As soon as you walk into P.S. 229, I believe you can feel that this is a very special school. Not only do we service many students with special needs, have a talented and gifted program, but P.S. 229 is probably the best kept secret in Queens. Our academic standards are rigorous resulting in above average reading and math scores. We are an "A" school that is designated as "well-developed."
We teach reading and writing using the Columbia University Teacher’s College methodology and were a Columbia University Project school for many years. The arts are also a vital part of a P.S. 229 education. Our children draw, sing and dance in addition to mastering the academic skills. You really have to visit or know P.S. 229 to understand the magic of “our little school in Woodside.”
No principal can run a school of over 1,450 students without the help and support of a dedicated staff, administration and wonderful parents.
It is a honor and a privilege to serve as the 5th principal of P.S. 229.
When hiring a new teacher, I look for qualities of enthusiasm, optimism, dedication and a person that can demonstrate knowledge of content and pedagogy. Teaching is very difficult and complex work. I want my teachers to have good communication and technology skills, good questioning techniques and be engaging. Teachers need to be flexible, responsive and willing to be life- long learners.
A typical day at P.S. 229 will start with “stepping up” at 8:00 a.m. (where all students go up their classrooms by themselves – with staff supervising hallways).
Our day is divided into seven periods lasting about fifty minutes each. The day is divided into reading, writing, math, science, social studies an elective (such as art, technology, gym/movement or music) and lunch. If weather permits, all students go out to our school yard for half their lunch period. Our struggling students remain in school for an extended hour twice a week.
About 300 hundred of our students continue their day until 5:30 in Maspeth Town Hall, our after school program from Monday through Friday. Some of our English Language Learners also get extended classes after our regular school day ends at 2:20.
All students learn in different ways. This is true for special needs students as well as general education or gifted students. We follow the reading and writing workshop model so teachers differentiate their lessons according to students’ reading levels. Our teachers administer many assessments to students in other content areas and plan their lessons at the appropriate instructional level.
If a parent walked into any classroom they would see students grouped by level and need. In addition to whole group lessons teachers would be conferencing with individual and grouped students. Most importantly you would see “engaged” students and focused, purposeful teaching.
Our school is a very safe place. We are proud to report that we have very few incidents that would jeopardize a child’s safety. In our recent School Learning Survey 96% of our sixth grade students replied that they felt completely safe at school and never stay at home because they don’t feel safe. Our teachers and parents also rated our school as being a very safe place. Look at our survey for a detailed report of parent, student and teacher views.
Our Student Leadership Team, comprised of class presidents and vice presidents, organize an annual School Spirit Week in May. During School Spirit Week, each day, students wear specific clothing for events such as twin day, sports day, mismatch day, etc. One day of this week each grade gets a field day in the school yard or gym where games are played to promote school spirit. Each class has a mascot and special colored tee shirt. It’s a week where you will hear lots of cheering throughout each day.
Our school is very blessed with wonderful students, parents and teachers. Our school reflects our community with dedicated and involved parents and teachers.
We are always busy fund raising for UNICEF, St. Jude's Children's Hospital, American Cancer Society and hosting blood drives. Last year we raised over $15,000 for charities.
We also have generous parents and patrons that support our ever increasing financial needs to fund the arts. We are always grateful for any support we receive.
I think the major challenges faced by our parents today is managing their time. Parents are very busy with work and trying to give their children the time they need and fitting in many activities. We also have many English Language Learners and of course language is a challenge for both young and old. Our parents would also need more after school programs, tutoring and summer programs.
We try to help by offering an after school program, ESL classes for young and old, Learning Leaders as tutors and support from our staff to meet the needs of our struggling students.
We have a very generous school community. We fund raise for many charities and are always aware of the great need in our community and the world. We have bake sales and other fund raisers throughout the year. Our PTA is active and generous.
Recently our Ballroom Dancing was in jeopardy, but our proactive 4th grade teachers, our parents and a generous patron were able to raise the funds needed.
Maspeth Town Hall is our after school program.
We offer Midori Music for students in grade 4 through 6.
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