P.S. 221 The North Hills School

Grades: Pre-K, K-5
Staff Pick
57-40 Marathon Parkway
Queens NY 11362
Phone: 718-423-8825

Our Insights

What’s Special

A top-notch school combines hard work and fun

The Downside

Principal would like to encourage more parent involvement

A charming, inviting school in a quiet residential neighborhood, PS 221 has strong leadership, consistently good teaching and a nice balance between academics and the arts. It has a well-deserved reputation as one of the top schools in the city.

Reading, writing, math and science are all strong. Classes are designed not only to build childrens skills, but also to foster curiosity and a sense of wonder about the world. For example, in one 4th grade science class, children posted their own questions such as How do snails breathe? or How does dust form? or What started the Black Death? on a bulletin board. These questions form the basis of the childrens explorations.

Its so important to have joy in learning, said Principal Patricia Bullard. Theres a great big world out there, and we have the ability to inspire children or to turn them off. Instead of being passive recipients of knowledge, we want them to ask questions of each other and their teachers, to explore, learn and laugh. They are not vessels to be filled.

In some ways, the school is traditional. Children recite the Pledge of Allegiance every morning. Theres plenty of emphasis on grammar and spelling and on skills like memorizing multiplication facts.

But there is also time for kindergartners to play dress-up or build with blocks. Teachers adapt their lessons to accommodate childrens interests or special events. A 2nd grade class took the occasion of my visit to interview me about what its like to be a writerand to write their own Insideschools profile (which Ive posted in comments below).

Class trips to the Bronx Zoo, Queens County Farm and Alley Pond Environmental Center broaden childrens horizons while building their knowledge of science.Children study ballroom dancing and how to play the ukulele.

Bullard, former assistant principal of PS 221 and a teacher at nearby PS 186, says PS 221 parents are committed to education and word hard to make sure their children achieve. However, because most families have two working parents and many have long commutes into Manhattan, parents are not always involved in the daily life of the school. Bullard would like to encourage more parent involvement in the PTA.

Special education: The school offers a range of special education services, including self-contained and team teaching classes.There is adaptive physical education for children with physical handicaps.

Admissions: Neighborhood school. (Clara Hemphill, November 2013)

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 2019-20 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

From 2019-20 NY State Report Card

How many students were suspended?
0% Citywide Average

From 2019-20 School Quality Guide

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
80% Citywide Average
Years of principal experience at this school

How do students perform academically?

From 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?
49% 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 2020-21 Demographic Snapshot

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

From 2019-20 School Quality Guide

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

From 2020 School Directories

How does this school serve special populations?

From 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


Little Neck (District 26)
Buses: Q30, Q36, QM5


Patricia Bullard
Parent Coordinator
Teresa Kirchhofer

Other Details

Shared campus?
This school is in its own building.

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


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