Advertisement
Advertisement

GreatSchools Rating

Special Music School

Public | K-8 | 138 students

 

Be sure to visit

Take along one of
our checklists:

 
Last modified
Community Rating

4 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
No new ratings
2013:
Based on 1 rating
2012:
Based on 1 rating
2011:
Based on 3 ratings

Teacher quality

Principal leadership

Parent involvement

Rate this school

Click on stars to rate
Please select a star rating for this school.
    Helpful reviews answer questions:
  • What do you think others should know?
  • What do you like?
  • How could your school improve?
    Review Guidelines
    GreatSchools won’t post reviews that contain:
  • Inappropriate language
  • Allegations of criminal conduct
  • Names of students, teachers or staff
1200 characters remaining
Please read and accept our Terms of Use to join GreatSchools.
Please indicate your relationship to the school.
Registration is required to post your anonymous review
We will not display your name, photo or email address with your review.
OR
Your email address will never be published or shared.
Indicates a required field

7 reviews of this school


Sort by:
Show reviews by:
Posted October 8, 2013

My son has recently moved to NYC from Stockholm, Sweden. In Stockholm he attended a wonderful academy of music called Lilla Akademien. My son was born in Sweden and could not imagine his life without his friends and the music they shared. To his great surprise and to his very happy sense of well being. He joined the Special Music School and found that from the first day, he made friends, He has teachers who are dedicated to his learning and the music director J. Undercoffler made sure that my son would not lose all the years of study he has put into his cello. On the first day of school his classmates came up to me and introduced themselves. My son came out of the elevator with the biggest smile on his face and I knew... not only was this a wonderful music school , with inspiring teachers and staff but a place where his sense of well being and his love of music could be shared and grown. The mathematics, ESL and Science are taught by incredible teachers. We could not have imagined a better place for our son.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 31, 2012

This is an excellent, specialized school with warm and caring teachers and a freat parent body. We've been very pleased even though the music requires a lot of parent involvement. The musical education is very rigorous, which can be stressful at times, but if your child loves music, they will thrive. The class size is small (15 kids per grade!) and the music teachers are outstanding. Academically, the school seems to do very well. The kids test well and are very creative in many other aspects besides music.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted November 7, 2011

If your kid can get in, and enjoys music then it is like hitting the public school jackpot. Small classes, great teachers, FREE MUSIC LESSONS... No school is perfect but I have loved almost every second of being a parent at this school and my kid has thrived here...and so have most if not all of the others in the class. It is packed with talented teachers (think I said that already but it bears saying again.) I am going to be sad when my kid graduates. What you are really getting here is a private school education for your public school child, if your child is lucky enough to get in. I wish all who apply the best of luck because you and your child will LOVE it
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 25, 2011

The school is great in every way. They put strong emphasis on friendship and praising, and discourage competition. Still, those who are behind in their music skills, will feel it. Academically, it is ranked second only to Anderson.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 25, 2011

I have had a child at SMS for elementary and middle school. We have been overall happy with our child's education and the new principal appears to be addressing many of the concerns regarding differentiated pedagogy and supporting students' social/emotional as well as academic development. The teachers on the most part are dedicated and caring and with continued professional development with help strengthen the program overall. Hopefully the academic staff will remain open to new approaches and ideas. The music program is very rich and, with the support of a good and caring instrument teacher, the children flourish and become confident performers. This is not to say that some children have negative experiences and the school is by no means for everyone. Finding the right fit between teacher and student is important. There is strong communication between administration (both academic and music) and parents. There is a recent attempt at transparency that is refreshing. The students and parent body are fantastic.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted December 4, 2010

This school lacks a consistent academic program. For many years, teachers lacked guidance which resulted in a school where teachers taught to only one type of student assuming that because the children were "musically" gifted that they were also "academically" gifted. The children that didn't fit this profile were given little academic help eventhough class size is so small compared to a regular NYC classroom. With a new adminstrator, things may change. Musically, a child's experience will depend on their music teacher. Some teachers forget that they're still children and place incredibly stressful demands on the kids and their families. There is so much pressure to be the best that some children struggle with confidence when it's time to perform. There is a tendency to pigeon-hole students and focus on a few kids. This school has a supportive parent body and great kids. It should have a great academic program as well.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted December 2, 2010

My child attended this school during the elementary years, then decided to attend another middle school. While the academic side of SMS is very strong with wonderful teachers, the music portion of the school borders on dysfunctional. By the upper elementary years, the students who are considered the most talented (a very small percentage) are the only ones who receive accolades and encouragement. This encouragement comes in the form of opportunities for these few kids to perform more often, take master classes, and be a part of the school's "public face." On the contrary, I have seen 8-10 year olds who aren't at the top exhibit extreme anxiety before performing due to their feelings of inadequacy. Sadly, this didn't seem to alarm any music staff or administration. It seems that the musical side of the school is all about keeping up appearances, and the biggest concern is the reputation of the school and its music faculty and administration. The school could - and should - be so much better. But until SMS's top priority is the child (and not the school's reputation, or what Julliard thinks of it), I can't imagine it will change.
—Submitted by a parent


Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.

About these ratings

The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.

The test results by subgroup show how the designated group of students is performing in comparison to the general population.
English Language Arts

The state average for English Language Arts was 32% in 2014.

14 students were tested at this school in 2014.

2014

 
 
86%

2013

 
 
94%

2012

 
 
100%
Math

The state average for Math was 42% in 2014.

14 students were tested at this school in 2014.

2014

 
 
100%

2013

 
 
94%

2012

 
 
100%
Scale: % proficient or advanced

About the tests


Beginning in the 2012-2013 school year, the New York State Department of Instruction implemented new assessments designed to be aligned with the Common Core State Standards. The new standards for proficiency in these subjects are higher than in previous years and the percent of students earning a proficient score is expected to be lower as a result of this change. See this letter from New York's Commissioner of Education for more information on these changes.

In 2013-2014 New York used the New York State Assessments to test students in grades 3 through 8 in English language arts and math, and in grades 4 and 8 in Science. At present 2013-14 results are available only for English language arts and math. The tests are standards-based, which means they measure how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of New York. The goal is for 90% of students to meet or exceed grade-level standards on the tests.

Source: New York State Education Department

English Language Arts

The state average for English Language Arts was 33% in 2014.

15 students were tested at this school in 2014.

2014

 
 
100%

2013

 
 
60%

2012

 
 
100%
Math

The state average for Math was 43% in 2014.

15 students were tested at this school in 2014.

2014

 
 
86%

2013

 
 
100%

2012

 
 
100%
Science

The state average for Science was 90% in 2013.

15 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
100%
Scale: % proficient or advanced

About the tests


Beginning in the 2012-2013 school year, the New York State Department of Instruction implemented new assessments designed to be aligned with the Common Core State Standards. The new standards for proficiency in these subjects are higher than in previous years and the percent of students earning a proficient score is expected to be lower as a result of this change. See this letter from New York's Commissioner of Education for more information on these changes.

In 2013-2014 New York used the New York State Assessments to test students in grades 3 through 8 in English language arts and math, and in grades 4 and 8 in Science. At present 2013-14 results are available only for English language arts and math. The tests are standards-based, which means they measure how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of New York. The goal is for 90% of students to meet or exceed grade-level standards on the tests.

Source: New York State Education Department

English Language Arts

The state average for English Language Arts was 30% in 2014.

15 students were tested at this school in 2014.

2014

 
 
100%

2013

 
 
93%

2012

 
 
100%
Math

The state average for Math was 40% in 2014.

15 students were tested at this school in 2014.

2014

 
 
100%

2013

 
 
86%

2012

 
 
100%
Scale: % proficient or advanced

About the tests


Beginning in the 2012-2013 school year, the New York State Department of Instruction implemented new assessments designed to be aligned with the Common Core State Standards. The new standards for proficiency in these subjects are higher than in previous years and the percent of students earning a proficient score is expected to be lower as a result of this change. See this letter from New York's Commissioner of Education for more information on these changes.

In 2013-2014 New York used the New York State Assessments to test students in grades 3 through 8 in English language arts and math, and in grades 4 and 8 in Science. At present 2013-14 results are available only for English language arts and math. The tests are standards-based, which means they measure how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of New York. The goal is for 90% of students to meet or exceed grade-level standards on the tests.

Source: New York State Education Department

English Language Arts

The state average for English Language Arts was 29% in 2014.

17 students were tested at this school in 2014.

2014

 
 
77%

2013

 
 
83%

2012

 
 
100%
Math

The state average for Math was 38% in 2014.

17 students were tested at this school in 2014.

2014

 
 
95%

2013

 
 
91%

2012

 
 
100%
Scale: % proficient or advanced

About the tests


Beginning in the 2012-2013 school year, the New York State Department of Instruction implemented new assessments designed to be aligned with the Common Core State Standards. The new standards for proficiency in these subjects are higher than in previous years and the percent of students earning a proficient score is expected to be lower as a result of this change. See this letter from New York's Commissioner of Education for more information on these changes.

In 2013-2014 New York used the New York State Assessments to test students in grades 3 through 8 in English language arts and math, and in grades 4 and 8 in Science. At present 2013-14 results are available only for English language arts and math. The tests are standards-based, which means they measure how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of New York. The goal is for 90% of students to meet or exceed grade-level standards on the tests.

Source: New York State Education Department

English Language Arts

The state average for English Language Arts was 29% in 2014.

14 students were tested at this school in 2014.

2014

 
 
86%

2013

 
 
94%

2012

 
 
100%
Math

The state average for Math was 33% in 2014.

13 students were tested at this school in 2014.

2014

 
 
93%

2013

 
 
94%

2012

 
 
100%
Scale: % proficient or advanced

About the tests


Beginning in the 2012-2013 school year, the New York State Department of Instruction implemented new assessments designed to be aligned with the Common Core State Standards. The new standards for proficiency in these subjects are higher than in previous years and the percent of students earning a proficient score is expected to be lower as a result of this change. See this letter from New York's Commissioner of Education for more information on these changes.

In 2013-2014 New York used the New York State Assessments to test students in grades 3 through 8 in English language arts and math, and in grades 4 and 8 in Science. At present 2013-14 results are available only for English language arts and math. The tests are standards-based, which means they measure how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of New York. The goal is for 90% of students to meet or exceed grade-level standards on the tests.

Source: New York State Education Department

English Language Arts

The state average for English Language Arts was 36% in 2014.

16 students were tested at this school in 2014.

2014

 
 
94%

2013

 
 
100%

2012

 
 
85%
Math

The state average for Math was 22% in 2014.

2014

 
 
n/a

2013

 
 
82%

2012

 
 
100%
Science

The state average for Science was 69% in 2013.

11 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
100%
Scale: % proficient or advanced

About the tests


Beginning in the 2012-2013 school year, the New York State Department of Instruction implemented new assessments designed to be aligned with the Common Core State Standards. The new standards for proficiency in these subjects are higher than in previous years and the percent of students earning a proficient score is expected to be lower as a result of this change. See this letter from New York's Commissioner of Education for more information on these changes.

In 2013-2014 New York used the New York State Assessments to test students in grades 3 through 8 in English language arts and math, and in grades 4 and 8 in Science. At present 2013-14 results are available only for English language arts and math. The tests are standards-based, which means they measure how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of New York. The goal is for 90% of students to meet or exceed grade-level standards on the tests.

Source: New York State Education Department

In 2009-2010, this school was given a grade of "A" for the elementary and middle school level.

About the tests


Progress Report Grades measure the school's contribution to student learning in three areas: School Environment, Student Performance and Student Progress. Schools can receive additional credit for achieving exemplary performance progress among high-needs students. Progress Report Grades range from A to F.

Source: New York City Department of Education

Breaking down the GreatSchools Rating

GreatSchools Ratings for this school are based on 2012-2013 test results. Use the breakdown ratings below to compare types of students at this school. Learn more »


Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school State average
White 2 55% 48%
Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander 2 27% 9%
Hispanic 2 9% 23%
Black 2 8% 19%
American Indian/Alaska Native 1 1% 1%
Two or more races 1 1% 1%
Source: NYSED, 2011-2012
Source: 2 NCES, 2011-2012

Student subgroups

  This school District averageState average
Limited English proficient 1%N/A8%
Students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch program 27%N/A43%
Source: 1 NYSED, 2011-2012
Source: 2 NCES, 2011-2012

Teacher experience

  This school District averageState average
Fewer than 3 years experience 33%N/A5%
Source: NYSED, 2011-2012

Teacher education levels

  This school District averageState average
Master's degree and above 33%N/A39%
Source: NYSED, 2011-2012

Teacher credentials

  This school District averageState average
Teachers with no valid teaching certificate 0%N/A0%
Source: NYSED, 2011-2012

Let your school shine!

School leaders: Help your school shine on GreatSchools
by verifying community responses, adding program highlights
and more! Get started »

Arts & music

Specific academic themes or areas of focus
  • Music
  • Performing arts
School facilities
  • Art room
Music
  • Band
  • Orchestra
  • Vocal lessons / coaching
Performing and written arts
  • Drama

Language learning

Foreign languages taught
  • Chinese (Cantonese)
  • Spanish
Level of ESL/ELL programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students

Gifted & talented

Instructional and/or curriculum models used
  • Advanced placement courses
Note: Data provided by school administrators and community.
School leaders, update and verify information here.
The NYC Department of Education asked parents, teachers and students about their school's learning environment. Results provide insight into school climate, such as whether the school is academically rigorous, safe, communicative and collaborative. Learn more

The information captured by the survey is designed to support a dialogue among all members of the school community about how to make the school a better place to learn. An overall category score is calculated for each respondent group (parents, teachers, or students) by averaging the scores of the questions within that survey category.

Category scores for each of the respondent groups are then combined to form overall category scores. Alongside the results for each school are the aggregated results across all NYC public schools, which are provided as a basis for comparisons.

Learn more about the NYC DOE survey »Close
Based on 147 responses

This school provides ... 1

A safe and respectful environmentWhat's this?

This score measures whether parents, students and teachers feel that the school creates a physically and emotionally secure environment in which everyone can focus on student learning.

Close
 
This school
9.0
out of 10
 
City average
8.0
out of 10
 

Parents

This school

 
9.1
 

City average

 
8.4
 

Students

This school

 
8.9
 

City average

 
7.2
 

Teachers

This school

 
9.1
 

City average

 
8.0
 
Clear, useful communication about educational goalsWhat's this?

This score measures whether parents, students and teachers feel that the school provides information about the school's educational goals and offers appropriate feedback on each student's learning outcome.

Close
 
This school
8.8
out of 10
 
City average
8.1
out of 10
 

Parents

This school

 
8.8
 

City average

 
8.5
 

Students

This school

 
8.7
 

City average

 
7.8
 

Teachers

This school

 
8.9
 

City average

 
7.8
 
Strong parent, teacher and student engagementWhat's this?

This score measures how engaged parents, students and teachers feel they are in an active and vibrant partnership to promote student learning.

Close
 
This school
8.6
out of 10
 
City average
7.8
out of 10
 

Parents

This school

 
8.6
 

City average

 
8.1
 

Students

This school

 
8.4
 

City average

 
7.2
 

Teachers

This school

 
8.8
 

City average

 
7.8
 
High academic expectations for all studentsWhat's this?

This score measures how well parents, students and teachers feel that the school develops rigorous and meaningful academic goals that encourage students to do their best.

Close
 
This school
8.9
out of 10
 
City average
8.2
out of 10
 

Parents

This school

 
8.9
 

City average

 
8.3
 

Students

This school

 
8.9
 

City average

 
8.1
 

Teachers

This school

 
8.9
 

City average

 
8.1
 

Based on surveys from:

 RespondentsResponse rate
Parents9276%
Students45100%
Teachers10100%

12012-2013 New York City Department of Education School Survey

Let your school shine!

School leaders: Help your school shine on GreatSchools
by verifying community responses, adding program highlights
and more! Get started »

School basics

School start time
  • 8:00 am
School end time
  • 4:00 pm
Before school or after school care / program onsite
  • After school
School Leader's name
  • MS. KATHERINE BANUCCI-SMITH

Programs

Instructional and/or curriculum models used

Don't understand these terms?
  • Advanced placement courses
Specific academic themes or areas of focus

Don't understand these terms?
  • Music
  • Performing arts
Foreign languages taught
  • Chinese (Cantonese)
  • Spanish
Level of ESL/ELL programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students

Resources

Transportation options
  • Busses - M10, M104, M11, M20, M5, M57, M66, M7, M72. Subways - A, D to 59th St-Columbus Circle; 1 to 66th St - Lincoln Center; 2, 3, B, C to 72nd St
  • Passes/tokens for public transportation
  • School shares bus/van with other schools
School facilities
  • Art room
Note: Data provided by school administrators and community.
School leaders, update and verify information here.

Let your school shine!

School leaders: Help your school shine on GreatSchools
by verifying community responses, adding program highlights
and more! Get started »

Sports

Girls sports
  • Cheerleading

Arts & music

Music
  • Band
  • Orchestra
  • Vocal lessons / coaching
Performing arts
  • Drama
Note: Data provided by school administrators and community.
School leaders, update and verify information here.

School culture

Parent involvement
  • Join PTO/PTA
Note: Data provided by school administrators and community.
School leaders, update and verify information here.

Apply

To learn more about enrolling, please call the school.
 

TIP: Don't forget to ask about documents required for enrollment, such as your child's birth certificate, proof of address, or a record of immunizations.

 
Notice an inaccuracy? Let us know!

129 W 67th St
New York, NY 10023
Phone: (212) 501-3318

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Compare this school
to nearby schools

Compare schools »

Compare

Add this school to compare

Nearby schools



Beit Rabban
New York, NY


Ps 191 Amsterdam
New York, NY




ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT