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GreatSchools Rating

Ps 163 Alfred E Smith

Public | PK-5 & ungraded | 636 students

 

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Last modified
Community Rating

4 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
Based on 3 ratings
2013:
Based on 1 rating
2012:
Based on 1 rating
2011:
Based on 2 ratings

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24 reviews of this school


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Posted May 15, 2014

The school is truly an amazing experience for students, thanks to the diversity of population, the evidence of collaboration among teachers, and the staff in general that make this experience for students as rich and unique. Yes, there is a new principal and everyone is learning to adapt and communicate. The building next door won't take forever, and parents and staff are fighting to make sure there is little disturbance in the children's life. The diversity of programs allow students to be open-minded towards other cultures. Teachers and staff in general work harder than anyone I know. Students have access to clubs, which open new interests into their life and enable them to work collaboratively with students from other programs. The teachers are truly amazing. They care for the students as they care for their own children. There is a sense of community, and openness between teachers and parents that allow activities and fun celebrations to happen on a regular basis. Parents come voluntarily to help with the library, helping teachers, going on field trips, contributing to the arts and dance programs. Come and visit the school, you will be convinced that it is a unique place.
—Submitted by a teacher


Posted May 7, 2014

We've been very disappointed by this school. It seems to be going through some major changes, not for the better. The morale seems to have plummeted around the school this year among both parents and teachers. The new principal has made some changes that the teachers aren't happy about (many of the tenured teachers filed official grievances with their union). And many parents feel that the testing has become too important and that the teachers are just teaching to the test. The dual language program was fine up until the testing grades (3-5). From then on, the focus from the first day of school is on the state tests and as I was reminded each time I complained about the diminishing Spanish instruction time, "The tests are in English." Also, they've switched to a new curriculum this year which is not available in Spanish so even after testing was over for the year and I asked our teacher if she'd be getting back to 50/50 English/Spanish instruction she told me that was impossible since she didn't have enough Spanish materials. Also, beware, a 20-story building will be under construction right next door to the school for the next 3 years, making it a horrible learning environment.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 22, 2014

i love my school! it is so awesome! the kids are super nice and so are the teachers!


Posted October 24, 2013

I heard great things about this school. My son is going to enter in Kindergarten next year and I am soooo excited about that. Also about their dual language program... All I can say is that I have been following their improvement in different areas and they are doing better and better each year. Very committed to their children.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted November 26, 2012

I graduated from P.S. 163 two years ago. I was there since first grade, and I absolutely loved the school. I was in the gifted and talented dual language program. I loved all my teachers, they were extremely hepful, fun and energetic. The school is so diverse, I had friends of all different ethnicities.I really wish I was still there. I honestly cannot think of anything I didn't like about the school


Posted November 9, 2011

I'm a parent of a gifted and non-gifted child who both attend P.S. 163. The school is made up of parents of many backgrounds (Black, White, Asian and Spanish). The staff there is extremely helpful. The Parent Coordinator is a gem. When I was unhappy with my oldest child's school she guided me through the process to get my oldest into P.S. 163. The Co-President of the PTA took a call from me at 9pm when I was unhappy about some school photographs that came out bad. I was able to have my child re-take the shots with no extra cost to me. My 2nd grader is in the gifted program. My 2nd grader scored high enough on the gifted tests that she could have gotten into any school that she wanted. I picked P.S. 163 because I liked the atmosphere. I especially liked the fact that there is not attitude of "we are better then you" among the students who are in gifted class against the ones who are in general education classes. I also liked that while there is a strong academic program, the children are allowed to actually have fun and be children. The school has a great afterschool program run by LEAP which is from 3-6pm.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted June 30, 2011

During the enrollment process in 2010, we were offered a G&T seat at PS 163. We did not know much about the school at the time but from the moment we walked in the school doors we knew we found a D3 hidden gem of a school. The administration is available and is a constant presence in the school. The teachers are dedicated, hard working and have always been willing to give extra time to help support our child s education and development. I especially like the trailers for the kindergarten classrooms. I had neutral feelings about them going into the school year but they turned out to be ideal. The kids have their own bathroom, drop off & pick up are at the classroom door and there is a nice play yard just for the kindergartners. The school does not raise as much money as some of the other D3 schools but I feel the school and PTA have done a great job in choosing the right places to spend the money. The school community is warm and inviting. There is a great sense of pride in the school and all the programs offered in the school; Gen Ed, Dual Language & G&T, work together to make this possible.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 18, 2010

Because the teachers are amazing and work so hard despite economic challenges, the children love going to school and are so proud of their accomplishments and because it feels like home.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 18, 2010

PS163 is wonderfully diverse school with dedicated and caring teachers. our daughter just began Kindergarten, we are so happy with the time she is able to use the outdoor grounds and the science curriculum. It is easy to get involved in projects from gardening to Auction. PS163 is great!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 11, 2010

The enthusiasm of the parents and teachers and the dual language program.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 27, 2010

Our son is in the G&T Kindergarten class this year and we love the school. His teacher is one of the sweetest and most caring teachers I have met (and I recruit teachers for a living). The school is more diverse than any public or private school we could find in the City. As a strong supporter of school choice and charter schools in particular, I must say I am very impressed with this traditional public school. It has given me new faith that excellence is possible in an urban public school.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 4, 2009

The staff is warm and caring. They are the hands,feet, and hearts that are making the bridges toward greatness for our children's emotional and educational development without chance. Only promise.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 4, 2009

Absolutely love the teachers and faculty and how I know that my child is safe, loved and cared for when I drop my child off until I pick him up.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 21, 2009

I love PS163 because it has a wonderful, diverse student body, dedicated parents, great teachers, and lots of interesting curriculum offerings like science lab, dance, chess, and quilting, in addition to all the basics.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 16, 2009

We have smart students, a professional and collaborative faculty, a good administration, and a caring,giving,and proactive parents' association!
—Submitted by a teacher


Posted September 18, 2006

I am a parent of a special needs kindergartener, the occupational therapist (HG) is fantastic, the speech therapist I have just met but seems to care about the overall goals for my child. The school is somewhat rigid and at times can seem cold but I think the school is a comporable choice to a private school.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted December 24, 2005

I think the G/T program is worth considering and their multicultural background is impressing.
—Submitted by a student


Posted November 22, 2005

My daughter is in the English language 'Gifted + Talented' kindergarten and we are very happy with her classroom experience so far. There are only 16 children in the class and the teacher, Danielle DeSimone, is enthusiastic and talented. We are also impressed with the principal, Dr. Virginia Pepe. On the negative side: Four kindergarten and first grade classrooms (including my daughter's) are housed in 'trailers' -- temporary structures that have become permanent -- and the school is so chronically short of money that parents are asked to supply routine classroom items like graham crackers for snack time, and hand soap. Also, although the G+T program attracts many middle-class families, the General Education program does not. So while the G+T classes are ethnically mixed, the GE classes have very few whites or asians.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 29, 2005

The principal, assistant principal, and the K and 1st grade teachers (those I know) are fantastic, committed, and warm. They weathered the inevitable chaos of the beginning of the school year with resolve, and made the school as welcoming as possible to children and parents alike. This is not a rich school, and it is a school with a bi-modal distribution of student performance on the horrible standardized tests the students are compelled to take. In other words, there are real challenges that lower-performing students face, and it is entirely appropriate that the 'gifted and talented' programs do not get lots of special treatment. It is a testimony to the principal's vision for the school and for public education that the resources that are there are there for all.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 30, 2005

I love this school my son was there from k to 5th and it was a great experience for him and me. From the teachers to the PTA everything was great. The gifted and talented program was the best.
—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.

114 students were tested at this school in 2014.

2014

 
 
61%

2013

 
 
51%

2012

 
 
63%
Math

The state average for Math was 42% in 2014.

113 students were tested at this school in 2014.

2014

 
 
70%

2013

 
 
63%

2012

 
 
85%
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.

118 students were tested at this school in 2014.

2014

 
 
60%

2013

 
 
41%

2012

 
 
70%
Math

The state average for Math was 43% in 2014.

118 students were tested at this school in 2014.

2014

 
 
76%

2013

 
 
57%

2012

 
 
68%
Science

The state average for Science was 90% in 2013.

85 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
99%
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.

80 students were tested at this school in 2014.

2014

 
 
49%

2013

 
 
33%

2012

 
 
65%
Math

The state average for Math was 40% in 2014.

80 students were tested at this school in 2014.

2014

 
 
48%

2013

 
 
31%

2012

 
 
73%
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 "C" 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 2 46% 23%
White 1 25% 48%
Black 2 22% 19%
Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander 1 6% 9%
American Indian/Alaska Native 2 1% 1%
Two or more races 2 1% 1%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012
Source: 2 NYSED, 2011-2012

Student subgroups

  This school District averageState average
Limited English proficient 19%N/A8%
Students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch program 156%N/A43%
Source: 1 NYSED, 2011-2012
Source: 2 NCES, 2011-2012

Teacher experience

  This school District averageState average
Fewer than 3 years experience 9%N/A5%
Source: NYSED, 2011-2012

Teacher education levels

  This school District averageState average
Master's degree and above 67%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
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 247 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
8.3
out of 10
 
City average
8.0
out of 10
 

Parents

This school

 
8.5
 

City average

 
8.4
 

Teachers

This school

 
8.1
 

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
8.0
out of 10
 
City average
8.1
out of 10
 

Parents

This school

 
8.5
 

City average

 
8.5
 

Teachers

This school

 
7.5
 

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
8.1
out of 10
 
City average
7.8
out of 10
 

Parents

This school

 
8.4
 

City average

 
8.1
 

Teachers

This school

 
7.7
 

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
8.2
out of 10
 
City average
8.2
out of 10
 

Parents

This school

 
8.3
 

City average

 
8.3
 

Teachers

This school

 
8.1
 

City average

 
8.1
 

Based on surveys from:

 RespondentsResponse rate
Parents21138%
Teachers3682%

12012-2013 New York City Department of Education School Survey

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School basics

School Leader's name
  • MR. DONNY LOPEZ

Resources

Extra learning resources offered
  • Title I Schoolwide program (SWP)
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163 W 97th St
New York, NY 10025
Phone: (212) 678-2854

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