P.S. 159 Luis Munoz Marin Biling
Share this school
Support for English language learners and families
Poor attendance rates
PS 159 is a tiny neighborhood school with a large number of English language learners. Classes tend to be small and the school fosters personal relationships between staff and students, considering their students’ emotional development as well as academics.
Guidance counselors are on staff to help ensure all students are successful, and students told a Department of Education reviewer that “there is always an adult available to speak to them, support them, and help them be respectful honest, caring [and] responsible.” A morning meeting and an active student council, along with the individual attention, the DOE report found, have had a positive effect on academic performance and kept discipline problems to a minimum, even in the cafeteria. Despite the individual outreach, though, attendance remains a problem with a large and growing percentage of students frequently missing school.
Although one third to one half of its population is still learning to speak English, students at PS 159 do better than their counterparts at similar schools on the state standardized English language arts exam. The school has a large number of bilingual teachers and offers workshops and other resources geared to families whose home language is not English. On the math exam, though, PS 159 scores well below average for the city and for similar schools.
PS 159 teachers responding to a school survey said their students work hard, respect one another, are attentive and participate in class. The teachers said they look forward to coming to work, would recommend the school to families, and gave high marks to Luis Liz, who has been principal since 2007. Families reported that the school regularly communicates with them and makes them feel welcome and respected. A substantial number said the school should provide more afterschool programs and extracurricular activities.
PS 159 has no full-time arts teachers but offers music and visual art to its student with classes taught by classroom teachers and by outside arts groups. It also has a partnership with the New York Road Runners.
ADMISSIONS: Unzoned school. (Gail Robinson, web reports, February 2020)