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Middle School High School

PS 317, Waterside Children's Studio School

Grades: Pre-K, K-5
Staff Pick
190 Beach 110 Street
Rockaway Park NY 11694
Phone: 718-634-1344
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Our Insights

What’s Special

Strong arts and welcoming, relaxed atmosphere by the ocean

The Downside

Test scores have a way to go

The Waterside Children's Studio School, also called PS 317, is an increasingly popular school with strong arts, a well-regarded principal and a welcoming, relaxed atmosphere. Just a block from the beach and surrounded by summer bungalows, single-family homes and high-rise apartments, PS 317 serves a mix of different races, ethnicities and income levels, including some children who speak Spanish, Arabic and Polish. Children seem comfortable with one another and with their teachers.

There are few textbooks; instead, children choose books based on their own interests, which they may read on their own or discuss with a partner. From kindergarten on, children do a lot of writing. They learn to give feedback and take suggestions from others in their work. In math, teachers try to spark discussions about how to solve problems.

"I don’t necessarily like quiet classrooms,” says Principal Dana Gerendasi, who founded the school in 2009. “I like to hear kids having conversations with each other."

Almost every student takes dance, drama, music, visual arts and physical education. The school aggressively pursues grants to support its ambitious arts program. Students perform in the New York City Student Shakespeare Festival and the Guggenheim and the New York City Ballet offer residencies at the school.

Gerendasi get high marks from teachers on school surveys, and the children seem to like her too. "I'm a big fan of yours," a second grader told Gerendasi when she entered her classroom. Some children who find it difficult to deal with the hubbub of the cafeteria spend their lunch break in Gerendasi's office. The school seeks to ensure that every student has three or four adults they trust. Rather than meting out punishment, teachers seek to reward good behavior with various prizes. One eagerly sought by some students is being “principal for a day.”

PS 317 shares a building with MS 318. Both schools replaced PS 225, which was closed due to poor performance. When Hurricane Sandy struck in 2012, children were forced to relocate to August Martin High School for about a month.

But the school now seems to be hitting its stride. Math scores, while still below the citywide average, have increased substantially. On our visit, children seemed happy and most were engaged.

The school population is shifting slightly as somewhat more affluent families move in, lured by the relatively low price of housing and the express buses to Manhattan. Gerendasi said the school involves all parents, with a selection of workshops, student performances and exhibits and student-lead parent teacher conferences, in addition to the traditional teacher-led meetings. The neighborhood is in the midst of change: A well-reviewed and cute frozen yogurt shop is a block away. So is a residence for at risk-boys.

The school offers an array of after-school clubs and sports. A free after-school program also is available. There are three full-day pre-k classes.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: The school has two self-contained special education classes and team teaching classes on every grade.

ADMISSIONS: Neighborhood school. In 2016, the school had a wait list for kindergarten for the first time. (Gail Robinson, March 2016)

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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?
98%
79% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
100%
81% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
100%
83% Citywide Average

From 2017-18 NY State Report Card

How many students were suspended?
0%
1% Citywide Average

From this school's most recent Quality Review Report

Are teachers effective?

From 2017-18 School Quality Guide

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
93%
78% Citywide Average
Years of principal experience at this school
9.0

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?
53%
51% Citywide Average
How many elementary school students scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
52%
49% Citywide Average

What is the Pre-K like?

From this school's most recent Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS)

Instruction: Teachers ask kids to explain their reasoning when they solve problems

From this school's most recent Early Childhood Environmental Rating System (ECERS-R)

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 2018-19 Demographic Snapshot

Enrollment
517
Asian
6%
Black
23%
Hispanic
46%
White
20%
Other
5%
Free or reduced priced lunch
70%
Students with disabilities
17%
English language learners
8%

From 2017-18 School Quality Guide

Average daily attendance
94%
93% Citywide Average
How many students miss 18 or more days of school?
20%
25% Citywide Average

From 2018 School Directories

Pre-K seats
54

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?
31%
28% Citywide Average
How many students with disabilities scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
23%
23% Citywide Average
How many English language learners scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
21%
28% Citywide Average
How many English language learners scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
21%
17% Citywide Average


For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data · More DOE statistics for this school

Contact & Location

Location

Far Rockaway (District 27)
Trains: A Line, S Line to Rockaway Park-Beach 116th
Buses: Q22, Q35, Q53, QM16

Contact

Principal
Dana Gerendasi
Parent Coordinator
ZORAIDA QUILES

Other Details

Shared campus?
Yes
This school shares a building with the Waterside School for Leadership

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

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