An innovative design featuring an abundance of glass and a modernist clock tower makes PS 22 an intriguing architectural face on the long block of St. Marks Avenue near Prospect Park. Built in 1996 to serve pre-K - 3rd grades, the school expanded to include upper grades, packing 5th graders in rooms designed for much smaller students.
After several years of poor performance, a declining population, safety concerns and a teachers' vote of "no confidence" in Principal Carlen Padmore-Gatueau, the Education Department decided to close the school. Beginning in 2012 PS 22 no longer admitted new students. Children in kindergarten through 3rd grade were assigned to a new school opening in the building, PS 705 and PS 22 officially closed in 2014. A new charter school, Explore Exceed, is housed in the building. The charter school gives priority in admissions to students who are considered to be at risk because they are zoned for schools that are being phased out.
The move to close the school came after years in which teachers complained about the administration, citing the principal's "failure to report safety incidents, neglect of English language learners, failure to honor student IEP modifications, failure to respond promptly to classroom emergencies and violations of the student discipline code" The school was on the list of those considered to be "persistently dangerous."
Padmore-Gateau, principal since 2004, received one of the lowest rankings in the city on the 2010-2011 Learning Environment Survey. Only one quarter of the teachers who took the survey said that they trusted the principal or felt she was an effective manager.
Special education: The building is barrier-free, providing accessible facilities as well as physical therapy for kids with physical disabilities. Nearly a quarter of the PS 22 population required special education services. (Pamela Wheaton, web reports, February 2012; upated August 2014)