P.S. 748 Brooklyn School for Global Scholars
BROOKLYN NY 11214 Map
P.S. 748 Brooklyn School for Global Scholars
PS 748, also called the Brooklyn School for Global Scholars, is a vibrant and well-run school with strong leadership and a friendly vibe. A zoned, neighborhood school, it serves a multicultural student body, including many English language learners, from within its zone.
From the time it opened in 2010, the school has been committed to project-based learning. “What you will not see here are worksheets or test prep,” said the founding principal, Ursula Annio, who gets high marks from teachers and parents based on their responses to annual school surveys. Teachers develop their curriculum in-house, injecting a lot of creativity into lessons while doing a nice job of addressing both learning fundamentals and doing more complex work. Math drills, phonics and grammar lessons help shore up basic skills, but what drives instruction here is the emphasis on hands-on, in-depth and inventive work.
A history lesson may be paired with writing and art assignments. When students study the history of New York State, they research early explorers of the region and then each composes an illustrated book as well as create a doll in the likeness of the researched explorer. In math, students develop computational accuracy by completing calculation-dense projects such as designing a dream home with room-by-room specifications or plotting out a 60-kilometer bike trip complete with stops for food and rest.
In classes, there’s a nice balance between independent and collaborative work. Students select books from well-stocked classroom libraries to read and write on a range of topics; they critique each other’s writings and present their polished pieces to the class. Instead of answering questions from a textbook, 5th-graders we observed were creating their own study guides to help them prepare for an upcoming math test.
Beginning in 3rd grade, classes are departmentalized—essentially a modified middle school format. The idea is that students learn better when taught by a teacher who spends most or all of the day focusing on specific subjects. Students, including those in special education classes, have one teacher for English and social studies and another for math and science. Special needs students have the added assurance that they’re getting the same quality of instruction as their peers in other classes because they share the same teachers. “Some of these students came to us non-verbal and now they can participate in Socratic Seminar,” said Annio, referring to the practice where the teacher prompts a class-wide discussion with an open-ended question, and then students comment and challenge each other’s responses.
In addition to taking art, music, gym and technology, students participate in weekly “enrichment” activities that vary by grades but include offerings such as music (recorder or keyboard), LEGO Robotics, movement and games. Teachers plan regular field trips to museums and other cultural institutions and students in all grades join in on community service projects.
Parent involvement is good and the staff puts a lot of effort into communication with parents. Teachers send home weekly newsletters and have students compile “goal booklets” to share with their parents. The staff invites parents to weekly talks that cover a range of academic and parenting topics. For their part, parents raise funds to support arts instruction and other programs and volunteer to help out during the school day.
The Federation of Italian-Americans runs a free after-school program onsite that is open to students in grades 1 though 5.
SPECIAL EDUCATION: The school offers ICT classes in the lower grades. It plans to phase out self-contained classes in the upper grades and replace them with team-taught classes, Annio said.
ADMISSIONS: Originally open to children from all over District 20, PS 748 is now a zoned, neighborhood school. It is phasing out its G&T program and no longer offers pre-k. (Laura Zingmond, March 2016)
At a glance
Number of Students 615
Average Daily Attendance 96%
Safety & vibe
How many teachers say bullying is a problem at school?10% 17% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained in the school?97% 86% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
ARE CLASSES BIG?
Number of students in an average kindergarten class22 23 CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Number of students in an average fifth grade classNA 26 CITYWIDE AVERAGE
DO TEACHERS LIKE THE SCHOOL?
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?100% 84% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
How many teachers would recommend this school to other parents?97% 87% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
How many students are chronically absent?8% 22% 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?80% 75% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Do parents like the school?
How many parents would recommend this school to other parents?97% 94% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Special ed & ELL
How well does this school serve students with disabilities?
This school offers self-contained classes.
Percent of self-contained students who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam:0% 8% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of self-contained students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:0% 2% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
This school offers team teaching (ict).
Percent of ICT students who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam:NA 19% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of ICT students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:NA 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?