P.S. 58 The Carroll

An Insideschools pick
330 SMITH STREET
BROOKLYN NY 11231 Map
Phone: (718) 330-9322
Website: Click here
Admissions: neighborhood school
Principal: GISELLE MCGEE
Neighborhood: Carroll Gardens/ Red Hook
District:15
Grade range: PK-5
Parent Coordinator: JOAN BREDTHAUER
Zoned
Dual Language

What's special:

Strong teaching staff, arts, French-English dual language program

The downside:

Speech and other therapists work in hallways because of overcrowding

InsideSchools Review

Our review:

PS 58 boasts charismatic leadership, strong teaching, robust parent involvement, a rich art program and a small dual-language program in French and English. It’s easy to see why this zoned neighborhood has become so popular nearly doubling its enrollment since Giselle McGee became principal in 2006. “We don’t need a gifted and talented program,” said McGee, who formerly taught at the popular PS 29. “We look at every child as gifted.  We find their passion, and we build it.”

The school has a progressive bent, encouraging, for example, “invented spelling” in the lower grades and an approach to reading that focuses on children’s literature rather than textbooks. But there is also phonics instruction and gentle guidance toward conventional spelling. Teachers are consistently attentive to grammar and punctuation, even in science class.

 While every grade follows the same curriculum, classrooms show teachers’ individual styles: We saw one 4th-grade room strung with twinkle lights and butterflies and another that displayed children’s fictional journals for 17th century European immigrants on paper that had been tea-dyed and burnt at the edges. In the school’s media Project Lab, special-education students designed real-life superheroes, complete with storyboards and script writing. The lower-grade science room has giant murals of the solar system and kid-sized small tables for hands-on projects that teach basic physics. One classroom has a huge supply of building blocks.  There is also a brand new science lab for the upper grades.

 Classroom teachers have time built into their schedules to meet and plan together (while their pupils have special classes in science, art and music). “We believe in empowering teachers,” said Assistant Principal Jayme Perlman, who came to PS 58 from PS 32 in 2006. 

 Each grade has two dual language classes that mix native speakers of French and English. The classes are taught half in English and half in French, and the goal is for all children to write, read and speak both languages. The dual language rooms are well-stocked with materials, play space and comfortable child-sized furniture.

 Parents volunteer in the renovated library (which an architect-parent designed for free), write grant applications, run lunchtime clubs, and even organize Skype conversations with children in Africa. On the day we visited, dozens of parents took time before work to attend a workshop explaining the state reading tests.

PS 58 students have chess instruction, 4th and 5th graders learn ballroom dancing; everyone plays strings beginning in grade three; a “mouse squad” of 4th and 5th graders provides basic tech support.  Afterschool and lunch-club options include chess, piano, Lego robotics, advanced strings, knitting and a workshop on princesses that’s aimed at dispelling some of the Disney mythology. 

 The basement lunchroom has round tables instead of the traditional long benches. Children play outside in the schoolyard on Smith Street, even on wintery days, like the sunny, 20-degree day we visited.  

 Many graduates go to MS 51, MS 447, and New Voices. A few go to Brooklyn Prospect Charter School, NEST+m and the Institute for Collaborative Education.

 Special education: The school has collaborative team teaching classes on every grade, and three self-contained special education classes. Because of overcrowding, speech and occupational therapists work with children in wide hallways, where a low wall (topped with student-made dioramas) offers a bit of privacy.

 Admissions: PS 58 is a zoned school. Native French speakers from outside the zone may also attend, and some children come from as far away as Staten Island and Manhattan. (Helen Zelon, February 2011)

InsideStats

Click tabs above to see school stats

At a glance

Shared campus? No

This school is in its own building.

Number of Students 944

Average Daily Attendance 96%

Students at this school

Asian

  
5%

Black

  
3%

Hispanic

  
12%

White

  
71%

Free Lunch

  
13%

Special ed

  
14%

English Language Learners

  
7%

Safety & vibe

ARE KIDS
NICE?

How many teachers say bullying is a problem at school?

2% 17% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained in the school?

100% 83% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

ARE CLASSES BIG?

Number of students in an average kindergarten class

24 23 CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Number of students in an average fifth grade class

25 26 CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO TEACHERS LIKE THE SCHOOL?

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?

87% 80% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers would recommend this school to other parents?

100% 83% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Attendance

How many students are chronically absent?

8% 22% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Academics

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

98% 84% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

100% 88% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

100% 91% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of 3rd, 4th & 5th graders who scored 3 or 4 on the 2014 math exam

77% 38% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of 3rd, 4th & 5th graders who scored 3 or 4 on the 2014 ela exam

68% 29% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of 4th graders who scored 3 or 4 on the 2014 science exam

95% 86% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Parents

Are parents involved?

How many parents responded to the 2014 school survey?

61% 68% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many parents say they attended at least one pta meeting in the 2013-2014 school year?

56% 72% 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 2013-2014 school year?

95% 75% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Do parents like the school?

How many parents would recommend this school to other parents?

98% 94% 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 2014 math exam:

0% 5% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of self-contained students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2014 ELA exam:

0% 2% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of ICT students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2014 math exam:

21% 13% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of ICT students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2014 ELA exam:

15% 7% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of SETSS students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2014 math exam:

39% 11% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of SETSS students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2014 ELA exam:

4% 7% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

97% 98% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

94% 89% 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?

85% 89% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How well does this school serve English language learners?

Percent of ell students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2014 ELA exam:

33% 6% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of former ell students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2014 ELA exam:

55% 27% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

98% 90% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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