P.S. 58 The Carroll
BROOKLYN NY 11231 Map
P.S. 58 The Carroll
Extended PK hours offered: No
PS 58 The Carroll is a solid neighborhood school in brownstone Carroll Gardens that blends traditional academics with high-quality arts programming and a focus on community service. The school’s well-regarded dual language program draws children from well-heeled families and native French speakers from France and Canada.
On the day of our visit, parents were busy with a clothing drive in the lobby and students were bursting with information about the schoolwide endangered animal mascot contest. In the art room, a colorful display of student-made ceramic pots paid homage to the international Empty Bowls anti-hunger project (the bowls were fired in a kiln at a nearby parent-owned store, The Painted Pot).
In the last nine years, the school’s enrollment has tripled, a trend administrators view with pride and a little concern. Specialists use every nook and cranny in the sprawling building , even converting half of a large hallway into a semi-partitioned space. But the large art room, library and science lab are here to stay, said principal Katie Dello Stritto.
Dello Stritto took over in 2014 after her predecessor left mid-year because of health issues. Dello Stritto has been with the school for 10 years and has worn many hats, first as a special education teacher and later as an instructional coach.
One of her first projects involved overhauling math instruction. The school primarily uses the skills-focused TERC Investigations curriculum. Students have one 45–60–minute math block each day, and are encouraged to join the school math club, Mathletes, starting in 2nd grade.
Although state testing was mere weeks away, Dello Stritto said the school doesn’t change its program to make way for test prep. Instead, she hopes that what students are learning all year will bring them up to par.
Most children enter kindergarten already reading or ready to read, Dello Stritto said. The school has three pre-kindergartens, and those we saw were vibrant and bustling with activity as students played in sand tables and dressed up for dramatic play.
The school uses Teachers College reading and writing curriculum for English language arts, which prizes reading texts that “matter” to children and helping them find a voice as writers. Lower grades also use Pearson's Words Their Way, a program based in phonics, spelling patterns and word study. In response to Common Core Standards, teachers have thrown more informational texts into the mix. In an ICT (integrated co-teaching) kindergarten class, a teacher read aloud from a book about the ocean, comparing it to a fiction book in her other hand. “What do you notice about these pictures?” she asked. “One has art and the other doesn’t,” a girl volunteered, adding that a scuba diver probably took the photos.
Students in the older grades tackle social studies projects that combine essay writing and art. Fifth-graders created a dazzling wall display of hand-drawn book covers and essays on topics such as Trail of Tears, the forced relocation of Native Americans. In a nearby room, a 4th grade French dual language class was hard at work on essays about life in colonial Canada.
The school puts a high premium on quality, bilingual educators to staff the dual language program. There is a true 50-50 split between French and English instruction. In kindergarten and 1st grade, students spend half the day in French and half in English with one bilingual teacher, while 2nd-graders alternate a full day in French with a full day in English also with a single teacher. In 3rd–5th grade, students alternate between side-by-side classrooms, one with a teacher fluent in French, the other in English.
A strong arts program brings families into the school on a regular basis to watch 5th-grade musical productions of, for example, "Shrek," or see a performance of the student string orchestra. The school has full-time music and art teachers. A part-time staffer has been hired to coordinate PS 58’s many partnerships, including ballroom dancing, chess, and New York City Ballet and Metropolitan Opera artists-in-residence.
A fee-based after-school program run by Kids Orbit runs until 6 pm, and the PTA offers 30 after-school classes, including gardening, ping pong, flamenco, digital literacy, comic book–making, urban dance, upcycling, jewelry-making and Mandarin.
Most students go on to MS 51, although MS 88 and the arts-focused New Voices School of Academic and Creative Arts are also popular. A new local middle school, School for International Studies, has also generated interest among families, Dello Stritto said.
SPECIAL EDUCATION: There is an ICT class in every grade and two mixed-grade self-contained 12:1 classes for students with severe learning differences. The school also offers SETTS and push-in or pull-out services such as occupational and speech therapy.
ADMISSIONS: Zoned school. Dello Stritto said the school has not had room for out-of-zone students for several years, even for the popular French dual language program, which has attracted many French-speaking families to the neighborhood. (Aimee Sabo, March 2015)
At a glance
Number of Students 974
Average Daily Attendance 96%
Safety & vibe
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% 86% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
ARE CLASSES BIG?
Number of students in an average kindergarten class23 23 CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Number of students in an average fifth grade class29 26 CITYWIDE AVERAGE
DO TEACHERS LIKE THE SCHOOL?
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?88% 84% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
How many teachers would recommend this school to other parents?98% 87% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
How many students are chronically absent?5% 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?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?
This school offers self-contained classes.
Percent of self-contained students who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam:15% 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:57% 19% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of ICT students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:30% 9% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of SETSS students who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam:36% 17% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of SETSS students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:8% 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?