2016-2017 Blackboard Awards Honoree: PS 290 — Manhattan New School

Photo by Daniel S. Burnstein

Editor’s note: To read profiles of all 2016-2017 Blackboard Awards honorees, click HERE! Plus: Scroll down for video from the Awards ceremony.

PS 290 – Manhattan New School
Principal: Doreen Esposito

311 East 82nd Street

Award: Outstanding School

Describe your school’s core educational philosophy.
Manhattan New School, PS 290, was founded on the premise of establishing a community where every child has the opportunity to become a lifelong learner. MNS is a true community of learners, one that cares for and nurtures its students to become readers, writers, mathematicians, scientists, artists and full-fledged global citizens. Through rigorous academics and the dynamic relationship between students, teachers, administrators, staff and families, MNS has created a holistic educational environment where perseverance, curiosity and questioning lead to self-reflective habits of mind.

Tell us about a few of the school’s achievements or distinguishing programs.
We have been studying the benefits of Growth Mindset and how it can give students tools to build self-confidence, knowing that their efforts matter. This has given us a greater understanding of the potential in each one of us, propelling our students toward greater achievement. We are especially proud of bringing arts programs such as Wingspan, a theater program for grades K-5, to the school. Through our partnership we have been able to meld literacy with theater in all grades.

Photo by Mark Sweeney

What’s new?
In order to be more transparent about the academic goals we have for our students and provide the parents with more information, report card indicators were created. We have also created assessment portfolios which were introduced to collect student work over the course of the year. Our student council is a source of extreme pride! It was formed to engage fifth grade students in the electoral process and to give them a voice, empowering them to effect change in school policies, working collaboratively and being proactive.

What do you love about your school?
I have been a part of the MNS community for over fifteen years! It is truly my second home. I care deeply about the teachers who make this school the special place that it is. I am also so appreciative of the parents who have invested countless hours at festivals, workshops, and PTA meetings. But most of all, it is the students who make PS 290 the very special place that it is. They are an enthusiastic, funny and serious group of kids who genuinely like coming to school each and every day.