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The Active Learning Elementary School

Grades: Pre-K, K-3
Staff Pick
137-20 Franklin Avenue
Queens NY 11355
Phone: 718-445-5730

Our Insights

What’s Special

Vegetarian lunch menu

The Downside

Students must find new school for fourth grade

The Active Learning Elementary School (TALES), an early childhood school in Flushing, has a focus in health, nutrition and physical education. Students spend one period a day learning about health or participating in physical education.

Opened in 2008, the school has quickly become one of the citys top-performing schools. It has reading and math scores that are well above the citywide average, even though it has a large proportion of English Language Learners.

"The founding of our school was based on health and nutrition and teaching kids how to make healthy choices in the belief that they would be more successful academically and in their life, Principal Robert Groff told NBC News.

TALES is the first public school in the nation to serve an entirely vegetarian lunch every day, with options like black bean and cheddar quesadillas, pizza bagels and a salad bar.

The school was recognized by the Alliance for a Healthier Generation as one of the healthiest schools in the nation. Students participate in healthy food tastings at least once a month. In May 2013, Dr. Sanjay Gupta of CNN praised the school in an online blog post.

In third grade, students demonstrate their literary progress by performing in a debate. Groff is committed to providing teachers with technology such as SMARTboards and iPads, and encourages faculty to meet regularly to improve their teaching skills.

Students have the opportunity to go on field trips that complement their studies, such as trips to farms where students work on non-fiction and writing tasks about animals. Classes grow their own vegetable gardens to learn about sustainability, according to the Department of Educations Quality Review.

Special education: The school offers a range of services including speech therapy, occupational therapy and self-contained classes.

Admissions: Open to residents of District 25 by lottery. Applications are available on the school's website.

(Owen Minott, web reports, July 2013)

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School Stats

Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Is this school safe and well-run?

From 2022-2023 NYC School Survey

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
82% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
0% Citywide Average

From the 2019-20 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 2023 End-of-year Attendance and Chronic Absenteeism Report

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
84% Citywide Average
Years of principal experience at this school

How do students perform academically?

From the New York State 2022-2023 Assessment Database

How many elementary school students scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
53% Citywide Average
How many elementary school students scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
50% Citywide Average

What is the Pre-K like?

From the NYC Program Assessment (CLASS and ECERS-R) Database through 2019-2020

Instruction: Teachers ask kids to explain their reasoning when they solve problems
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 the 2022-23 Demographic Snapshot

Free or reduced priced lunch
Students with disabilities
English language learners
Pre-K seats

From 2023 End-of-year Attendance and Chronic Absenteeism Report

Average daily attendance
90% Citywide Average
How many students miss 18 or more days of school?
40% Citywide Average

From the 2020 School Directories

This school offers Transitional Bilingual Education in Chinese.

How does this school serve special populations?

From the New York State 2022-2023 Assessment Database

How many students with disabilities scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
30% 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?
21% Citywide Average
How many English language learners scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
12% Citywide Average

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

Contact & Location


Flushing (District 25)
Trains: 7 Line to Flushing - Main St
Buses: Q12, Q13, Q15, Q16, Q17, Q25, Q26, Q27, Q28, Q44, Q48, Q58, Q65, Q66


Robert Groff
Parent Coordinator
Lalita Kovvuri

Other Details

Shared campus?
This school is in its own building.

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