P.S./M.S. 282 Park Slope
BROOKLYN NY 11217 Map
P.S./M.S. 282 Park Slope
Extended PK hours offered: Yes
PS 282 has long been a traditional school that welcomes children from across Brooklyn. Now, a new administration is training teachers in progressive techniques that have been adopted by popular schools nearby such as PS 154 and PS 321.
Rashan Hoke, named principal in 2014, said he would like the school to be more “child-centered” and less “teacher-centered,” with more time for children to explore their own interests and speak in class and less time spent listening to teachers.
PS 282 is in the heart of one of Brooklyn’s toniest neighborhoods, but more than three-quarters of its students come from outside the zone. In recent years, parents who live in the zone—primarily white and upper middle class—have sent their children to PS 282 for early grades, but transferred them out by 2nd grade, opting for private schools or other public schools nearby. That may change with the arrival of a dynamic new principal and the expansion of the pre-kindergarten program, local parents say.
Teachers and some parents clashed with the school’s previous principal, Magalie Alexis, who retired in 2014. While some parents defended her no-nonsense style, others said the discipline was too strict.
Hoke has worked to improve relations with parents while offering teachers the opportunity to perfect their craft. Teachers are invited to observe lessons at PS 154 and PS 321 and receive training in the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project. Pre-kindergarten teachers work with colleagues from the well-regarded Helen Owen Carey pre-school across the street.
“The school is changing and it’s changing fast,” said Cheryl Cook, co-president of the PTO (parent teacher organization). “It feels warm. It feels friendly. What’s amazing about Mr. Hoke, if parents have an idea, he will back you 100 percent.”
For example, when parents complained that school aides were unnecessarily harsh with children on the playground, Hoke welcomed parents’ plan to hire a group called Kids Orbit to organize games at recess and after school.
Hoke, whose ancestry is Puerto Rican and South Asian, has helped bridge the divide between white and black parents, parents say. The PTO has two co-presidents, Andrew Marshall, who is black, and Cook, who is white.
Some of the school’s longtime strengths include a champion chess team, a rugby team, a drama program, and a software engineering program that teaches computer coding to 3rd- through 5th-graders. On our visit, we saw lively pre-kindergarten classes with children building with blocks and splashing in a water table. Some of the classrooms for older children were well-equipped with plenty of fun-to-read books, but others had somewhat tattered textbooks. In some classes, children were happily engaged in their work, but in one, a teacher yelled to maintain order. Hoke acknowledges the school is a work-in-progress and that it will take time to carry out his vision.
The school has a gifted program open to children from across District 13. In practice, many of the children in the gifted program live in the school zone. However, because the school has so much space for out-of-zone children, the general education classes have children from as far away as Sheepshead Bay and Bay Ridge.
The middle school, launched in 2008, has struggled to find its academic footing. Because of quirks in zoning, children who are zoned for PS 282, part of District 13, are eligible to attend District 15 middle schools and many take advantage of that option.
SPECIAL EDUCATION: The school offers ICT (integrated co-teaching) classes.
ADMISSIONS: Neighborhood school. District-wide gifted program. The school has long had room for children from outside the attendance zone. (Clara Hemphill, June 2015)
At a glance
Number of Students 892
Average Daily Attendance 92%
Safety & vibe
How many teachers say bullying is a problem at school?37% 22% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained in the school?75% 84% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
ARE CLASSES BIG?
Number of students in an average kindergarten class20 22 CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Number of students in an average fifth grade class21 26 CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Number of students in an average middle school english class24 26 CITYWIDE AVERAGE
DO TEACHERS LIKE THE SCHOOL?
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?86% 85% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
How many teachers would recommend this school to other parents?79% 86% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
How many students are chronically absent?26% 21% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of students in grades 3-8 who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam
Percent of students in grades 3-8 who scored 3 or 4 on the state ela exam
Percent of 4th graders who scored 3 or 4 on the state science exam
Percent of 8th 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?75% 71% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Do parents like the school?
How many parents would recommend this school to other parents?84% 93% 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:3% 5% 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:9% 14% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of ICT students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:9% 8% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of SETSS students who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam:15% 15% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of SETSS students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:5% 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?