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Queens College School for Math, Science and Technology

Grades: Pre-K, K-8
Staff Pick
148-20 Reeves Avenue
Queens NY 11367
Phone: 718-461-7462

Our Insights

What’s Special

High-performing, diverse school that admits students by lottery from across Queens

The Downside

Only two classes per grade; commute may be tough for some

PS/MS 499, the Queens College School for Math, Science and Technology is a cheery place that attracts students of different income levels and backgrounds from all over Queens. With only two classes per grade, the school feels like a close-knit community where teachers and staff get to know all the students well. Though the commute may be long for some, PS 499 is a good option for families willing to travel.

As its name suggests, the school was founded with support from Queens College and is housed in a spacious, contemporary building on the edge of the college campus. College professors work with teachers to develop the curriculum and the school benefits from a steady supply of student teachers.

The vibe is welcoming and creative. Children are calm and engaged in class and teachers and staff seem attuned to students. For instance, students having a bad day may visit Principal Simi Minhas to decompress for few minutes and read a book, play a game on an iPad or feed the fish in a large tank she keeps in her office. To reduce anxiety, a 3rd grade teacher lets her students use rods and counters (called manipulatives) to solve problems both during lessons and during a test "After all theyre only eight," she said. Teachers open their classrooms to children who need extra support or a quiet place during their lunch period.

The school uses the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project curriculum, which encourages students to read a wide array of books of their choosing and at their skill level as well as write and revise multiple drafts of work on a variety of topics. They read serial stories, mysteries and historical fiction as well as biographies, memoirs, and books on social issues and science. Teachers also connect readings to topics studied in other subjects. For instance, 8th-graders studying immigration in social studies read the "New Colossus" by Emma Lazarus in their English class as a lead-in to a discussion on the pre- and post-Ellis Island waves of immigrants.

In fifth grade, classes are departmentalized--essentially a modified middle school format. Both teachers teach social studies but one specializes in English and the other in math. Students travel with their class between rooms for instruction in those two subjects. The benefit is that students are taught by a specialist in a classroom filled with resources to support that subject. Students change classes for each subject starting in 6th grade.

There are three science teachers, each one serving a different grade range: pre-k to 3, 4 to 6 and 7 to 8. Students in the grades 6 to 8 have science daily. In other grades students visit a science lab for lessons and their classroom teachers supplement with projects and studies. For instance, kindergartners take nature walks on campus to collect acorns and fallen leaves to learn about their various shapes, textures and colors. In science they learn about decomposition by noting changes in leaves over time and crumbling some by hand to mimic the process.

Weekly enrichment classes include Latin dance, robotics, music, art and technology.

Spanish is taught in grades 5 to 8.

Children may participate in a range of afterschool activities such as sports, arts, debate, chess and dance. The PTA sponsors programs for the elementary school and Queens Community Housing provides free activities for the middle school.

Most students stay on through the 8th grade. Graduates go on to schools such as the specialized high schools, Francis Lewis, Townsend Harris, Queens School of Inquiry and Aviation High School.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: There are no formal ICT classes, but special education teachers visit classrooms to support students with special needs, rather than pulling them out of class. PS/MS 499 also shares the facilities with a District 75 program for students with severe disabilities.

ADMISSIONS: The school admits students by lottery. For pre-k, contact the school for an application. For kindergarten the school aims to admit an equal number of students from each Queens district. The school typically has room in kindergarten for students who are neither siblings of current students nor continuing from its pre-k. There are usually a few seats open for new students in the 4th grade, when class sizes get a bit larger. Sixth grade is the only entry point into middle school; new students are not accepted in grades 7 or 8. Contact the school for a middle school application. (Laura Zingmond, November 2016)

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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 the 2022-2023 NYC School Survey

How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
80% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
56% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
78% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
79% 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?
83% 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
How many middle school students scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
52% Citywide Average
How many middle school students scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
57% Citywide Average

From the 2022-23 School Quality Guide

How many 8th-graders earn high school credit?
91% 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 the 2022-23 School Quality Guide

Average daily attendance
91% Citywide Average
How many students miss 18 or more days of school?
35% Citywide Average

From the 2020 School Directories

Uniforms required?

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?
27% Citywide Average
How many students with disabilities scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
21% Citywide Average
How many English language learners scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
17% Citywide Average

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

Contact & Location


Flushing (District 25)
Buses: Q17, Q20A, Q20B, Q25, Q34, Q44-SBS, Q88


Simi Mahajan
Parent Coordinator
Michelle Haverkamp

Other Details

Shared campus?
This school is in its own building.
Uniforms required?
Metal detectors?

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