Best Public Elementary Schools in Queens

The New York City school application period is more than half-way through, but there is still time to enroll your child  in your local elementary school.  Parents need to apply in person to their zoned school, as well as apply to other schools of interest. Here is our list of the highest rated elementary schools in Queens. Looking for more? check out 110 classes for kids in Queens

The Department of Education has a school search tool that you can use to find your zoned school. Parents need to bring their child’s birth certificate as well as two documents showing proof of address.  There is a clear order of preference in how schools accept students. According to the Department of Education, schools will make assignments according to the following priorities, listed from highest to lowest:

  1. Zoned students with a sibling who will be in grades 1-5 at the school in 2011-2012;
  2. All other zoned students;
  3. Students residing in the school’s district but outside the school’s zone, with a sibling who will be in grades 1-5 at the school in 2011-2012;
  4. Students residing outside of the school’s district with a sibling who will be in grades 1-5 at the school in 2011-2012;
  5. All other students residing in the school’s district but outside the school’s zone,
  6. All other students.

Queens is broken into six school districts, numbered 24-30. Any one if these districts cover a number of neighborhoods, and the district you end up in is determined by your address.  Each year the Department of Education grades the schools on a scale of A-F.  Each school’s score is based on a number of factors.  While there are a number of great schools in each district, here is a list of the schools which received the DOE’s highest overall scores on their annual progress report.

District 24 – Flushing, Woodside, Jackson Heights, and Sunnyside


P.S. 58 School of Heroes

This school received an A on the latest NYC Department of Education progress report.  P.S. 58, which opened in 2002, serves a diverse population, and offers its students a solid education.  While many parents and students rate the school highly, there are still complaints about the lack of activities for students to engage in after school.

P.S. 87 Middle Village School

This is a K-8 school, for parents who opt to keep their kids in one environment through middle school.  Inside Schools states that “PS 87 has long been known as a good neighborhood school with a particularly strong special education program.”  Parents find the school exceptional, and consider it a safe and nurturing environment where students can be challenged and grow as a part of a community of learners.  This school received an A on the latest NYC Department of Education progress report.

District 25 – Flushing. Fresh Meadows and North East Queens


P.S. 24 Andrew Jackson School

P.S. 24 has a reputation as a high performing school in District 25.  It serves a diverse population and strives to make parents involved in everything they do at the school.  Parents report liking the school for the way it creates a warm and nurturing environment while holding their children to very high standards.  The school holds many parent-child events to encourage parental involvement.  All students in the school also participate in their arts program. This school received an A on the latest NYC Department of Education progress report.

P.S. 32 State Street School

P.S. 32 offers a Gifted and Talented Program beginning in kindergarten.  Students must take the city wide tests in order to be admitted into the program.  This is a large neighborhood school that tries to make its learning community feel small and welcoming.  The school provides its students with a variety of ways to learn about and express their various cultures.  It also provides resources like test prep before school and dual language classes.  This school has an excellent academic record and was given and A on the Department of Education’s latest progress report.

District 26 – Bayside

P.S. 46 Alley Pond School

In a district of high performing, Alley Pond School stands out as being one of the highest performing schools.  It received the highest overall score of any District 26 elementary school on the DOE’s progress report, and has a consistent record of high achievement.  The school has a substantial special education population, which they have incorporated into the academic fiber of the school.  The principal, Marsha Goldberg, who use to be Assistant Principal of Special Education, told Inside Schools that “The same type of learning goes on in all our classes.”  This is evident in the school’s overall success in academics.  Parents involvement is also an integral part of the school’s success.

P.S. 205 Alexander Graham Bell School

This is a very small school that services students in Pre-K through 5th grade.  The school has a stellar record of academic achievement, and offers students a myriad of support services in a nurturing environment.  Community and parent involvement is high, and the school truly is a neighborhood school.  P.S. 205 uses its limited extra-curricular resources in creative way that engage the students and support their academic success.  This school was given an A on the DOE’s latest progress report.

District 27 – Ozone Park, Rockaway and Southern Queens


P.S. 254

Small school serving kids K-5. Parents find P.S. 254 to be a good school that works hard to educate and care for their children.  The school’s excellent scores are a result of a dedicated staff, and programs that provide students with additional academic resources.  The school shares the building with a district 75 school, but the students from the two schools do not interact.  P.S. 254 also has a school uniform policy to help instill a sense of school pride among its students.  This school received an A on the Department of Education’s latest progress report.

P. S. 66 Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School

Housed in a historic building built in the late 1800s, P.S. 66 has experience some overcrowding of late.  Nonetheless, the school manages to maintain its excellent reputation as being a caring place that is lively and student centered. The school boasts a great academic record and high scores on the state’s standardized exams. It also earned an A on the Department of Education’s latest progress report.

District 28 – Forest Hills, Kew Gardens and Rego Park


P.S. 196 Grand Central Parkway School

This school is one of new York city’s highest ranked elementary schools and has a reputation for providing students with a strong academic education in an atmosphere that is nurturing. This school was one of the few that was exempted from the city’s uniform elementary schools curriculum in 2003 because of its stellar record.  Some parents feel that the emphasis on testing is too strong in the school, but agree that the school creates an environment that encourages learning and growth. P.S. 196 was graded A on the DOE’s progress report.

P.S. 161 The Arthur Ashe School

Working with students from disparate backgrounds can present a challenge for a school, but P.S. 161 makes it work.  The highly sought after middle school provides a rich education for its students, which includes a Gifted and Talented program.  The school also boasts high parental involvement in an environment that is welcoming and open. The school also offers after school help and test prep for it’s students.  P.S. 161 earned an A on the DOE’s latest progress reports.

District 29 – Queens Village and South East Queens


P.S. 52

After struggling for years, this school has finally turned things around. The school reports increased test scores over the last few years. The school has created a better system of communication with parents, who complain that there are not enough resources for their kids.  The staff provides an academic program that has seen success in its students’ overall test scores, but the school still has some work to do in this area.  P.S. 52 received an A on the DOE’s progress reports.

P.S. 134 Hollis School

A neighborhood school that had seen improvement in it’s math and reading scores over the past few years.  The hallways are filled with beautiful displays of student work.  The school makes use of a number of programs to enrich the education of their students. Parents find the school to be a nice place that engages it’s students. This school received a B.

District 30 – Long Island City and Astoria


P.S. 122 Mamie Fay School

This is a large school serving a K-8 population.  Despite its size, P.S. 122 has received excellent ratings from the Department of Education and from the parents of its students.  The school holds its students to a high academic standard, but do so in an environment that is warm and welcoming.  The school has a long association with Columbia University’s Teachers College, which is evident in its writing program.  P.S. 122 is also host to a Gifted and Talented program that is highly sought after.

P.S. 234

Parents love P.S. 234.  The teachers are hardworking and passionate about their work, and the kids are engaged in their learning.  Reading is the cornerstone of the school’s curriculum, and students are encouraged to explore as they learn.  Parent involvement in the school is very high, and the school fosters a good relationship with the neighborhood by offering English language instruction for parents.  P.S. 234 was given an A on the DOE’s latest progress report.

By Simone Gobin