The Academy of Talented Scholars
BROOKLYN NY 11204 Map
The Academy of Talented Scholars
P.S. 682, The Academy of Talented Scholars (TAOTS), is a small school where hands on learning is emphasized and academics are fused with arts.
Founding Principal Josephine Sportella-Giusto drew on her 15 years as a teacher to create the blueprint for TAOTS while studying at the New York City Leadership Academy. Central to her vision is the Schoolwide Enrichment Model (SEM), a model that is often used with gifted children. SEM students take regular classes as well as a variety of non-academic classes, which include no more than 12 students at a time.
Children, who get to pick the special classes, seemed excited and engaged during our visit. Among the many choices are: Guitar Mania, Italian Dancers, Ju Jitsu, Kindergarten Math Wizards, Shutterbug Society, Spanish Explorers, TAOTS Reporters, TAOTS Top Chefs, World Artists, Young Publishers, Young Yogas and Yoginis, and Zumba. Projects range from kindergartners digging into a slice of watermelon to find out if their estimates of how many seeds were in a slice were correct, to a class that blends creating poetry with painting. When we visited, third graders in the Top Chef cluster were learning how to make sushi while getting a background on Japanese culture. All necessary enrichment equipment is provided by the school, from iPads for the blogging cluster, to guitars for the music cluster.
Teachers often work with the help of trained, parent volunteers. Students also complete writing assignments about what they learned.
The academy was founded in 2009 and shares its building with two other schools; a District 75 school and The Brooklyn School of Inquiry. The building is modern and colorful, both inside and out. Currently, the school is K-3, but the school will continue to expand until it is K-5.
On the second floor, a brightly colored hallway leads straight into the TAOTS main office; a pleasant, airy space with enough seats to accommodate the handful of kids that stop by in the afternoon to wait for their parents.
A partnership with Reach the World, an organization that allows students to connect with world travelers through video conferencing, enhances the social studies curriculum. The school is part of Tribes, a community building organization.
TAOTS is rich in arts and technology. Interactive whiteboards and computers are in most of the classrooms. Students take technology classes, learning how to produce presentations and improve their research skills. Art and music instruction is offered to all students.
School facilities include a home economics room and a science lab. The large double gym, cafeteria, and library are shared with the other two schools occupying the building. The school's uniform policy is loosely enforced.
TAOTS has an active Parent Teacher Organization. Parent volunteers assist with cluster classes and run the library. A math workshop helps parents to better understand the math curriculum.
Special education: TAOTS offers an ASD Nest program and other special education services. The ASD Nest Program serves children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). Students with ASD learn in a classroom alongside typically developing children, taught by two teachers who have been trained in the program’s specialized curriculum and teaching strategies. All special education students are integrated in regular classes. The building is handicapped accessible.
After school: In partnership with Project Success, TOATS offers an after school program called the Test Prep Academy. The Academy meets three times a week.
Admissions: Admission is by lottery with priority to District 20 students. (Eliana Mascio, February 2012)
At a glance
Number of Students 350
Average Daily Attendance 96%
Safety & vibe
How many teachers say bullying is a problem at school?NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE
How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained in the school?87% 81% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
ARE CLASSES BIG?
Number of students in an average kindergarten classNA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Number of students in an average fifth grade classNA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE
DO TEACHERS LIKE THE SCHOOL?
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?80% 80% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
How many teachers would recommend this school to other parents?NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE
How many students are chronically absent?10% 23% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of 3rd, 4th & 5th graders who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam
Percent of 3rd, 4th & 5th graders who scored 3 or 4 on the state ela exam
Percent of 4th graders who scored 3 or 4 on the state science exam
Does the school encourage family involvement?
How many parents say they were invited to an event at the school at least 3 times in the last school year?NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Do parents like the school?
How many parents would recommend this school to other parents?NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Special ed & ELL
How well does this school serve students with disabilities?
This school does not offer self-contained classes.
Percent of self-contained students who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam:NA 8% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of self-contained students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:NA 2% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
This school offers team teaching (ict).
Percent of ICT students who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam:48% 19% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of ICT students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:26% 9% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of SETSS students who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam:NA 17% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of SETSS students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:NA 9% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
How many parents say students with disabilities are included in all activities?
How many teachers say students with special needs are educated in the least restrictive environment appropriate?
How many parents of students with ieps say this school offers a wide enough variety of services and activities for their children’s needs?