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Middle School High School

P.S. 112 Dutch Kills

Grades: Pre-K, K-5
25-05 37 Avenue
Queens NY 11101
Phone: 718-784-5250

Our Insights

What’s Special

Small classes in lower grades

The Downside

Little time for free play, some large classes

All the people we met during our visit to PS 112the principal, the assistant principal, the teachers, the welcoming new P.T.A. president, and the childrenseemed happy to be there and engaged in meaningful work. The recently painted school is spotlessly clean (Principal Rafael Campos-Gatjens had high praise for the new custodian), and the hallways celebrate students' individual and collective accomplishments. An exhibit of tiles constructed by students who are learning English and a particularly effective mural of what the Dutch Kills neighborhood must have looked like in the early days painted by an external organization called Paint the Town, add color and cheer to the building.

Campos-Gatjens, principal since the spring of 2005, is an experienced teacher, district administrator, and assistant principal, and is enthusiastic about the school's diversity. PS 112 was overcrowded until a few years ago, when Long Island City, like most of Queens, began to experience a steady decline in student enrollment because of changing demographics. Now that the enrollment has dropped below 550 students, the school has begun using federal funding to reduce the kindergarten class size to below 20 students. Still, the 4th and 5th grade classes are up to 30 in each room.

We were impressed by the level of activity and excitement in some of the classrooms. In a kindergarten class for students just beginning to speak English, children followed along closely with their teacher as he sat on the brightly colored rug with them and demonstrated how to write numbers on an easel. A 1st grade teacher adopted a loving but firm manner as she gave instructions on how to avoid mishandling books that are taken home. She gave a "thumbs up" to one child who spoke up about good book behavior, and her routine to get students to quiet down was effective and kind.

In recent years, teachers have become skilled at carrying out the city's standardized curriculum. All the classrooms were filled with charts and vocabulary lists, as required by the curriculum. The purpose of each lesson was written next to each activity. Book baskets were filled with books marked to show different reading levels.

The school has had a stable staff throughout the years; still, along with the few new faculty members, all teachers receive support from AUSSIE (Australian and United States Services in Education) consultants who provide teacher training in reading instruction. Literacy and math "coaches" also work with teachers grade-by-grade. There are several "cluster" teachers, specialists in science, social studies, foreign language, gym, library, and computers. A new computer teacher is adept at using technology to help beginning readers.

Unfortunately, the emphasis on classroom work comes at a cost. Students take gym only once each week, and despite having recess in good weather in the large public playground adjoining the building, they spend most of the day at their grouped tables engaged in reading and writing. Every class, including kindergarten, gets daily homework in reading, writing, and math, which Campos-Gatjens said is "non-negotiable." While the kindergarten classrooms are equipped with puppets and blocks and other resources, there is an emphasis on academics that seems to limit the time for singing, painting, and free play.

Despite the emphasis on academics, the arts remain a cherished, though peripheral, component of the school. When Campos-Gatjens arrived at the school, he found 25 guitars stored away. As a guitar player himself, he started a guitar group for upper grade students. A music teacher conducts a chorus and gives instrument instruction to 1st, 2nd, and selected 5th grade students. The Metropolitan Opera Guild works twice a week with 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students.

The school benefits from several successful partnerships. Paint the Town, a citywide volunteer initiative, has contributed murals and brightened the hallways. Another organization provides after-school and summer programming for students living in a nearby public housing project. Young volunteers from City Year, a national service organization, do individual tutoring, work with small groups, and carry out other tasks, such as stocking the book room, organizing the library, and putting up bulletin boards.

PS 112 is having trouble getting parents on board with some of the changes. Although students are now supposed to wear uniforms every day except Friday, many do not, and a teacher noted that many of the parents do not follow the new policy that requires them to sign their children's daily homework. Campos-Gatjens said he plans to initiate a competition among classes to get students to wear uniforms, similar to the competition for best daily attendance that has already generated excitement about improving attendance.

Special education: There are four "self-contained" classrooms (only for children with special needs) and "collaborative team teaching" (CTT) classes in two grades. These classes mix general education students and students with special needs, and are taught by two teachers, one a specialist in special education. The school also employs several physical therapists and one occupational therapist in addition to its two nurses and health coordinator. (Dorothy Wilner and Ellen Hausknecht, November 2006)

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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?
100%
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?
94%
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 2018-19 School Quality Guide

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
88%
80% Citywide Average
Years of principal experience at this school
1.4

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?
45%
51% Citywide Average
How many elementary school students scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
45%
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
450
Asian
33%
Black
22%
Hispanic
35%
White
8%
Other
2%
Free or reduced priced lunch
81%
Students with disabilities
13%
English language learners
14%

From 2018-19 School Quality Guide

Average daily attendance
91%
93% Citywide Average
How many students miss 18 or more days of school?
32%
25% Citywide Average

From 2018 School Directories

Pre-K seats
72
This school offers Dual Language classes in Spanish.

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?
27%
28% Citywide Average
How many students with disabilities scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
7%
23% Citywide Average
How many English language learners scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
38%
28% Citywide Average
How many English language learners scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
13%
17% Citywide Average


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

Contact & Location

Location

Long Island City (District 30)
Trains: N Line, W Line to 36 Ave-Washington Ave; M Line, R Line to 36th St; F Line to 21st St - Queensbridge
Buses: Q101, Q102, Q103, Q66, Q69

Contact

Principal
Dov Witkes

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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