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Middle School High School

P.S. 55 Maure

Grades: Pre-K, K-5
131-10 97 Avenue
Queens NY 11419
Phone: 718-849-3845
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Our Insights

What’s Special

Close-knit community and solid leadership

The Downside

Some large classes, no real gym or auditorium

Located on a tree-lined street of homes with front porches and backyards large enough to hold barbecues, PS 55 is a mid-size school serving mostly Latino, Indian, South American and Pakistani children. The vibrant spirit in this "Little Guyana" neighborhood is also in evidence in the eager hand-raisers at PS 55, who enjoy friendly debate with peers and strong connections with teachers. The mantra is: "We say what we think. We write what we say, and if we had the time we would read all day."

Children seem happy and engaged and we saw some lively interactive lessons. Classes can get large; for example, the 33 kids we saw in a 1st-grade class, but teachers are experienced and the administration pays for assistants in some rooms. Teachers explained concepts in a relaxed manner with refreshing clarity. Some are more successful than others in drawing kids out and introducing activities to keep students interested, but all staff have committed to at least one "game day" per week to address skills. We saw a game on matching equivalent fractions and a game that required children to define geometry terms.

Teachers lead weekly clubs based on their skills and passions. In science club, children examined puppy fur, onion skin and other substances through a microscope. In career club they wrote a letter to the custodian inviting him to talk about his job.

For years the school dubbed itself the "King of the 2s" because so many kids earned a Level 2 out of 4 on state tests. Now, there is an after-school program two days a week to help kids reach higher and small group interventions for low performers inside and out of the classroom. "We still need to address the upper end of the spectrum a little bit more," said Principal Ralph Honore. "About 20-25 kids in grades 3-5 could be challenged more," he said. That said, the staff takes pride in how well their students perform in middle school with about 96 percent passing from 6th to 7th grade according to the Quality Snapshot.

Honore works closely with Assistant Principal Marc Slippen. Long-standing educators and friends, they finish one another's sentences, and think deeply about how to make education better at PS 55 (including the difficult work of excessing "deadwood" teachers), and say they have at least a decade more in them to make improvements.

Parents prefer kids not go out on cold weather days, Slippen said, to explain why children were indoors watching videos on an overcast, mild 55 degree day. It was jarring to see especially following an excellent science lesson about the importance of exercise on the performance of the heart.

The school has seen a decline in enrollment, as have most of the district's schools. At PS 55 this has resulted in the loss of several promising newer teachers and the consolidation of classes, increasing class size. Families doubled up in single-family homes have left due to lease problems, rising rents or a change in jobs, the principal said. Attendance suffers when, for example, Indian families enroll children in school for a few weeks for major family events here, or a new immigrant family moves away mid-year when a parent accepts a job elsewhere.

PS 55 has a small multipurpose room instead of an auditorium. A recreation room serves as the gymnasium.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: There are three self-contained "bridge classes" (k-1, 2-3, 4-5) that place children with disabilities from different grades in the same classroom. Every grade has a team-teaching classroom that incorporates children with special needs.

ADMISSIONS: Zoned, neighborhood school. (Lydie Raschka, May 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 2017-18 NYC School Survey

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
100%
81% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
97%
82% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
95%
84% 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?
90%
78% Citywide Average
Years of principal experience at this school
11.2

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?
54%
48% Citywide Average
How many elementary school students scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
48%
48% 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
513
Asian
45%
Black
8%
Hispanic
23%
White
2%
Other
22%
Free or reduced priced lunch
79%
Students with disabilities
18%
English language learners
13%

From 2017-18 School Quality Guide

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

From 2018 School Directories

Pre-K seats
72

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?
10%
26% Citywide Average
How many students with disabilities scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
12%
22% Citywide Average
How many English language learners scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
17%
27% Citywide Average
How many English language learners scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
25%
17% Citywide Average


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

Contact & Location

Location

Richmond Hill (District 28)
Buses: Q112, Q24, Q41, Q8, Q9, X64

Contact

Principal
Ralph Honore
Parent Coordinator
Denise Rea

Other Details

Shared campus?
No
This school is in its own building.
Metal detectors?
No

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

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