PS 163 is a pre-kindergarten through fifth grade elementary school located on 97 Street between Columbus and Amsterdam Avenue in Manhattan serving 634 students as of May 18, 2006.
The population of PS 163 reflects the diversity of the community it serves. Students come from public housing, market and high rent apartments, family cooperatives and transition hotels. Our school-wide programs have drawn 26% of our students from outside district 3. As of the 2004-2005 Annual School Report, our children’s come from the following diverse backgrounds; Hispanic 46.8% , African American 29.3% , Caucasian 20% and other backgrounds 3.9%. Our population includes 5.4% immigrants to the United States, which is below the city average. PS 163 offers a universal free lunch program. Despite its location on the upper West Side of Manhattan, most of our students come from economically modest households.
PS 163 is housed in a three-story building with two trailers adjacent to the main structure. There is a gym, student cafeteria, auditorium, science and computer lab, school library, art room, music room and beautiful outdoor gardens. The school enjoys the use of an adjoining New York City Parks Department playground. PS 163 began to use the playground space through a collaborative planning effort between parents and Park department staff. PS 163 offers the following programs: Dual Language, General Education, Collaborative Team Teaching, Gifted and Talented, and Special Education Teacher Support Services. Our school also has a special collaboration with District 75 for students with serious special needs who have been judged ready for a full mainstream program. PS 163 offers Occupational and Physical Therapy, Speech, and Language Therapy, and Counseling.
In the current school year, PS 163 has one full day Pre-kindergarten Superstart Plus class, six kindergarten classes, and five first grade classes one first/second grade class, four second third and three fourth grade classes, one four five combination class and three fifth grade classes.
The pedagogical staff at PS 163 consists of 47 teachers, 4 paraprofessionals. PS 163 support staff includes two speech teachers, 1.5 guidance counselors, and one SAPIS (Substance Abuse Prevention Intervention Specialist) as well as the Instructional Support committee, which includes a social worker, psychologist, and one IEP teacher. Support staff also includes three part time occupational therapists and one part time physical therapist. This totals 11 support staff members.
The P.S. 163 community is warm caring, spirited and diverse. Parent involvement is an essential part of our community. Parents create participation and community building within the class, through picnics, parties and class fundraising. School-wide, we have an active School Leadership Team (SLT) and Parents Teachers Association (PTA). Many more rewarding and fun opportunities for parent support are described in Section XVII of this CEP. Information is also available in the P.S. 163 Parent Handbook.
P.S. 163 is populated by hardworking talented, giving parents who support the academic and social needs of our students and continue to find new ways to make what is good, even better.