P.S. 35 The Clove Valley School

Grades: K-5
Staff Pick
60 Foote Avenue
Staten Island NY 10301
Phone: 718-442-3037

Our Insights

What’s Special

Intimate, close-knit school with an old-fashioned feel.

The Downside

Cramped facilities mean no dedicated rooms for science or special education service providers.

PS 35 The Clove Valley School is one of the highest performing schools on Staten Island even though there is little homework and few tests. It is nestled in leafy, upscale Grymes Hill, on a street with neat brick homes and tidy front lawns, at the edge of Wagner College Campus.

Many parents of current students attended this neighborhood school, as did their cousins, siblings and some of their parents before them.

The school earned a national Blue Ribbon School of Excellence award in 2016. It was graded "well developed" on the city's "quality review," the highest rating a school can receive.

Children are not tested in class as often as at some schools during the year, yet standardized state test scores are above the citywide average in reading and math. A few months before the test, about 50 children in grades 3 to 5 prepare for the test after school in two-hour blocks instead of during regular school hours.

Principal Melissa Garofalo took the helm in 2007. She is a former reading teacher and literacy coach who holds a master's degree from Teacher's College, Columbia University. [Photo of Garofalo with students from the US Dept. of Ed.National Blue Ribbon Schools Program page]

Parent coordinator Margaret Feminella said the principal frequently observes classes and joins discussions. "There's always a lot of group work going on in the classroom," she added.

One of Garofalo's initiatives has been small class size in the early grades. She has also created a departmentalized focus for 4th and 5th grade students, who change classrooms for different subjects, much as they will once they enter middle school. This allows teachers to specialize in one subject such as math or reading.

Garofalo advocates minimal homework. "There is really not a lot of research that says homework leads to academic success in elementary schools," she told the Staten Island Advance.

"We really want kids to be kids," she added. "Research shows kids who eat dinner with their families and actually talk and have conversations do perform better. They learn better when they discuss and can engage in conversation."

With only 15 classrooms and one multi-purpose room serving as the gym, cafeteria, and auditorium, instruction happens in every corner. A few closets have been converted to mini offices. The schoolyard is undergoing renovation and the heating system is getting an upgrade.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: Team-teaching classrooms mix students with disabilities in classroom with typically developing kids so they can all learn from each other.

ADMISSIONS: PS 35 is a neighborhood school. After graduation, most students attend middle school at IS 27 and IS 61 on Staten Island. (Lydie Raschka, news report, school data, March 2017

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 2019-20 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

From 2019-20 NY State Report Card

How many students were suspended?
0% Citywide Average

From this school's most recent Quality Review Report

Are teachers effective?

From 2019-20 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 2019 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

Who does this school serve?

From 2020-21 Demographic Snapshot

Free or reduced priced lunch
Students with disabilities
English language learners

From 2019-20 School Quality Guide

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

How does this school serve special populations?

From 2019 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

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

Contact & Location


North Shore (District 31)
Buses: S53, S61, S66


Melissa Garofalo
Parent Coordinator
Margaret Feminella

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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