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P.S. 62 Chester Park

Grades: Pre-K, K-5
Staff Pick
97-25 108 Street
Queens NY 11419
Phone: 718-286-4460

Our Insights

What’s Special

Creative use of technology, strong arts program

The Downside

No after-school program

PS 62 is a large, welcoming neighborhood school with a strong arts program and lots of technology. It's also a nurturing and supportive place for its many immigrant students, who come from some 20 different countries with the most common native languages being Spanish and Punjabi.

The vibe throughout the school is cheery and calm. There's a lot of student art, writing and math on display. Children move around for various activities, rather than sit at desks for long stretches of time. Pre-k classrooms, located in the new wing of the building, are a bit cramped, but there is still room for children to learn through play.

Longtime principal Angela O'Dowd, who grew up in Ireland, identifies with the challenges of immigrant students and says that drives the school's culture. During our visit we were impressed by the thoughtful ways in which teachers acknowledge their students struggles. For instance, when a kindergarten student said the word "walk" started with a "v," the teacher smiled and responded, "I see why you thought that. Sometimes in Punjabi a "w" makes a "v" sound." In another class, the teacher immediately understood why a girl did not respond to a question. "Oh, did I not pronounce your name correctly?"

Across the grades we saw students working in  small groups—sometimes on tasks geared to their skill level and sometimes on class-wide assignments. For instance, in a 1st-grade class the teacher read with a small group of students while their classmates spread out across the room—someat computers reading about elephants, others writing at their desks and still others playing word games on tablet computers. In a 5th-grade class students were chatty and enthusiastic as they worked in groups to complete table-size charts explaining their study of ecosystems in coral reefs, deserts and the Arctic.

In the younger grades there are lot of structured exercises in phonics and reading. Kindergarten teachers use a program called Jolly Phonics, which uses movement and song to help students learn their letters and sounds.

Despite the school's many plusses, Dowd would like to see better test scores, which hover around the citywide average. Toward that end, the school is offering more specialized instruction in two 5th-grade  classes—withone teacher for English and social studies, and another for math and science. Dowd said it is a logistical challenge to departmentalize the entire 5th grade, but she'll consider doing so if the trial boosts achievement.

Starting in kindergarten, students learn computer coding. There are lots of unplugged coding activities in the younger grades, such as playing board games. In the upper grades students write code on computers and learn robotics and 3-D printing.

Students also have access to online content including e-books and educational sites such National Geographic Kids and Tynker. Science lessons are woven into class time; 3rd- and 4th-graders attend the science lab once a week for additional instruction.

Visual art, dance and music are offered in all grades. Several PS 62 students travel to Ballet Tech once a week for a full day of dance instruction. The entire 4th grade attends a performance of "The Nutcracker"ballet.

The longtime parent coordinator created a family room and leads workshops, book clubs, English classes and other events for parents.

PS 62 does not offer after-school activities.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: In addition to SETSS, there are ICT and self-contained classes. Through a grant from Studio in a School, art is woven into instruction for English language learners in grades k-2. One challenge is serving the increasing population of students from Guyana. These students don't qualify for extra support because English is their native language. Yet despite their fluency in English, many Guyanese students need extra help with communication and reading because their native dialect is very distinct from American English.

ADMISSIONS: Zoned, neighborhood school. (Laura Zingmond, November 2015)

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 New York State 2021 -22 Assessment Database

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 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 2021-22 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 New York State 2021 -22 Assessment Database

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


Richmond Hill (District 27)
Trains: A Line to 111th St-Greenwood Ave
Buses: Q112, Q24, Q37, Q8


Jordan Vitta
Parent Coordinator
Aura Fountain

Other Details

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

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

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