P.S. 186 Dr. Irving A Gladstone
BROOKLYN NY 11214 Map
P.S. 186 Dr. Irving A Gladstone
Extended PK hours offered: No
American flags, Chinese restaurants and Virgin Mary statues are common sights along the avenues of Bensonhurst, a traditionally Italian enclave also known as Brooklyn's second Chinatown. Once an old-fashioned school with desks in rows, PS 186 now serves many children of new immigrants with cutting-edge technology, in classrooms that hum with movement and chatter as kids work on learning tasks, projects and games.
Academics start early but there is lots of variety, choice and activity to hold a child's interest at every age. Teachers move energetically among tables to assist children like supportive coaches on a ball field.
Particularly successful here are the many different ways children cover a topic. During a science lesson on states of matter, some children watched a video, others read a picture book and a few did an experiment with the teacher. Then the groups rotated. In one class, kids played geometry games with colorful shapes and iPads, using QR codes to check their answers.
One-quarter of the students are new to speaking English and there are many opportunities for them to practice their English here. When children learn this way it makes it easier for the teacher to check their understanding, said Principal Bayan Cadotte, a former elementary and middle school teacher. Indeed, we saw teachers jot notes and listen in as they worked their rooms.
Children are noticeably kind and helpful. Attendance is better than average, a good sign for such a large school, meaning the teacher does not have to slow down to help kids who missed lessons catch up.
Independence is prized so children try to find their own answers, rather than only relying on the teacher, whether it's finding the word "purple" posted on the wall, or checking a pocket guide on copyediting marks as they edit a classmate's work.
Parents flock to the school for the solid instruction as well as the free afterschool program from 2:20 – 5:20. (However, roughly 150 families choose not to put their children in extended day, opting for private tutoring instead, Cadotte said.) The yearly plan [PDF] states discipline is a bit bumpier in the afterschool program but the school makes every effort to provide a seamless change from the school time to after school time. The parent coordinator stays late to oversee the transition. Overall, parents are very happy with their children's experiences at PS 186, according to school surveys [PDF].
Teachers have identified a need for more translation services and support for the influx of new English speakers. There are a few paraprofessionals on staff who help parents with translation, and the school adopted two online programs to give kids extra practice with reading skills.
Enrollment is on the rise, which may require space-juggling in the future, such as giving up the science or music rooms for new classrooms.
The single pre-kindergarten is lovely but typically fills up with siblings of older PS 186 students. We saw children there play "family" in the dramatic play area—where boys and girls were equally comfortable cuddling a toy baby and changing its diaper.
SPECIAL EDUCATION: Services include small, mixed-age "self-contained" classes, and team-teaching classes that incorporate children with disabilities into general education classes. Students with disabilities do better than average on State exams.
ADMISSIONS: Zoned, neighborhood school (Lydie Raschka, May 2016)
At a glance
Number of Students 995
Average Daily Attendance 96%
Safety & vibe
How many teachers say bullying is a problem at school?12% 17% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained in the school?72% 86% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
ARE CLASSES BIG?
Number of students in an average kindergarten class24 23 CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Number of students in an average fifth grade class31 26 CITYWIDE AVERAGE
DO TEACHERS LIKE THE SCHOOL?
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?85% 84% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
How many teachers would recommend this school to other parents?89% 87% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
How many students are chronically absent?9% 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?67% 75% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Do parents like the school?
How many parents would recommend this school to other parents?97% 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:7% 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:28% 19% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of ICT students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:26% 9% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of SETSS students who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam:22% 17% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of SETSS students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:11% 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?