P.S. 76 The Bennington School
BRONX NY 10469 Map
P.S. 76 The Bennington School
PS 76 The Bennington School has the perks of a large school, such as band, chorus, dance and a school newspaper; but it also faces big school struggles, such as issues with order, discipline and communication.
Through a partnership with Education through Music, 5th-graders participate in weekly band lessons and have a chance to be part of musical theater productions. All students in grades k–5 receive weekly art instruction from a certified visual art instructor, and younger children learn dance through a partnership with Alvin Ailey.
Music carries over into the classroom by helping kids develop math skills like fractions with notes and recognition of patterns, Principal Louise Sedotto told a reporter from the Bronx Times. Parents are more involved because of music and theater performances, she said, and kids are learning responsibility through the discipline of practice. The band also serves as a link with the community: wearing bright yellow T-shirts, kids play at events ranging from local parades [see photo from the school website] to the inauguration of Bronx Councilman Andy King.
Principal Sedotto served as assistant principal for three years before taking the reins in 2003. School surveys show some friction with staff around issues of communication, and half the teachers disagree with the statement, I wouldn't want to work at any other school. The upbeat website seems to be an effort to improve communication. Teachers on every grade level are pictured as a group, each wearing his or her college logo shirt. Their short biographies are helpful for parents: For example, the science teacher worked for ten years as a biomedical research technician in the Sickle Cell Center at Children's Hospital in Oakland, California, and has a PhD in biophysics from the University of California at Berkeley.
For kids, there's a feature called "sounding board" where they "sound off" on a variety of themes, such as expressing their sadness at leaving the school after 5th grade, their love of band, their discontent with the monotony of lunch selections and the movies shown during recess on cold days, plus their desire for more gym. The school newspaper is printed in its entirety, providing samples of student writing.
Although children in this large school of over 1,000 students go to gym class only once weekly, there are two full-time physical education teachers, and the beautiful, bright gym includes a rock-climbing activity, padded walls for safety, and small scooters on which children skate around the room. The cafeteria is also bright and modern.
As for academic achievement, students at PS 76 used to routinely score better on state exams than other schools in the district, but scores have slipped below the district average since 2012. Math scores are higher than English language arts.
Special education: The school has "self-contained" classrooms for students with special needs, plus team-taught classes that mix general education students and those with special needs with two teachers, one of whom is trained in special education.
Admissions: Neighborhood school. (Lydie Raschka, web reports and school data, August 2014)
At a glance
Number of Students 1049
Average Daily Attendance 93%
Safety & vibe
How many teachers say bullying is a problem at school?12% 17% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained in the school?75% 86% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
ARE CLASSES BIG?
Number of students in an average kindergarten class25 23 CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Number of students in an average fifth grade class25 26 CITYWIDE AVERAGE
DO TEACHERS LIKE THE SCHOOL?
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?69% 84% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
How many teachers would recommend this school to other parents?69% 87% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
How many students are chronically absent?25% 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?73% 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:15% 19% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of ICT students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:3% 9% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of SETSS students who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam:43% 17% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of SETSS students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:14% 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?