East Elmhurst Community School PS 329
Focus on community
Too soon to say
East Elmhurst Community School opened in 2013 to help ease overcrowding in the area. The school's mission is to help children be "curious, creative, courageous and critical thinkers," who can work well with others.
Principal Rachel Staroba-Hallenbeck taught special education in Woodside, Queens, and English language learners in an after school program. She has a masters degree in education of children with disabilities from Brooklyn College. Prior to joining the NYC Teaching Fellows program, Rachel was a community organizer in upstate New York.
East Elmhurst teachers use the Responsive Classroom approach, which begins with a "morning meeting" to set a positive tone for the day. Teachers give children choices throughout the day to build independence, and try address small problems before they become big.
Like many elementary schools, children work on activities in "centers" following month-long thematic units.
The school will be housed in the former La Salle Catholic School at St. Gabriel Parish, which closed in 2011 [see photo at right].
Other offerings include after school programs and Saturday tutoring, sports, and monthly family literacy nights.
Admissions: Neighborhood school. To learn more about zoning changes read this article in the Times Ledger. (Lydie Raschka, web reports, November 2013)