Tag Archives: P.S. 244

Flushing elementary school awarded national Blue Ribbon

| asuriel@queenscourier.com

Photo via Google Maps

The U.S. Department of Education designated Flushing’s P.S. 244 as a Blue Ribbon School this morning for its rigorous academic curriculum.

The National Blue Ribbon program honors public and private elementary, middle and high schools across the country for achieving high learning standards or improvement in closing achievement gaps. P.S. 244 is one of only 335 schools that received the designation.

Principal Robert Groff thanked the secretary of education for the recognition. He said the school—which opened in 2008—hopes to continue its success and looks forward to excelling in the future.

“This clearly illustrates the hard work of our staff and families each day,” Groff said. “We have been able to build a community of learners for both students and adults alike that makes TALES a truly special place.”

Congresswoman Grace Meng said she was extremely proud of Principal Groff and all of the school’s students, teachers and staff, and congratulated all on achieving the national honor.

“Naming P.S. 244 as a Blue Ribbon School is great news,” said Meng. “This is a tremendous achievement and it further illustrates the great work of the entire school team.”

P.S. 244—also known as The Active Learning Elementary School (TALES)—is located at 137-20 Franklin Ave. and serves children from pre-kindergarten to third grade. According to Meng, the rigorous curriculum has an emphasis on social development and a focus on health and nutrition.

On Nov. 9 and 10, representatives from the school will be formally recognized in a special Washington, D.C. ceremony and presented with an award plaque and flag.


Flushing public school is first in city to serve all-vegetarian menu five days a week

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

A Queens elementary school has become the first public school in the city to serve an all-vegetarian menu five days a week

P.S. 244, the Active Learning Elementary School, in Flushing, is also believed to be one of the first public schools in America to do so, said the Department of Education (DOE).

“I am proud of the students and staff for trailblazing this extraordinary path,” said Schools Chancellor Dennise Walcott.

Opening in 2008, the school first offered a vegetarian lunch three times a week, then increased it to four days.

The menu includes roasted chickpeas, braised black beans with plantains, tofu vegetable wrap with cucumber salad, vegetarian chili served with brown rice, falafel, and roasted tofu with Asian sesame sauce, according to the DOE.

“We created P.S. 244 based on a principle of a healthy lifestyle and academic achievement,” said Principal Robert Groff, one of the school’s founders. “We discovered early on that our kids were gravitating toward our vegetarian offerings, and we kept expanding the program to meet the demand. The vegetarian menu fits right in with our mission and we are thrilled that our students in Pre-Kindergarten all the way up to Grade 3 understand the importance of healthy and nutritious meals.”