P.S. 159

Grades: Pre-K, K-5
Staff Pick
205-01 33 Avenue
Queens NY 11361
Phone: 718-423-8553

Our Insights

What’s Special

A high-quality, orderly school with a terrific science fair

The Downside

Larger classes in the upper grades

Located in a quiet residential neighborhood, the boxy, three-story brick building that houses PS 159 could easily be mistaken for a suburban school. The outside calm hints at what goes on inside, where student work is displayed on neat bulletin boards. At this school, learning is organized, and it is everywhere. Even the cafeteria-typically rowdy and deafening even at the best schools-has a controlled feel.

A \"Students of the Month\" bulletin board greets visitors in the front hallway. Each child at the school is featured on it at least once before graduation, says Principal Marlene Zucker. The emphasis on giving every student a public pat on the back says something about the school\'s approach to teaching, too. \"Our educational philosophy focuses on differentiating instruction for each student,\" says Zucker, who has led the school for 12 years.

The curriculum leans toward the traditional, although teachers try progressive techniques, too. Among them is TERC math, which is mandated by the district and stresses creative approaches to solving problems. TERC is combined with a more traditional approach, and the pairing has had \"mixed results,\" Zucker says. The school also offers strong art and music programs, a smaller drama program, and twice-weekly after-school workshops that integrate art with science and literacy. PS 159 is one of the 209 successful schools the chacnellor has exempted from the citywide unifrom curriculum mandated in 2003.

The book-filled classrooms have desks organized in groups and are practically wallpapered with student work. There is ample space at the school, which even has an outdoor reading garden, and a class-size reduction grant has allowed the school to keep younger classes small. Unfortunately, beginning in 4th grade, classes push the upper limit, with 30 students per class.

P.S. 159 is the only elementary school in District 26 with a 6th grade (most students continue on to IS 25, which begins in the 7th grade), and Zucker and her staff seek to form one cohesive community, K-6. The \"Gold Medal Club\" literacy program, for example, has all the kids reading (or being read to, in the case of the youngest grades) the same book every other month. A bulletin board in the cafeteria highlights responses ranging from well-formed 6th-grade essays to simple sentences cobbled together by kindergarteners.

The school has one separate special education class. Other special education students are enrolled in general education classes, but receive special services every day. A part-time ESL teacher works with the school\'s 40 or so English language learners. For the most part, students are admitted from PS 159\'s zoned area, although the school does accept some variances. (This school is featured in New York City\'s Best Public Elementary Schools. Deborah Apsel, February 2003/updated 2005)

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 the 2020-21 NYC School Survey

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
86% Citywide Average

From the 2019-20 NY State Report Card

How many students were suspended?
0% Citywide Average

From this school's most recent Quality Review Report

Are teachers effective?

From the 2020-21 School Quality Guide

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
86% Citywide Average
Years of principal experience at this school

How do students perform academically?

From the 2019 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?
50% Citywide Average

What is the Pre-K like?

From the NYC Program Assessment (CLASS and ECERS-R) Database through 2018-2019

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 2020-21 Demographic Snapshot

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

From the 2020-21 School Quality Guide

Average daily attendance
92% Citywide Average
How many students miss 18 or more days of school?
26% Citywide Average

From the 2020 School Directories

How does this school serve special populations?

From the 2019 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


Bayside (District 26)
Buses: Q28, Q31, Q76, QM20


Paul Didio
Parent Coordinator
Kim Johnson

Other Details

Shared campus?
This school is in its own building.

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

You may also like …

P.S. 41 Crocheron

214-43 35 Avenue
Queens, NY 11361

P.S. 31 Bayside

211-45 46th Road
Queens, NY 11361


  • Is this your school? Please post any news, updates, events, changes, or other information!
  • We welcome questions, open discussions, and disagreements but comments with personal attacks, rude language, or those with seemingly malicious intent will be deleted.
  • Very long comments, those that contain links, or repeat comments may be blocked by our spam filter.
  • Problems? email us at [email protected].
  • Users must comply with our Terms of Use.