P.S. 25 Bilingual School
BRONX NY 10455 Map
P.S. 25 Bilingual School
Extended PK hours offered: Contact program about extended hours.
The first Spanish and English bilingual school in the city, PS 25 uses hands-on science lessons to teach children English. Children learn English vocabulary and science concepts in the school's Exploration Center, which has bearded dragons, turtles, fish, a mini-greenhouse and artifacts from around the world.
Principal Carmen Toledo took the helm in 2008 and quickly brought order and consistency to a school which had poor attendance and no coherent philosophy of instruction. In the past, many teachers gave Spanish lessons without a clear vision of how to also teach children in English.
Parents may now choose English-only classes, transitional bilingual (in which children gradually move from Spanish to English-only lessons) or dual language classes (in which they learn to be fluent in both English and Spanish.) Children who have been in a bilingual class without making adequate progress in English receive instruction from a licensed English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher, who offers lessons in English only.
Despite better attendance and achievement, Toledo acknowledges that she and her teachers have more work to do: “We’re still low in terms of meeting state standards,” she said. “We’re the highest percent in this community, but we’re still all in the bottom. It’s devastating but it’s an eye opener: we all have our work cut out for us.”
What gives her hope is the way her teachers are motivated to “do their own learning.” They know, for example, that a big challenge they face is to encourage English language learners to speak up more in class, to improve their writing, to ask questions and to build their vocabulary.
To achieve this, teachers provide language lessons through the lens of science and social studies. Kids take field trips to the botanical gardens, the American Museum of Natural History, the Bronx Zoo and the Sony Wonder Technology Lab. They read nonfiction books and science magazines. Not content to show children pictures of the natural world on Smartboards and in textbooks (although they do that too), teachers bring in live specimens. While some lessons are dry – gluing pre-cut leaves onto pre-cut trees in kindergarten to learn about the seasons – others come, literally, to life, like a project in which kids took cuttings and seeds to propagate spider plants.
Every week students visit the Exploration Center on the first floor, a neatly organized room packed with insects, rocks and minerals, skulls, shells, plants and more. Jackie Garcia, an ESL teacher who serves more like a science guru for the whole school, helped set-up the center with other staff, based on Toledo’s dream “to push learning to the next level.” Although the center looks like a museum, it’s very hands-on, and Garcia said she doesn’t like to label everything because she wants children to “think and ask.”
Technology is equally important for English language learners according to Toledo and so she has attempted to extend the benefits of a technology grant, that has since ended, by hiring one of the grant’s trainers to serve as the school’s multi-media teacher. On the day of our visit he was using words like “browser” and “Google Chrome” to orient second graders to the computers.
PS 74 uses the Go Math books recommended by the city and teachers also use elements of Everyday Math, which they used for many years. A math coach visits once a week, and there is a standalone writing teacher for grades 2-5.
Admissions: Children zoned for PS 161 or PS 25 may choose either school. Parents living in District 7 who prefer bilingual education for their children may choose PS 25. (Lydie Raschka, September 2013).
At a glance
Number of Students 506
Average Daily Attendance 92%
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?94% 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?91% 80% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
How many teachers would recommend this school to other parents?NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE
How many students are chronically absent?28% 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 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:20% 19% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of ICT students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:20% 9% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of SETSS students who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam:7% 17% 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?
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?