P.S. 206 Jose Celso Barbosa

An Insideschools pick for Special Education
508 EAST 120 STREET
MANHATTAN NY 10035 Map
Phone: (212) 860-5809
Website: Click here
Admissions: Neighborhood school
Principal: Camille Forbes
Neighborhood: East Harlem
District: 4
Grade range: 3-8
Parent Coordinator: ANA ORTIZ
Zoned
Dual Language

What's special:

ASD Nest program for children with autism spectrum disorders

The downside:

Teachers must focus on many children with low literacy skills

InsideSchools Review

Our review:

PS/MS 206 is a safe school with a mix of freedom and structure. Children wear uniforms and work in small groups; they use textbooks and do hands-on activities. The school hosts an ASD Nest Program for 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.

Housed in a building shared with two progressive schools (PS 112, an early childhood center for grades PK-2; and River East, a K-5 school), PS/MS 206 begins with third grade and goes through middle school. The three schools peaceably share an auditorium, an occupational therapy room, a gym and a large outdoor play yard.

We saw children working calmly on a range of activities. Sixth graders were reading pages from a textbook about natural disasters and an article about Hurricane Sandy. They listed facts from the readings onto worksheets. In another class, a group worked on a hands-on measurement activity. Teachers display timers while children are working to foster independence, particularly for literacy. With the timers and points for good behavior, the school is more structured than its feeder school, PS 112—a vibrant, progressive school where lessons stem from children’s questions about a topic.

Like PS 112, about half the classrooms have 4 or 5 children with Asperger’s who learn alongside 12 to 16 “typically developing” children, depending on the grade. These classrooms have two teachers, one of whom is trained to teach special education. All children are exposed to the same lessons. Counselors, coaches and therapists are on-hand to provide support.

According to Principal Camille Forbes, formerly the literacy coach and assistant principal, the training her staff has received on how to work with the ASD students has transformed the way teachers approach every child. “When we look at behavior, we don’t focus on the action alone,” she said. “We look at underlying issues in order to change the action.”

ASD Nest children appreciate distinct boundaries. To promote good behavior, staff reward children with points for positive behavior culminating in a special responsibility, a treat or lunch with a teacher. There is a room for conflict resolution. Two social workers work side-by-side with teachers in classrooms to help children learn about cooperation and responsibility. They also provide one-on-one counseling.

Teachers receive coaching from the staff at the Teacher’s College Reading and Writing Project. Despite coaching and a lot of in-class reading time, students have lower test scores in reading than in math. To improve, struggling readers participate in very structured reading programs such as Achieve3000 or Wilson.

The school uses the Everyday Math program and has three science teachers on staff. Teachers have worked to raise test scores and skills of children with special needs, and while this has resulted in a better progress report, it has meant less attention for high-achievers in the classroom. Top students may participate in morning enrichment classes and a Saturday Academy.

To mark the transition to middle school, students receive different colored uniforms (burgundy and khaki), lockers and new desks. One advantage of the middle school is that every classroom has two teachers, whether it has children with special needs or not. “We really see how it benefits the children,” said Forbes. The plan is to eventually offer Regent’s level courses.

Every Friday there are mixed-age enrichment clubs, based on teachers’ passions, such as knitting, drama and sports. Lunch clubs are run by enthusiastic 18- to 24-year-old Americorp volunteers, who also run an after-school program and support literacy work in the classroom.

Space is somewhat limited. Ballroom dancing is held in the large library while a movement class takes place on the auditorium stage. The middle school will start with a basketball team and add sports as it grows.

Special education: There are two mixed-age self-contained classes: one for grades three and four and the other for grades four and five. There are two Integrated Co-Teaching Classes, ten ASD Nest classrooms and seven general education classrooms. Numbers will increase as the middle school grows.

Admissions: Almost all the incoming third graders come from PS 112, and some from PS 178 in Washington Heights. ASD Nest students are referred from the DOE. A social worker and cluster teachers evaluate these students to decide who is a good match for the program. (Lydie Raschka, November 2012)

InsideStats

Click tabs above to see school stats

At a glance

Shared campus? Yes

This school shares the building with River East Elementary

Number of Students 484

Average Daily Attendance 94%

Students at this school

Asian

  
4%

Black

  
26%

Hispanic

  
61%

White

  
6%

Free Lunch

  
100%

Special ed

  
39%

English Language Learners

  
14%

Safety & vibe

ARE KIDS
NICE?

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?

71% 75% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

ARE CLASSES BIG?

Number of students in an average kindergarten class

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Number of students in an average fifth grade class

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Number of students in an average middle school english class

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO TEACHERS LIKE THE SCHOOL?

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?

88% 79% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers would recommend this school to other parents?

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Attendance

How many students are chronically absent?

22% 22% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Academics

How many teachers say this school offers enough programs, classes and activities to keep students engaged?

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers say this school does a good job teaching social-emotional skills?

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers say this school does a good job teaching organizational and study skills?

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of students in grades 3-8 who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam

28% 40% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of students in grades 3-8 who scored 3 or 4 on the state ela exam

26% 41% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of 4th graders who scored 3 or 4 on the state science exam

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of 8th graders who scored 3 or 4 on the state science exam

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many 8th grades pass high school regents exams?

Percent of 8th graders who take and pass the algebra regents:

6% 14% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of 8th graders who take and pass a science regents:

0% 17% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Parents

Are parents involved?

How many parents responded to the school survey?

78% 59% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many parents say they attended at least one pta meeting in the last school year?

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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?

Percent of self-contained students who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam:

3% 6% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of self-contained students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:

3% 2% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of ICT students who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam:

28% 14% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of ICT students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:

18% 8% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of SETSS students who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam:

12% 15% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of SETSS students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:

0% 9% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many parents say students with disabilities are included in all activities?

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers say students with special needs are educated in the least restrictive environment appropriate?

96% 91% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many parents of students with ieps say this school offers a wide enough variety of services and activities for their children’s needs?

87% 84% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How well does this school serve English language learners?

Percent of ell students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:

6% 3% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of former ell students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:

40% 19% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers say this school ensures that ells receive the same curriculum as non-ells with appropriate suppports?

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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