P.S. 195 Manhattan Beach
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High academic standards
No dedicated music or art teachers
Housed in a charming building topped by a cupola in a well-to-do neighborhood overlooking Sheepshead Bay, PS 195 feels like a school in a small town. Test scores are consistently among the highest in the city, and class size is increasing along with the school's popularity.
The city's Quality Review rates the school "well developed," the highest rating a school can receive. The report stresses the extent to which this learning community values self-reflection and improvement, be it for teachers or students. Children receive on-going feedback about their work, and teachers receive four to six written forms of feedback, seen by administrators as critical as they shift to the goals in the Common Core State Standards.
A downside is the lack of a music or art teacher, although classroom teachers integrate art into all curriculum areas, according to the Annual Arts in Schools report. Third-graders may participate in an after-school program offering puppetry, photography and quilting. Fourth- and 5th-graders participate in Learning through an Expanded Arts Program (LEAP), which takes place during the day. In the LEAP program students create apps, games and inventions as they learn to solve problems. The budget summary shows the school has one dance teacher and one physical education teacher. Ballroom dance is listed on the school's website.
Parents are invited to monthly ceremonies that honor the child who becomes the Citizen of the Month, as well as workshops they choose by filling out aquestionnaire.
Principal Bernadette Toomey replaced longtime principal Arthur Forman in 2012, and successfully led the school through the disruption caused by Hurricane Sandy that year. Most teachers feel she is a good manager.
Special education: The population is small but those who do have special needs score average or above average compared with other schools.
Admissions: Neighborhood school.(Lydie Raschka, web reports and school data, September 2014)Read more