Message from our Principal

Dear Visitor:

As Principal of PS 163, I welcome you to our website. The information we present reflects a collaborative effort among the members of the school teaching staff and administration, our students, and parent members of our community. During your visit to our website, you will learn about our school’s mission, programs, and activities.

Before you begin, permit me to tell you a bit about our community. It is our goal to provide an instructional program that will help each PS 163 student meet or exceed City and State standards. Our instructional staff offers a rich and rigorous program. Our teachers work diligently not only to help the students meet and exceed instructional goals but also to celebrate our students’ accomplishments. We offer strong literacy and math programs. While test scores are only a partial indicator of success, the scores of PS 163 students on Statewide tests demonstrate the commitment we have to our strong core program. At PS 163, learning is fun. Our students receive a foundation of basic skills that help them become critical thinkers.

Several of our programs contribute to set PS 163 apart from other schools.

We provide our students with a very strong foundation in science. Throughout their school experience, our students receive science instruction both in their classroom and through our science cluster staff. In grades K through 2, a science specialist provides specific classroom lessons that our grade teachers coordinate with other classroom instruction. In the upper grades, a science specialist offers instruction in PS 163’s beautiful science laboratory. We employ an inquiry-based program that encourages our students to observe, discuss, draw conclusions, and write about their science experiments. We coordinate student science work with shared and independent classroom readings on various topics that are the subject of student investigation with our science specialists. At the same time, we assure that our units of study follow the Department of Education’s science curriculum.

Another significant aspect of our program can be found in our deep commitment to the arts. Throughout the grades, our students receive music instruction, visual art instruction, and dance/movement training. Please browse through our web site where you can view samples of our student art projects.

The PS 163 music program offers instruction using Orff instruments, and provides vocal and choral instruction. Our students learn to read music and develop a meaningful understanding of rhythm. Movement instruction begins in kindergarten, and continues through fifth grade. Fourth grade students enjoy an outstanding dance experience offered through collaboration with The National Dance Institute. During weekly dance sessions our students find themselves transformed into a dance corp. whose performances “bring down the house” at an end of the year program attended by the entire school community.

We believe our students bring often times hidden gifts, talents, and interests to school. That is why in the third through fifth grade we give our students a chance to explore such interests in the context of what we call enrichment clusters. Our children receive an opportunity to choose from a menu of activities, and to explore their interests in small groups. We change our program offerings twice each year. Our students may, for example, run in Central Park, learn flamenco dance, study data patterns by drawing upon school attendance data, or design their own jewelry. The students’ interests lead the way during clusters.

I hope you enjoy your visit to the web site. We take great pride in our school and trust that your visit to our website will demonstrate why we feel the way that we do about PS 163.

– Donny Lopez

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