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Girls Prep Lower East Side Charter Elementary School

Grades: Pre-K, K-4
442 East Houston Street
Manhattan NY 10002
Phone: 212-388-0241

Our Insights

What’s Special

All-girls school with science every day

The Downside

Out of the way location; no pre-k

Founded in 2005, the all-girls charter school known as Girls Prep has a strong academic culture and teaches young girls to speak their minds. Each classroom is named after an inspirational woman such as former First Lady Michelle Obama or Wangeri Mathaai, the Kenyan environmental activist who won the 2004 Nobel peace prize. Class size is small and attendance is good despite its location snug up against the East River in a sea of blocky housing developments.

Partly because of its out-of-the-way location (half a mile from the nearest subway stop), Girls Prep doesn't have a wait list. It accepts children mid-year and in upper grades, unlike many charter schools.

We saw crisp, engaging and energetic instruction. A 3rd grade teacher gave her students three minutes to jot down the main idea of an article, saying, "Thumbs up when you're ready to go!" Students are expected to respond with a nod and the words, "Got it," when a teacher addresses them yet the tone is upbeat and refreshing rather than rigid.

The school has a math and science focus. The girls study science five days a week with a science teacher, and learn about recycling and conservation in a partnership with Leave It Better, a nonprofit organization that provides education programs on the environment.

Teachers work with a math coach to "make thinking visible, explain work and strategies, and do real world math," said director of curriculum Rebekah Adamek. Starting in 3rd grade, students study with math-only and English-only teachers like they do in middle school. "We want to instill a love of science and math early, as well as allowing our teachers to focus on one topic," Adamek said. The school has seen gains on tests since making these changes, said Public Prep CEO Ian Rowe, and several girls we asked at random said math is their favorite subject.

The school promotes friendships across grade levels. Second graders study the history of the Brooklyn Bridge and construct their own bridges with kindergarten students. First and 3rd graders collaborate on gingerbread houses; the younger kids design a house and the older ones fill out the order form to purchase the right amount of materials.

Principal Patricia Jahaly arrived in 2016 after working with Josie Carbone, the well-regarded former principal of Girls Prep Bronx. (Carbone has been promoted to chief learning officer of the network.) Jahaly attended the principal's institute at Bank Street College and plans to encourage more inquiry and play in kindergarten, a Bank Street hallmark. Jahaly says these activities help build children's vocabulary, which in turn helps them learn to read. Jahaly attended PS 166 on the Upper West Side, and an all-girls school Roman Catholic high school.

The elementary school is located on East Houston Street in a building shared with PS 188 and PS 94M, a small school for children with autism. Classes for girls in grades 5-8 are a 20 minute walk away in an East Village building shared with East Side Community High School. There is no pre-k at Girls Prep because the area is saturated with pre-k options, said Jahaly.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: The school offers integrated co-teaching (ICT) classes, with two teachers, one who is certified to teach special education.

ADMISSIONS: By lottery. The school does not have a waitlist and may admit children mid-year. Elementary school students are guaranteed a middle school seat and any remaining slots are filled by lottery. (Lydie Raschka, December 2016)

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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 the 2022-2023 NYC School Survey

How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
78% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
56% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
82% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
84% Citywide Average

From the 2019-20 NY State Report Card

How many students were suspended?
1% Citywide Average

From 2023 End-of-year Attendance and Chronic Absenteeism Report

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
85% Citywide Average
Years of principal experience at this school

How do students perform academically?

From the New York State 2022-2023 Assessment Database

How many elementary school students scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
53% Citywide Average
How many elementary school students scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
50% Citywide Average

From the 2022-23 School Quality Guide

How many 8th-graders earn high school credit?
92% Citywide Average

Who does this school serve?

From the 2022-23 Demographic Snapshot

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

From the 2022-23 School Quality Guide

Average daily attendance
91% Citywide Average
How many students miss 18 or more days of school?
36% Citywide Average

From the 2020 School Directories

Uniforms required?

How does this school serve special populations?

From the New York State 2022-2023 Assessment Database

How many students with disabilities scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
30% 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?
21% Citywide Average
How many English language learners scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
12% Citywide Average

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

Contact & Location


East Village (District 1)
Trains: 6 Line to Astor Pl; L Line to 1st Ave
Buses: M1, M2, M3, M8, M14A, M14D, M15, M15-SBS


Katrina Liebst

Other Details

Shared campus?
This school shares its building with PS 188
Uniforms required?
Metal detectors?

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