Learners and Leaders

Grades Pre-K, 1-5

What’s Special

Focus on early childhood learning; new building

The Downside

Cafeteria doubles as auditorium

Our Review

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)

About the students

Enrollment
617
Pre-K seats
32
Asian
7.3%
Black
2.4%
Hispanic
76.5%
White
13.3%
Other
0.5%
Free or reduced priced lunch
85%
Students with disabilities
22%
English language learners
25%

About the school

Shared campus?
Yes
This school shares a building with a Pre-K Center
How crowded? (Full is 100%)
57%
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Attendance

Average daily attendance
94%
94% Citywide Average
How many students are chronically absent?
23%
21% Citywide Average

Is this school safe?

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
79%
82% Citywide Average
How many teachers say their students are safe outside around this school?
96%
88% Citywide Average

About the leadership

Years of principal experience at this school
8.0
6.6 Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
58%
82% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal has a clear vision for this school?
46%
90% Citywide Average
How many teachers trust the principal?
50%
82% Citywide Average

About the teachers

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
72%
78% Citywide Average
Teacher attendance
97%
96% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
79%
85% Citywide Average
How many teachers think the staff collaborate to make this school run effectively?
80%
89% Citywide Average

Do parents like the school?

How many parents responded to the school survey?
54%
65% Citywide Average
How many parents say they are invited to visit classrooms?
83%
85% Citywide Average
How many parents say this school offers enough courses, activities and services to keep their children interested in school?
86%
86% Citywide Average
How many parents say their child's teacher helped their child adjust to Pre-K?
95%
98% Citywide Average
How many parents say this Pre-K program helped them consider which elementary schools would meet their childrens' needs?
90%
92% Citywide Average
How many Pre-K parents say their child's teacher gave helpful ideas for how to support their child's learning?
95%
97% Citywide Average
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Test scores

How many students scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
44%
43% Citywide Average
How many students scored 3-4 on the state ELA exam?
32%
42% Citywide Average
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

How does this school serve English Language Learners?

How many English language learners score 3-4 on the State ELA exam?
0%
9% Citywide Average
How many former English language learners score 3-4 on the State ELA exam?
26%
46% Citywide Average

How does this school serve students with disabilities?

This school offers self-contained classes
This school offers team teaching (ICT)
Average math score for self-contained students
2.74
2.4 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for self-contained students
2.31
2.2 Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
95%
86% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school works to achive the goals of their students' IEPs?
93%
91% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say they are satisfied with the IEP development process at this school?
93%
89% Citywide Average
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data
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Location

378 Seneca Avenue
Queens NY 11385
Ridgewood (District 24)
Trains: M to Seneca Ave; L to DeKalb Ave
Buses: B13, B26, B38, B57, Q54

Contact

Phone
718-366-1061
Principal
Lynn Botfeld
Parent Coordinator
Deborah Villanueva

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

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