P.S. 146 Brooklyn New School

An Insideschools pick
An Insideschools pick for Special Education
610 HENRY STREET
BROOKLYN NY 11231 Map
Phone: (718) 923-4750
Website: Click here
Admissions: Lottery; Brooklyn priority
Principal: ANNA ALLANBROOK
Neighborhood: Carroll Gardens/ Red Hook
District:15
Grade range: PK-5
Parent Coordinator: AMY SUMNER
Unzoned

What's special:

Innovative, project-based curriculum with lots of field trips

The downside:

Crowded classrooms

InsideSchools Review

Our review:

Brooklyn New School is a joyful, time-tested school with a diverse student body, strong leadership and seasoned teachers. Founded in 1987 by a committee of parents and teachers, it remains true to its vision as “a child-centered school” that fosters artistic, project-based learning. The majority of the teachers have over 10 years experience and almost 40 percent have taught at least 15 years – and they still radiate enthusiasm. In recent years the math program has deepened and the school has earned kudos for its sustainability efforts.

At BNS a sense of belonging is actively supported. Children with special needs participate in field trips and in project work with general education students whenever it can be safely managed. Tolerance is promoted through events like “Mix it Up” day where children sit with kids they don’t know at lunch and take a survey about areas of division (playdates is a one such area, according to the poll). The principal gives teachers a lot of autonomy but they all share a strong progressive vision. The staff meets with preK families the summer before school begins to build up a sense of trust.

Social Studies and Science are the heart and soul of BNS and everything stems from there. There is continuity across the grades, with an occasional detour depending on the interests of the students, like the study of pigeons, that segued into an examination of other kinds of birds (and dinosaurs) culminating in a focus on wind. “We used bubbles and the wind blew them right out!” said a boy. PreK and Kindergarten students learn science, math and vocabulary through cooking projects and block building. Second graders visit and build bridges, 3rd graders explore China and Africa, 4th graders delve into Old New York by writing long historical fiction books and 5th graders end the year with an age-sensitive study of the Holocaust. Every class gets Spanish once a week. Two math coaches have strengthened the math program by fine-tuning instruction based on assessments and by modeling instruction in the classroom. As for literacy, most teachers use fun-to-read books and teach some phonics, spelling and cursive. Three literacy coaches are available to fill in the gaps as needed.

Unusually, the school has a full-time Sustainability Coordinator who oversees recycling and composting and has transformed the area around the school with raised plant beds. Another strength, thanks to creative budgeting, is an in-house Technology Expert and an Intervention Team, comprised of five literacy and math coaches, some part-time, who work with small groups on skills. Class size was raised to thirty in some of the upper grades to help with this funding.

Asphalt play yards, a large grassy field, a small playground and climbing equipment surround the school. Children go out every day unless it’s 20 degrees below zero or raining hard. On bad weather days, students may choose to stay in. Every class has more than one adult, making flexible supervision possible. Grades 2-5 have art classes three times a week for half a year, alternating with music the other half, so they can go deeply into a project. Many field trips are related to units of study. On the day of our visit Kindergartners were heading to Pier 6 and 2nd graders to “Top of the Rock,” the observation deck at Rockefeller Center.

BNS appears to have a harmonious relationship with MS 448 Brooklyn Secondary School for Collaborative Studies, with whom they share the building. Big kids work with little kids; high school students help out with composting or listen to children read or supervise their woodworking projects. Eleventh grade Physics students observed the little kids at play before designing mock playgrounds for a class project of their own.

If students are a little chattier and more active at BNS than at other schools, it doesn’t seem to phase teachers or administrators, who believe movement and talk are an integral part of learning.

Special Education: On every grade there are classes that mix special and general education students in one room with two teachers, one trained in special education. Two specially trained teachers work in the classrooms or pull small groups out for quiet, concentrated sessions. There is a designated Occupational and Physical Therapy room and other services on-site, including Speech and Guidance.

Admissions: Brooklyn residents. Lottery only. Siblings of current students will be admitted if there is a spot. School tours begin in December. There are about 90 general education spots and10 special education spots in Kindergarten. (Lydie Raschka, May 2011).

InsideStats

Click tabs above to see school stats

At a glance

Shared campus? Yes

This school shares its building

Number of Students 664

Average Daily Attendance 94%

Students at this school

Asian

  
7%

Black

  
26%

Hispanic

  
22%

White

  
41%

Free Lunch

  
26%

Special ed

  
27%

English Language Learners

  
4%

Safety & vibe

ARE KIDS
NICE?

How many teachers say bullying is a problem at school?

2% 15% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

95% 83% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

ARE CLASSES BIG?

Number of students in an average kindergarten class

26 23 CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Number of students in an average fifth grade class

32 26 CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO TEACHERS LIKE THE SCHOOL?

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?

96% 79% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers would recommend this school to other parents?

97% 84% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Attendance

How many students are chronically absent?

14% 22% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Academics

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

100% 85% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

100% 84% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

98% 88% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of 3rd, 4th & 5th graders who scored 3 or 4 on the 2013 math exam

43% 32% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of 3rd, 4th & 5th graders who scored 3 or 4 on the 2013 ela exam

53% 27% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of 4th graders who scored 3 or 4 on the 2013 science exam

96% 87% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Parents

Are parents involved?

How many parents responded to the 2013 school survey?

58% 69% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many parents say they attended at least one pta meeting in the 2012-2013 school year?

63% 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 2012-2013 school year?

95% 74% 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 2013 math exam:

3% 5% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of self-contained students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2013 ELA exam:

3% 2% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of ICT students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2013 math exam:

30% 13% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of ICT students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2013 ELA exam:

36% 7% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of SETSS students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2013 math exam:

17% 11% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of SETSS students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2013 ELA exam:

52% 7% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

80% 77% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

100% 91% 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?

91% 89% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How well does this school serve English language learners?

Percent of ell students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2013 ELA exam:

0% 5% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of former ell students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2013 ELA exam:

0% 29% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

97% 91% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Comments

Please post comments

  • Give specific examples. Tell us why this school rocks (or doesn't)
  • No profanity. No racial or ethnic slurs. No personal attacks
  • Criticism is fine but don't be nasty.
  • Flag inappropriate comments. (Hover your cursor over comments to see flag)