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Queens Explorers Elementary School PS 316

Grades: 3-K, Pre-K, K-5
90-07 101st Avenue
Queens NY 11416
Phone: 718-558-7088

Our Insights

What’s Special

Leader with an innovative vision

The Downside

Not enough room for all pre-k students to stay for kindergarten

Founded in 2014, PS 316 has quickly become a popular choice for families. At this “non-zoned,” or “choice,” school in a beautiful new building, teachers do a good job of reaching kids who learn at different speeds, according to the city’s Quality Review. PS 316 earned “well-developed,” the highest rating, in all areas. According to school surveys, both teachers and parents are happy here.

PS 316 uses magnet grant money to enrich its theme of global conservation and service learning (a magnet school gets extra money for three years and is designed to attract a diverse body of students). Founding principal Melissa Compson is the force behind the school’s innovative curriculum. “The principal’s vision for the school is amazing,” said parent coordinator Barbara Luciano. “The children are constantly learning.” In the school’s hydroponic greenhouse, students grow vegetables like cucumbers and tomatoes, and study nutrition, climate change, conservation and pollution, reports the Queens Chronicle. [photo from Queens Chronicle] Students also take part in five service-learning projects per year, centered on themes such as recycling, with children making grocery bags from recycled material for their parents, for example. One year, students “adopted” a sea creature to study in depth. A maker room is stocked with supplies kids can use to make items for their projects, said Luciano. Additionally, children lead their own parent-student-teacher conferences.

They are also moving, not only in the school’s big yard, with its climbing equipment and track, but also in the ABL (action-based learning) lab, which is like a colorful, number-filled gymnasium. There, students pair math and movement in inventive ways, playing math games with big dice, walking on number lines, and jumping on a bouncy ball as they memorize math facts.

The pre-kindergarten program is large and popular, with a half-dozen classes. “The pre-kindergarten children speak in full sentences here,” Luciano said. They also enjoy block building and tell stories in dramatic play centers. The number of classrooms shrinks each year to make room for upper-grade classes as the school grows to become a full pre-k­ to 5 school by 2019. Unfortunately, this means there isn’t enough space for all the families who would like to stay for kindergarten.

Older children visit the New York Botanical Garden, the Bronx Zoo and Alley Pond, among other destinations that support the school’s themes. Pre-kindergartners do not leave the building for trips, but visitors come to them, such as a group that performed a play about the layers of the rainforest. Pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students watch live chicks hatch at school.

The school community raises money for causes such as people impacted by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, according to the school’s Facebook page.

ADMISSIONS: By lottery (Lydie Raschka, school data, web reports and interview, January 2018)


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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 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
3-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

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 88th St-Boyd Ave
Buses: Q11, Q112, Q24, Q53, Q7, Q8


Nicole Grant
Parent Coordinator
Barbara Luciano

Other Details

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

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