2015, when the school lost a lease on an annex that had housed 5th-graders and a lunchroom was converted into four classrooms.
The school made the news again in 2016 when a state assemblyman, Jeffrey Dinowitz, accused the PS 24 administration of contributing to overcrowding by allowing children from outside the school zone to enroll. Assistant Principal Manuele Verdi, meanwhile, filed a lawsuit accusing a Dinowitz staffer of reviewing kindergarten applications at the school with the goal of excluding low-income children and children of color.
These problems haven't diminished the school's popularity. The school has a district-wide gifted and talented program, which is routinely filled to capacity.
SPECIAL EDUCATION: The school has ICT team-teaching classes on every grade that mix a portion of children with disabilities into general classes with two teachers. Other supports include occupational therapists, speech and physical therapists, and school psychologists.
ADMISSIONS: Zoned, neighborhood school.(Clara Hemphill, web reports and school data, August 2016)