The Robert F. Wagner Jr. School (P.S./I.S. 78)

Grades: Pre-K, K-8
Staff Pick
48-09 Center Boulevard
Queens NY 11109
Phone: 718-392-5402

Our Insights

What’s Special

Innovative programs take advantage of school's waterfront location

The Downside

No gym or auditorium

PS 78 is a neighborhood elementary school situated on the first two floors of the CityLights apartment complex in the rapidly developing Hunters Point neighborhood. Students at PS 78 get the chance to participate in lots of artistic activities and group projects. Teachers use the nearby East River as an extension of the classroom, and students learn about the river through a variety of activities like maintaining their own oyster bed.

Students do lots of hands-on projects and go on many field trips as part of the schools Schoolwide Enrichment Model. Students spend the last two periods of every Friday working in small groups to develop projects. Principal Louis Pavone says that these hands-on projects and field trips are a way to engage students and to get them excited about learning. Pavone, who has been at the school since 2006, gets high marks from teachers, according to the Learning Environment Survey, and in 2012, he was named a Cahn Fellow, an honor given to outstanding principals.

Science, social studies, and the arts are taught in every grade, in addition to reading, writing and math. In ELA classes, students read independently and in small groups. In the daily Writing Workshops, they are encouraged to write about their own experiences. Starting in 3rd grade, students write essays, realistic fiction, poetry and memoirs. The school uses the progressive Everyday Math curriculum used in most of the citys schools. Students in all grades receive science instruction. Science lessons tend to be hands-on, and students study topics ranging from simple machines to plant diversity. The schools garden and waterfront location provide opportunities for science lessons outside the classroom.

There are many musical and artistic activities for students in all grades. Students in kindergarten and 1st grade receive music instruction through the Music and the Brain program. Starting in 2nd grade, music classes use the Little Kids Rock curriculum, which teaches students to play guitar, keyboard, and drums through the Suzuki method of violin instruction. Outside of music class, students may also choose to participate in the school chorus, the ukulele band or musical drama afterschool. Students in all grade levels also receive arts instruction, and the school brings in artists-in-residence to lead activities with children in grades 3-5. Students create cumulative art journals and portfolios to show their growth as learners.

Students needing extra help are given additional support during the day and after school through the schools extended day program which meets four days a week and allows students to work in small groups based on their level of ability.

Due to overcrowding, space is a challenge for PS 78. There is no gymnasium or auditorium, and the school must use the lunchroom for large group activities, art instruction, physical education and meetings. In the 2012-2013 school year, there was a waitlist for zoned students. As the Hunters Point neighborhood continues to develop, parents worry that overcrowding at PS 78 will continue, according to DNAinfo.

English language learners: ELLs receive extra support from the ESL teacher who works with them during their regular classes.

Special education: There are no self-contained classes at PS 78. There is one team teaching class in each grade, in which two teachers work with a mix of children with special needs and those in general education.

Admissions: Neighborhood school. There is usually a waitlist for zoned students. (Pauline Zaldonis, web reports, June 2013)

Read more

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 students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
91% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
32% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
84% Citywide Average

From the 2019-20 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 the 2020-21 School Quality Guide

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
83% Citywide Average
Years of principal experience at this school

How do students perform academically?

From the 2019 State ELA+Math Results Summary

How many elementary school students scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
54% Citywide Average
How many elementary school students scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
50% Citywide Average
How many middle school students scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
45% Citywide Average
How many middle school students scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
50% Citywide Average

From the 2020-21 School Quality Guide

How many 8th-graders earn high school credit?
35% 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
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 2020-21 Demographic Snapshot

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

From the 2020-21 School Quality Guide

Average daily attendance
91% Citywide Average
How many students miss 18 or more days of school?
27% Citywide Average

From the 2020 School Directories

Uniforms required?

How does this school serve special populations?

From the 2019 State ELA+Math Results Summary

How many students with disabilities scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
25% Citywide Average
How many students with disabilities scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
22% Citywide Average
How many English language learners scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
24% Citywide Average

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

Contact & Location


Long Island City (District 30)
Trains: G Line to 21st St; 7 Line to Vernon Blvd-Jackson Ave
Buses: B32, B62, Q67


Louis Pavone
Parent Coordinator
Elizabeth Montalvo

Other Details

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

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


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