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Middle School High School

P.S. 160 Walter Francis Bishop

Grades: Pre-K, K-5
109-59 Inwood Street
Queens NY 11435
Phone: 718-526-5523
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Our Insights

What’s Special

Rich arts and interesting long-term projects

The Downside

Large classes in some grades

Rising above a sea of single- and multi-family homes in Jamaica, Queens, PS 160 has ambitious plans to boost the arts, test scores and attendance. It's off to a promising start with an infusion of grant money in 2015 that makes it possible for teachers to prepare two-month-long explorations on topics such as colonial America and the water cycle. Children use iPads, digital cameras and LEGOs to augment their studies alongside traditional workbooks.

Tiffany Hicks became principal in 2013. Formerly a teacher and literacy coach at nearby PS 80, she is an even-keeled leader with a healthy mix of ambition and practicality. Already in her second year, the extra coaching she'd put in place for teachers, as well as arts classes, and technology, had begun to breathe new life into old practices. "I say 'yes' to everything," Hicks said.

To branch out from one-size-fits-all instruction, teachers plan nine-week project-based learning units that begin with a question such as: "What happens when the water cycle is interrupted?" Fourth-graders focused on the drought in Haiti to explore the answer. A Haitian-born staff member spoke to students to bring a personal perspective, and kids brainstormed ways they could assist those affected by the drought at the end of the unit. Teachers plan together now more than in the past. During a unit on Nigeria, 3rd-graders made traditional masks in art. "I'm liking this magnet grant," said the art teacher, who has been at the school for two decades. "We're definitely all working together more now."

Undoubtedly the school has a ways to go. Test scores lag below the citywide level in math and language. Challenging high-achievers is a work-in-progress according to the school's yearly plan. We saw children working on the same workbook page in math; but teachers also trained in the use of LEGOs as part of the arts grant, and after a community walk, kindergartners and 1st graders re-created what they saw.

The principal hopes artists-in-residence at the school will improve the attendance rate. "We try to have residencies every day," she said. Pre-k students participate in creative movement. Children study chess in kindergarten through 2nd-grade. Third-graders study ballet. Fourth-graders learn ballroom dance. Children learn to play keyboard and other instruments. It should be noted that the school must find ways to sustain new practices and the arts after the three-year flow of grant money ends in 2018.

Kindergarten classes are large; we counted 27 in one classroom. On a cold day we saw kids shuttled from the cafeteria into the auditorium to watch a movie, but the principal said teachers also use "activity works" (12-minute exercise videos) to get kids moving. The pre-k rooms are in cramped portables on the school grounds.

After-school is offered on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and on Wednesdays, about 30 kids in grades 3-5 make lava lamps, marshmallow catapults and electrical circuits in science club.

After 5th grade, students attend MS 72, MS 8, MS 157 or the Queens College Schoo l, among other choices.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: A Queens Hospital psychiatrist works with children and families in need. There are two full-time speech therapists. ICT team-taught classes incorporate children with special needs in general ed classrooms. Small classes are available for children with more serious special needs. An adaptive physical education teacher helps kids customize activities in gym.

ADMISSIONS: Neighborhood school. Plans call for two more pre-kindergarten classes in 2015 bringing the number up to five. (Lydie Raschka, March 2015)

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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?
85%
79% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
94%
81% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
91%
83% Citywide Average

From 2017-18 NY State Report Card

How many students were suspended?
1%
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?
91%
80% Citywide Average
Years of principal experience at this school
5.9

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?
30%
51% Citywide Average
How many elementary school students scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
35%
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
623
Asian
16%
Black
46%
Hispanic
22%
White
1%
Other
15%
Free or reduced priced lunch
79%
Students with disabilities
18%
English language learners
10%

From 2018-19 School Quality Guide

Average daily attendance
91%
93% Citywide Average
How many students miss 18 or more days of school?
33%
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?
13%
28% Citywide Average
How many students with disabilities scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
13%
23% Citywide Average
How many English language learners scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
22%
28% Citywide Average
How many English language learners scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
18%
17% Citywide Average


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

Contact & Location

Location

Jamaica (District 28)
Buses: Q112, Q40, Q6, Q60, Q9, QM21, X63

Contact

Principal
Tiffany Hicks
Parent Coordinator
Cristina Guzman

Other Details

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

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

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