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GreatSchools Rating

S.T.A.R. Academy - PS 63

Public | PK-5 | 178 students

We are best known for individual student instruction.
 
 

 

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Last modified
Community Rating

4 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
No new ratings
2013:
Based on 4 ratings
2012:
Based on 1 rating
2011:
Based on 10 ratings

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Parent involvement

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25 reviews of this school


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Posted November 9, 2013

This school is family oriented. My children learn by participating in all activities. Music program is organized and the teacher is always available. Piano class is helping my child to focus and grow academically. Art program teaches foundation of colors & shapes to form a unique creation of artworks. My second grader really enjoys the dance program (Yoga, Modern). There have been some minor incidents but all issues were resolved positively. Entire staff from the main office to the teachers work as a team. I selected STAR Academy because teachers address all types of learners. Some schools are traditional and some are independent schools. STAR Academy is versatile and teaches a student to be self manage & responsible in preparation to be successful for upper school and college/ Tech school.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted November 4, 2013

I would like to say that this school has been nothing but great to my daughter since she entered the school in kindergarten. She is now in 3rd grade and still loves the school as well as the staff. The staff goes above and beyond to make sure that us parents are well informed of everything that goes on with our children. Ms. Alice the parent coordinator has always been awesome and amazing to everyone.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 18, 2013

This school is excellent, a cut above alot of other public schools. The teachers are caring and engaging. The curriculum is challenging. The staff look for innovative ways to keep the students up to speed and having fun. My daughter enjoys going to school everyday. No school is without room for improvement however, this school is an excellent marriage between creativity and academic excellence.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 16, 2013

I went to this back in the 70's in 4th grade, I had Mr Haupt for my 4th and 5th grade teacher and mrs. ghillis in 6th grade, at that time I went here, the school was great and the teacher's was very good teachers, I can't believe this school will change for the worse as i was reading others reviews, and all I can say I had a very good experience in this school, it had taught me how to read and become a good student. I just hope that the teacher's still care for the present day student as they did when I went to school there, I came from a catholic school from 4th grade to PS 63 4th grade and my reading level was 2 grades below level, PS 63 had bought my reading level upto grade level and meet my best friend there and other friends I had meet going to this school.


Posted April 16, 2012

This is the worst school Ever!... Teachers just rate this school in a positive matter. This school needs a new face lift. The kids are not put first. My child attended this school last year. I pulled out my child a few months ago. Worst school ever. He received the worst education ever at PS 63.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted November 13, 2011

PS 63 STAR Academy is an amazing school. The class size is small, the students are engaged, and the administration is constantly working to make the school a better place. The school runs smoothly due to the great leadership of the principal and the dedicated teachers who work long into the night creating fun and educationally challenging programs for the students. The parents are always willing to help and support the school in any way possible. I am proud to be a teacher at STAR Academy.
—Submitted by a teacher


Posted November 13, 2011

From the perspective of the school librarian--working with both PS 63 and PS 363 in the building--I can say that Principal Despeignes enables a dynamic library program for our teachers and students. This administration understands that students' excitement about reading encourages reading and reading itself improves reading skills. High expectations for good behavior and academics are upheld by every teacher that works with me in the library, and with the small class sizes, no child "falls through the cracks." The staff is working hard to overturn the school's undeserved negative image. Positive parent involvement could be stronger.
—Submitted by a teacher


Posted November 13, 2011

I am pleasantly surprise! We had a few bad experiences in The Neighborhood School which is in the same building. The worst was when my 5 year old son had an asthma attack at The Neighborhood School and the nurse had called me to pick him up. When I arrived at the school in less than an hour time; he was removed from the nurse office by a staff. I found him lying on the bare floor in the main office which was crowded with kids and adults. When I spoke to the secretary that was in the room at the time, she stated that she offered him her scarf but he refused. I consider that environment unsafe. Losing hope in public school system; I enroll him in private school which closed after a few years. A friend recommended P.S. 63; I was definitely unsure about enrolling him but I am glad I did. In a year my son has blossom so much. P.S. 63 academics is very similar to the private school my son went to. I found the teachers and principle to be kind and informative. They always make an effect to reach out to the parents.. They also have the boys project which my son looks forward to every Wednesday. My son is the most precious gift I received. We finally found a home at P.S.63!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted November 6, 2011

Congratulations to The S.T.A.R Academy- PS 63 for being the "Top Performing Elementary School" in all of District 1. Check out the City-wide Progress Reports to see how all of the District 1 schools ranked. I went to a District meeting and saw a poster of all the scores. I was excited to see my child's school on the top.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted November 3, 2011

This is a great school! My son has attended this school since kindergarten and he is currently in the 5th grade. Each year, his teachers have been fabulous - extremely dedicated and caring. He is reading well above his grade level and performed extremely well on the state exams. The principal has worked to keep the class sizes small and each year new programs are offered (like the enrichment program for gifted students, student jobs, family fun nights), and more improvements are made. Most importantly - my son is happy, safe and challenged academically! We will be sad to leave next year when he goes to middle school.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 12, 2011

This school is a great small school. They have a lot of opportunities for kids to get involved in their school. Also, the class sized are pretty small!. My child is loving what she is learning in classes. I think the people who are complaining are probably those who actually have to be accountable for how their children behave. Whenever I have had issues at school I have spoken to the Principal or the teacher and things were taken care of right away. If you don''t think stuff is being taught, go on a tour and look in the classrooms. The rooms are covered with what the kids are learning. an d the students work. My kids are happy and that makes me happy.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 8, 2011

I'm a teacher at PS 63 and wish to address some of the negative comments: "The only priority they have are the feelings of the "teachers". They do not care if the children succeed." Student achievement is top priority and teachers are held to extremely high standards. The principal is a tough cookie and not one to spare our feelings if we are not demonstrating classroom rigor. "They do not properly watch the children. They stand around in groups and chat among themselves and children get hurt." Recess is supervised by school aides AND a licensed guidance counselor. "They teach them how to read by memorizing not by phonics." Research shows that phonics is not an effective methodology - the rules are unreliable and do not promote meaning. We use a research-based workshop curriculum that teaches reading in context, linking word-solving directly to comprehension. "There is no science or proper social studies on the lower levels." a science coach works w/ teachers to ensure science is taught meaningfully in all grades Our social studies curriculum is standards-based, planned around enduring understandings and real-world performance tasks, and submitted for administrative review.
—Submitted by a teacher


Posted June 28, 2011

Talk about focusing on individual attention........NOT.......the teachers for the specific classroom my child was in, blamed my child for their lack of experience and inconsistency in the classroom......the classroom was a joke, they set no discipline and expect the children to be little robots as if they were taught to litsen from the very beginning. The specific teachers I'm referring to continuously to lie in your face and blame the principal for everything......last school year for my child....waste of education
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 18, 2011

It feels like we have wasted a year of my child's education at this school, we will definately be moving schools next year. The classroom teacher has been teaching for too many years and does not use any appropriate/current educational techniques or materials to help the students learn. There was no individualized instruction as promised at the start of the year, and my child has begun to be bored in school. Reading has been taught by memorization rather than by phonetics, the children do not get outside each day for recess, healthy eating is not advocated, the kids watch movies at school, and the classroom teachers/rules are strict and cold for little children; my child has not learned a thing this year, except how to sit quietly at the table when the teacher BLOWS A WHISTLE! & how to do nearly 10 pages of handwriting homework each evening (this is a pre-school class). The parent coordinator is the nicest woman ever, and the principal seems to have worked hard to improve the school. Unfortunately, some teachers appear to be teaching one year too many, and maybe should consider retirement if they are unable to deal with energetic, happy little children.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 16, 2011

I took my child out last year. My child is doing better. With all of the staff they have you would think they can do an excellent job teaching. Well look for another school.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 4, 2010

The new principal has greatly improved this school. I enrolled my 2 boys after the school year had started with great concerns as my children attended catholic school, however, both my children have flourished. Their teachers are well prepared, attentive, caring and the curriculum prepares children to compete in todays world. THe school does not tolerate ANY bullying or nonsense and works with the kids at a young age to make sure they learn proper socialization. I am very pleased.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 1, 2009

My daughter has completed her Kindergarten year here and I must say that her teacher was a Godsend. My daughter was experiencing sensory issues as well as seperation anxiety. She would have melt downs pretty frequently and with the personal help from her teachers we managed to get it under control. At the end of the school year she turned out to be the sweetest, happiest little girl that I knew she was. I look forward to her time in 1st grade.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 18, 2009

My daughter and I moved to nyc after she finished 2nd grade, we came from a suburban neighborhood just outside of DC (in Va). It was initially a culture shock for Natalia (big city etc) but she has thrived in this school. Her test scores, reading and math and social skills have blossomed in this great school. She was very shy in Va however it's all but dissappeared since attending ps63. The teachers are very caring and I'd say very motivated. Natalia is in good shape at this school and of course that means I have one less thing to worry about:)
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 29, 2008

My child attended 5th grade in this school. Previously she had above-grade level scores on all her citywides and no behavioral problems. While in this school her score dropped, and I received constant complaints from her teacher regarding her behavior. I 'dropped by' and I found her entire class in an uproar, controlling the classroom. (science) For all the complaints of rowdy children I have yet to hear of a solution for the ineffective teachers. I believe the small size of the student body contributes to the 'small world' mentality. Teachers are more concerned with the drama of winning the battle between student and teacher, and judgment of parents and need to be reminded of the task at hand...preparing and empowering our children for the world outside of ps 63. In their defense, this was my isolated experiences with 2 teachers. I did come across a few caring faces (Mr. Pearl)
—Submitted by a parent


Posted July 4, 2008

Thanks to the New principal in PS 63 things are much, much better. With a new curriculum student's grades sould be higher. Thanks again to all staff. Great work. Jessica Badillo> Jamel Daniels
—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.

17 students were tested at this school in 2014.

2014

 
 
29%

2013

 
 
16%

2012

 
 
50%
Math

The state average for Math was 42% in 2014.

18 students were tested at this school in 2014.

2014

 
 
33%

2013

 
 
21%

2012

 
 
54%
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.

17 students were tested at this school in 2014.

2014

 
 
18%

2013

 
 
10%

2012

 
 
30%
Math

The state average for Math was 43% in 2014.

18 students were tested at this school in 2014.

2014

 
 
50%

2013

 
 
15%

2012

 
 
74%
Science

The state average for Science was 90% in 2013.

19 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
95%
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.

17 students were tested at this school in 2014.

2014

 
 
18%

2013

 
 
18%

2012

 
 
40%
Math

The state average for Math was 40% in 2014.

17 students were tested at this school in 2014.

2014

 
 
12%

2013

 
 
14%

2012

 
 
48%
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 "B" for the elementary 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
Hispanic 1 62% 23%
Black 2 25% 19%
White 2 7% 48%
Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander 1 6% 9%
American Indian/Alaska Native 1 1% 1%
Two or more races 2 0% 1%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012
Source: 2 NYSED, 2011-2012

Student subgroups

  This school District averageState average
Limited English proficient 14%N/A8%
Students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch program 191%N/A43%
Source: 1 NCES, 2011-2012
Source: 2 NYSED, 2011-2012

Teacher experience

  This school District averageState average
Fewer than 3 years experience 14%N/A5%
Source: NYSED, 2011-2012

Teacher education levels

  This school District averageState average
Master's degree and above 19%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

Teacher resources

Special staff resources available to students Assistant principal(s)
Art teacher(s)
Dance teacher(s)
ELL/ESL Coordinator
Librarian/media specialist(s)
Music teacher(s)
PE instructor(s)
Nurse(s)
Reading specialist(s)
Security personnel
School psychologist
School social worker/counselors(s)
Special education coordinator
Speech and language therapist(s)
Teacher aid/assistant teacher
Foreign languages spoken by school staff Russian
Spanish
Haitian Creole
Read more about programs at this school
Source: Provided by a school official.

Awards

Academic awards received in the past 3 years
  • National Broad Prize for Education (2009)

Special education / special needs

Level of special education programming offered
  • Intensive - the school offers a full program for many needs and/or offers at least one very comprehensive program for very challenging needs such as autism or complete visual impairment
Specialized programs for specific types of special education students
  • Specific learning disabilities
  • Speech and language impairments
Extra learning resources offered
  • Differentiated learning programs
Staff resources available to students
  • Special education coordinator
  • Speech and language therapist(s)

Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math (STEM)

School facilities
  • Computer lab
  • Garden/Greenhouse
Clubs
  • Gardening
  • Recycling club

Arts & music

Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • Dance teacher(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
School facilities
  • Art room
  • Music room
  • Performance stage
Visual arts
  • Design
  • Drawing / sketching
  • Painting
  • Photography
  • Sculpture
Music
  • Band
  • Instrumental music lessons
Performing and written arts
  • Dance

Language learning

Level of ESL/ELL programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students
Staff resources available to students
  • ELL/ESL Coordinator
  • Speech and language therapist(s)
Foreign languages spoken by staff
  • Haitian Creole
  • Russian
  • Spanish

Health & athletics

Staff resources available to students
  • Dance teacher(s)
  • Nurse(s)
  • PE instructor(s)
  • School psychologist
School facilities
  • Garden/Greenhouse
  • Gym
Clubs
  • Gardening
School leaders can update this 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 131 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
8.2
out of 10
 
City average
8.0
out of 10
 

Parents

This school

 
8.7
 

City average

 
8.4
 

Teachers

This school

 
7.7
 

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
7.7
out of 10
 
City average
8.1
out of 10
 

Parents

This school

 
8.9
 

City average

 
8.5
 

Teachers

This school

 
6.5
 

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
7.4
out of 10
 
City average
7.8
out of 10
 

Parents

This school

 
8.4
 

City average

 
8.1
 

Teachers

This school

 
6.4
 

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
8.0
out of 10
 
City average
8.2
out of 10
 

Parents

This school

 
8.7
 

City average

 
8.3
 

Teachers

This school

 
7.3
 

City average

 
8.1
 

Based on surveys from:

 RespondentsResponse rate
Parents10970%
Teachers22100%

12012-2013 New York City Department of Education School Survey

School basics

School start time
  • 8:30 am
School end time
  • 2:55 am
Before school or after school care / program onsite
  • Before school
  • After school
School Leader's name
  • MS. DARLENE CAMERON
Best ways for parents to contact the school
  • Email
  • Phone
Age at which early childhood or Pre-K program begins
  • 4 years old
Gender
  • Coed
Is there an application process?
  • No
Fax number
  • (212) 420-9018

Programs

Instructional and/or curriculum models used

Don't understand these terms?
  • College prep
  • Core knowledge
  • Individually guided instruction
  • Reading and Writing workshop model
Level of special education programming offered
  • Intensive - the school offers a full program for many needs and/or offers at least one very comprehensive program for very challenging needs such as autism or complete visual impairment
Specialized programs for specific types of special education students
  • Specific learning disabilities
  • Speech and language impairments
Foreign languages taught
  • None
Level of ESL/ELL programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students

Resources

Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • Assistant principal(s)
  • Dance teacher(s)
  • ELL/ESL Coordinator
  • Librarian/media specialist(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
  • Nurse(s)
  • PE instructor(s)
  • Reading specialist(s)
  • School psychologist
  • School social worker/counselors(s)
  • Security personnel
  • Special education coordinator
  • Speech and language therapist(s)
  • Teacher aid/assistant teacher
Foreign languages spoken by staff
  • Haitian Creole
  • Russian
  • Spanish
Extra learning resources offered
  • Counseling
  • Differentiated learning programs
  • Remediation
  • Title I Schoolwide program (SWP)
Transportation options
  • Accessible via public transportation
  • Transportation provided for special education students only
School facilities
  • Art room
  • Audiovisual aids
  • Auditorium
  • Cafeteria
  • Computer lab
  • Garden/Greenhouse
  • Gym
  • Internet access
  • Library
  • Music room
  • Performance stage
  • Playground
Partnerships with local resources and organizations
School leaders can update this information here.

Sports

Boys sports
  • None
Girls sports
  • None

Arts & music

Visual arts
  • Design
  • Drawing / sketching
  • Painting
  • Photography
  • Sculpture
Music
  • Band
  • Instrumental music lessons
Performing arts
  • Dance
Media arts
  • None

Student clubs

Clubs (distinct from courses)
  • Gardening
  • Recycling club
School leaders can update this information here.

Upcoming Events

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School culture

Dress Code
  • Dress code
Bullying policy
  • This school has a bullying and/or cyber bullying policy in place.
Parent involvement
  • Attend parent nights
  • Chaperone school trips
  • Join PTO/PTA
  • Organize fundraising events (school auction, bake sales, etc.)
  • Serve on school improvement team or governance council
  • Volunteer in the classroom
More from this school
  • We offer school tours every Thursday. Please contact our Parent Coordinator Alice Saavedra -212-674-3180 to reserve a tour. We believe that in order to truly get to know a school you need to visit, feel the culture in the school, see the classrooms, meet the teachers, see student work then you can see how we meet each child where they are and support them in making progress.
School leaders can update this information here.

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How to apply

Does this school have an application or enrollment process?
 

No

Planning Ahead

Students typically attend these schools after graduating
Tompkins
East Side Middle School
TAS
Notice an inaccuracy? Let us know!

121 E 3rd St
New York, NY 10009
Website: Click here
Phone: (212) 674-3180

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