P.S. 160 Walt Disney
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Barrier-free building and playground
Friction between principal and teachers, surveys show
Most children who attend PS 160 make the short walk to the school from their homes in Coop City, a community of fifteen high-rise buildings. The school building is designed to be accessible to all children, including those with physical challenges. PS 160 opened a dual language English/Spanish pre-kindergarten class in 2019 and will add one grade per year through 5th grade.
One-fourth of the student population has disabilities. To serve them the school has two small mixed-age classrooms with up to twelve students, a variety of therapists for speech and other services, and team-teaching classes on every grade level.
The playground was renovated by a nonprofit organization called Out2Play in 2009. A low basketball hoop, a hand cycler for upper bodywork, and ramps on all climbing equipment make it more accessible than most school playgrounds.
The school has full-time music and art teachers, as well as community partnerships with Dancing Classroom, American Ballet Theater, and Inside Broadway.
While the school has improved academically, there appears to be friction between the principal and the staff. Fewer than half the teachers say the principal is a good manager, and fewer than half recommend the school to interested families, according to NYC School Surveys. Pre-k teachers say they lack the resources they need to meet students’ needs.
The Mosholu Montefiore Community Center provides an after-school day care program that runs until 5:30 pm, and has a summer camp component, the Comprehensive Educational Plan (CEP) shows.
The Equality Charter Middle School opened in the same building in 2009. A District 75 program (X168) for students with autism and intellectual disabilities was added in 2014 and serves grades K through 3. The three schools share the cafeteria, gym and library.
ADMISSIONS: Neighborhood school. (Lydie Raschka, web reports, November 2019)