P.S. 164 Caesar Rodney

Grades Pre-K, K-5
Staff Pick
4211 14 Avenue
Brooklyn NY 11219
Phone: 718-854-4100
Marquee homepage

Our Insights

What’s Special

Well-rounded school with solid academics and a rich music program

The Downside

A room with pillars serves as the gymnasium

PS 164 delivers quality special education, offers gifted and talented classes and boasts a robust music program. Until recently, students in this orderly neighborhood school, which has served immigrant children for more than 100 years, recited the Pledge of Allegiance and sang "The Star Spangled Banner" every morning. The staff is moving away from a traditional teaching approach to a more modern approach, with good results: Test scores are in the "high average" citywide range, and improving.

The building is located in a largely Orthodox Jewish neighborhood where many children enroll in religious schools. Enrollment is rising at PS 164, however, as the school admits children from across the district into their gifted and talented program. It is also serving more children of Chinese and Eastern European ancestry than in the past, and accepts students from PS 69 and PS 160, which are overcrowded.

Principal Erica Steinberg, a former special education teacher and former assistant principal at PS 32 in Brooklyn, replaced principal Margaret Choy-Shan in 2014. Choy-Shan left the school in very good shape; the Department of Education called the school "well-developed," the highest ranking, on the 2013-2014 Quality Review.

Recognizing that children learn at different rates, Principal Steinberg and Assistant Principal Melissa Jamieson have emphasized a shift from a more traditional, lecture-style of teaching to increased small group instruction. "I meet more often with those who need it," said a veteran teacher, who seemed to welcome the change.

In order to help children who are still learning English, teachers enlist the help of bilingual children or staff in the building. For example, a 4th-grade Hungarian student was thrilled to be able to help out (and befriend) a 5th-grade Hungarian classmate during reading time, and a Mandarin-speaking teaching assistant was helping out in a kindergarten with many Mandarin-speaking children.

A full-time math specialist meets with children once a week, and works with teachers too. One result: A color-coded, step-by-step chart to make it easier for children to work through long word problems.

PS 164 is known for its strong music program. Fifth-graders sat straight and tall in their seats as teacher Peter Mancini (a former baker) conducted them in singing the national anthem, giving keen attention to phrasing and enunciation, with surprisingly moving results. More than 40 children participate in the afterschool band; students meet with Mancini during lunch to learn their instruments. The school has a partnership with the Metropolitan Opera Guild; children learn about the historical context and other aspects of an opera before attending a performance.

Most classrooms are filled to capacity but the rooms are so airy and spacious, the children so calm, and the ceilings so high, that they don't feel uncomfortable. A few classrooms are led by two adults, one trained in special education; the gifted classrooms have only 15 students.

The school has separate rooms and trained teachers for music, art, science, library, math, English as a second language (ESL) and special education. Depending on the size of the school budget, however, teachers have sometimes had to lead physical education themselves in a makeshift gymnasium.

Special education: Team-taught classes in several grades mix children with special needs with their general education peers in one room. Several "self-contained" classes hold up to 12 children with special needs only. More than a dozen teaching assistants work one-on-one with children who need further assistance. Parents are pleased that their children are included in all activities, according to school satisfaction surveys. A District 75 program occupies part of the fourth floor and serves children on the autism spectrum.

Admissions: Neighborhood school.(Lydie Raschka, October 2014)

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 2016-17 NYC School Survey

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
89%
81% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
100%
82% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
98%
85% Citywide Average

From this school's most recent Quality Review Report

Are teachers effective?

From 2016-17 School Quality Guide

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
76%
77% Citywide Average
Years of principal experience at this school
2.9

How do students perform academically?

From 2017 State ELA+Math Results Summary

How many elementary school students scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
56%
43% Citywide Average
How many elementary school students scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
49%
42% Citywide Average

What is the Pre-K like?

From this school's most recent Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS)

Instruction: Teachers ask kids to explain their reasoning when they solve problems

From this school's most recent Early Childhood Environmental Rating System (ECERS-R)

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 2017-18 Demographic Snapshot

Enrollment
709
Asian
43%
Black
2%
Hispanic
42%
White
13%
Other
1%
Free or reduced priced lunch
82%
Students with disabilities
17%
English language learners
19%

From 2016-17 School Quality Guide

Average daily attendance
96%
93% Citywide Average
How many students miss 18 or more days of school?
11%
23% Citywide Average

From 2018 School Directories

Pre-K seats
36
This school offers Transitional Bilingual Education in Chinese and Spanish.

How does this school serve special populations?

From 2017 State ELA+Math Results Summary

How many students with disabilities scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
20%
21% Citywide Average
How many students with disabilities scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
17%
15% Citywide Average
How many English language learners scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
17%
21% Citywide Average
How many English language learners scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
4%
9% Citywide Average


For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data · More DOE statistics for this school

Contact & Location

Location

Borough Park (District 20)
Trains: G Line to Church Ave; F Line to Ditmas Ave; D Line to 50th St
Buses: B11, B16, B35, B67

Contact

Principal
Erica Steinberg
Parent Coordinator
Solange Cisneros Steine

Other Details

Shared campus?
No
This school is in its own building.
Metal detectors?
No

Zone for the 2017-2018 school year. Call school to confirm.

Comments

  • 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 contact@insideschools.org.
  • Users must comply with our Terms of Use.

You may also like …

P.S. 160 William T. Sampson

5105 Fort Hamilton Parkway
Brooklyn, NY 11219

P.S. 105 The Blythebourne

1031 59th Street
Brooklyn, NY 11219