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Middle School High School

P.S. 85 Judge Charles Vallone

Grades: Pre-K, K-5
23-70 31 Street
Queens NY 11105
Phone: 718-278-3630
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Our Insights

What’s Special

Small class size

The Downside

School is next to elevated tracks of the N and Q lines

PS 85 has STEM Academy, the only citywide gifted program in Queens, and the school also serves general education and special needs students. “We’re unique on many levels,” said Principal Ann Gordon-Chang. “We have every type of student in our school.” In 2009 the Science, Technology, Enrichment, and Math (STEM) Academy opened with a kindergarten and 1st grade, drawing active, savvy parents who embrace this diversity.

Every child is offered the same resources, and the parent association is one combined group where money is pooled for the benefit of all. “Whatever lifts up G&T lifts up the whole school,” said a 1st-grade parent from STEM. Parents raised $10,000 during an online auction in 2011 for free after-school clubs, like painting, digital photography, and drums. Clubs are open to children in grades 1 to 5, from 3 to 5 p.m., three days a week. The other after-school program, Serious Fun, costs about $15 per day and runs until 5:45 p.m., five days a week. Parents volunteer at lunch and recess. When children can’t go outside they exercise to a program called Activity Works.

Uniforms of light blue shirts and dark blue pants are gently encouraged. Children are not overly pressured in other areas either. “No one complains about too much homework,” said  another 1st-grade parent whose child is in STEM. “If you want your 1st grader doing 4th-grade math, this isn’t the place for you. Teachers are going to sing with them.” Six-year-olds learned the lyrics to the “59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy)” in class, and a whole busload sang it while crossing the actual 59th Street bridge on a field trip.

Columbia University doctoral students were piloting iPad apps in 1st grade that teach multiplication games. Kids sat at tables in groups of four or five to take an assessment before trying the app. In the spacious library, the librarian used a SMARTboard to teach 4th graders about animal categories. The school supplements the Everyday Math program with a variety of other resources, and teachers get help from a math coach. A science lab, unusual for an elementary school, is home to fish, a turtle, a guinea pig, an albino frog, and Madagascar cockroaches. 

PS 85 has an abundance of outdoor play space. There’s enough room to separate older and younger kids during recess and dismissal time, and enough for a garden, a greenhouse, and a small climbing wall. The one thing that mars the setting is the elevated tracks of the N and W train lines, which run directly along the front of the building at classroom window height. The rumble of the trains requires teachers to raise their voices or be drowned out, especially during warmer months when open windows must suffice for lack of air-conditioning.

Special Education: Two self-contained classrooms and three Integrated Co-Teaching classes. Grades change year to year as needed.

Admissions: PS 85 is a zoned neighborhood school. There is one G&T class on each grade. Families interested in the STEM program may apply only after their child scores high marks on the Department of Education’s gifted and talented tests. Students need to score at least in the 97th percentile on the G&T tests to qualify. The DOE controls admissions. Spring tours are conducted after test results are announced. In accordance with DOE transportation policy, bus service is available for Queens students living within five miles of the school. Others arrange their own transportation. STEM parents have a Facebook page (STEM @ PS 85 Q) where they share information about carpooling, tours, and more. (Lydie Raschka, May 2011)


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

From 2017-18 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 2018-19 School Quality Guide

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
80% Citywide Average
Years of principal experience at this school

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

Free or reduced priced lunch
Students with disabilities
English language learners

From 2018-19 School Quality Guide

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

From 2018 School Directories

Pre-K seats

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

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

Contact & Location


Astoria (District 30)
Trains: N Line, W Line to Astoria Blvd-Hoyt Ave
Buses: M60-SBS, Q101, Q19, Q69


Ann Gordon Chang
Parent Coordinator
Margareta Kalis

Other Details

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

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

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