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P.S. 65 The Raymond York Elementary School

Grades: 3-K, Pre-K, K-5
103-22 99 Street
Queens NY 11417
Phone: 718-323-1685

Our Insights

What’s Special

School and community spirit

The Downside

Limited facilities; dreary, industrial neighborhood

2008 UPDATE: Rafael Morales, a former assistant principal at PS 65, is now the school's principal. Former principal Beth Longo retired at the end of the 2007-2008 school year.

APRIL 2006 REVIEW: In 2002 PS 65, The Raymond York School, became the beneficiary of very generous grant from Joel Greenblatt, a hedge fund manager who pledged to spend $1,000 annually per enrolled student for a period of five years. That's roughly $2.5 million dollars beyond public funding to support the school's delivery of Success for All, a literacy and math curriculum that some educators have heralded and others criticized for its reliance on highly-scripted lesson plans. Especially in the younger grades, the school places a strong emphasis on drilling and repetition and having students respond in unison to promptsword phrases and rhythmic hand claps.

Since the money started flowing, the school has experienced a dramatic turn-around in achievement, one touted by New York Magazine as "worthy of a Harvard B-school case study." Prior to receiving the grant, only 36 percent of 4th graders were performing at or above grade level in English as measured by standardized tests. In 2005, three years into the grant, that figure had almost doubled to 71 percent. Nearly 95 percent of the 4th graders accomplished the same in math, which amounts to a 40 percentage point jump in four years.

Principal Beth Longo says that the school's success in English was particularly hard fought because many of her students are recent immigrants from South American and South Asian countries. In every class that we visited, she pointed out students who had received little no formal education prior to their arrival or who had struggled to adjust to the change in climate and culture from their native homelands, which range from Bangladesh to Guyana.

The extra funds have also liberated PS 65 from the difficult choices facing most public schools over how to apply limited resources. Classrooms are decorated nicely with brightly-colored rugs and well-stocked book shelves, while laptop computers, art supplies, and gym materials are plentiful. "Who else has the luxury of buying brand new science and social studies books for an entire school," said Longo. "We follow DOE [city Department of Education] guidelines, but the grant has allowed us to be creative in how we spend DOE money." In the early grades, children get to keep many of the Success for All books that they use in class, which helps them build their own libraries at home.

What we found on our visit is a calm, well-run school with an enormous amount of learning packed into every day. At the core of PS 65's success is its school-wide literacy instruction. For the first two hours of the day, students in grades 1 through 5 disperse throughout the building to their assigned literacy group, comprising students of similar skill level, regardless of grade. An advanced 3rd grader may join a group of 5th graders in the cafeteria for reading and writing instruction, while a struggling 2nd grader may join a small group of 1st graders in a classroom. Extra teachers push into the kindergarten classes for small group reading instruction, and retired teachers are hired for one-on-one tutoring for any child not demonstrating adequate progress.

"This is an expensive model. You need to secure a grant to do it the way it is supposed to be done," said Longo who acknowledged that Success for All would be prohibitively expensive for most schools because of the number of materials and the amount of training and staffing needed to administer the program.

Beyond literacy instruction, we observed kindergarten students discussing how spring varies in different parts of the world. First graders were using laptops to design databases about their favorite animals, and studying gas and liquids by observing blue-colored ice cubes melt. The task was challenging for the six-year-olds, who struggled to describe their observations, but the science teacher circulated throughout the room prompting the students with questions. In art, students crafted papier-mache dancers, inspired by their study of Impressionist painter Edgar Degas.

Located in the shadow of the elevated A train tracks, the school is housed in an old airplane-parts factory in a dreary, industrial section of Queens. Inside, crisp lighting, nicely decorated hallways, and soft touches like the stuffed animals adorning the portable laptop cart help to create a cheery environment. The school is filled to capacity, and in 2005 it had to surrender use of its modern-equipped science lab to make room for an additional 1st grade class. There is neither a gymnasium nor an auditorium, but a large multi-purpose room is used for physical education and school gatherings.

Students wear uniforms of white tops and navy pants, skirts, or jumpers.

English as a Second Language: Two full-time ESL teachers handle small group and individual instruction for the growing English language learner population. The school plans to add a third ESL teacher for the 2006-07 school year.

Special education: The school has "self-contained" classes for children with special needs. (Laura Zingmond, April 2006)

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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 2018-19 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
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
83% Citywide Average

From 2017-18 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 2018-19 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 2018 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

Who does this school serve?

From 2018-19 Demographic Snapshot

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

From 2018-19 School Quality Guide

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

From 2018 School Directories

How does this school serve special populations?

From 2018 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


Ozone Park (District 27)
Trains: A Line to Rockaway Blvd
Buses: Q11, Q112, Q24, Q41, Q53, Q7, Q8


Rafael Morales
Parent Coordinator
Pattie Musalin

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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