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Middle School High School

Learners and Leaders

Grades: Pre-K, 1-5
378 Seneca Avenue
Queens NY 11385
Phone: 718-366-1061

Our Insights

What’s Special

Focus on early childhood learning; new building

The Downside

Cafeteria doubles as auditorium

PS 305 Learners and Leaders, an early childhood program serving grades pre-K-2, opened its doors in September 2008 in a brand new building in Ridgewood, providing a nurturing, child-centered environment.

Building and location: PS 305 is located in Ridgewood, surrounded by a mix of residential and commercial buildings in a quiet neighborhood. The school is safe and inviting. The small school makes good use of its space. The cafeteria doubles as its auditorium; a multi-purpose room serves as the gymnasium. PS 305 has a large library with a full-time librarian who works with classroom teachers to foster the students love of reading. Each classroom has its own bathroom. The play yard is securely fenced-in behind the building.

School culture and environment: The pre-K-2 educational model at PS 305 was the vision of Principal Lynn Botfeld. According to Botfeld, traditional elementary schools are formed for grades 3, 4, and 5. She feels that they often do not place enough emphasis on early childhood instruction and curriculum development. Botfeld asserts that the primary mission of Learners and Leaders is to provide rigorous academics in a nurturing environment, so that younger students are able to thrive academically, socially, and emotionally, she says.

The visual displays posted on walls in hallways and classrooms emphasize the importance of reading and letter recognition. One parent said that her 1st-grader had developed a love of books and that her reading level had increased tremendously. While the school does not enforce a dress code, parents joined together to create a standard brown and white student uniform.

Teaching and curriculum: PS 305 uses a workshop-model curriculum that consists of short lessons for the entire class, followed by individual and small group work. Collaboration among teachers and staff is common. On the day of our visit, a physical education teacher incorporated letter and color visuals into a physical activity. In another classroom, a para-professional led a class reading activity as the teacher prepared the classroom tables for small-group work. Students were very attentive and well behaved. The school also features an arts-inquiry group, led by two English as a Second Language teachers, that integrates visual arts into instruction across all grade levels.

Partnerships and programs: PS 305 partners with the NYC Food Bank to bring in CookShop Classroom, a program designed to encourage children to eat more wholesome foods.

Special education: PS 305 hosts one self-contained classroom. Students are mainstreamed whenever possible, the principal said. The students in the self-contained classroom attend physical education class once or twice per week with students from the general education population.

English language learners: More than 70% of PS 305s students are of Hispanic heritage. Others speak Polish, Vietnamese, Taglog, and Romanian. The schools two ESL teachers work with classroom teachers during the literacy block for 45 to 90 minutes, depending on student proficiency levels.

After school: At the time of our visit, PS305 was developing a partnership with the Ridgewood YMCA [p1] to bring in an after-school program focused on providing reading and homework support.

Family involvement: Parents are very involved. Parents Association President Tania Torres stated that parents are very happy with the way the school is run and that Botfelds open-door policy makes the entire school a close-knit family. Once a month, the school holds family field trips to cultural and historical venues in New York City.

Admissions: PS 305 is a neighborhood school.

After graduation: Students at PS 305 transition to PS 81 following the completion of 2nd grade. (Ray Fredrick, November 2009)

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 2018-19 NYC School Survey

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
79% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
81% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
83% Citywide Average

From 2017-18 NY State Report Card

How many students were suspended?
1% Citywide Average

From this school's most recent Quality Review Report

Are teachers effective?

From 2017-18 School Quality Guide

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
78% Citywide Average
Years of principal experience at this school

How do students perform academically?

From 2018 State ELA+Math Results Summary

How many elementary school students scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
51% Citywide Average
How many elementary school students scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
49% 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 2018-19 Demographic Snapshot

Free or reduced priced lunch
Students with disabilities
English language learners

From 2017-18 School Quality Guide

Average daily attendance
93% Citywide Average
How many students miss 18 or more days of school?
25% Citywide Average

From 2018 School Directories

Pre-K seats
This school offers Dual Language classes in Spanish.

How does this school serve special populations?

From 2018 State ELA+Math Results Summary

How many students with disabilities scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
28% Citywide Average
How many students with disabilities scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
23% Citywide Average
How many English language learners scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
28% Citywide Average
How many English language learners scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
17% Citywide Average

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

Contact & Location


Ridgewood (District 24)
Trains: M Line to Seneca Ave; L Line to DeKalb Ave
Buses: B13, B26, B38, B57, Q54


Lynn Botfeld
Parent Coordinator
Deborah Villanueva

Other Details

Shared campus?
This school shares a building with a Pre-K Center

Zone for the 2019-2020 school year. Call school to confirm.

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