P.S. 216 Arturo Toscanini

An Insideschools pick
350 AVENUE X
BROOKLYN NY 11223 Map
Phone: (718) 645-2862
Website: Click here
Admissions: Neighborhood school
Principal: CELIA KAPLINSKY
Neighborhood: Flatlands/ Gravesend
District: 21
Grade range: PK-5
Parent Coordinator: Helene Selter
Zoned

What's special:

Edible schoolyard showcase school

The downside:

Class size is growing along with popularity

InsideSchools Review

Our review:

PS 216 houses the only "Edible School Yard" in New York City, featuring an outdoor garden, a greenhouse and a kitchen classroom outfitted with tables, sink, stovetop and an oven where harvested goods are made into fresh edibles.

A safe school with a positive tone, students use peer mediation to help each other learn how to get along, and teachers reward good behavior with student "dollars" redeemable for prizes. Assemblies about bullying and books with anti-bullying themes help raise awareness. Very few teachers report bullying is a problem here.

The school has become increasingly popular and class size is growing. Teachers have been working to boost academics, not only among kids with special needs —who do quite well here, judging by test scores—but also for those who are at or above grade level. One way is by offering extra "enrichment" activities during an extended day program, which has raised reading and math achievement among this group, according to the city's Quality Review. Kids in temporary housing are provided with basic school supplies and books in take-home bags that are frequently exchanged so the children always have something fresh to read.

In 2013 teachers adopted the city recommended Go Math program after evaluating it against their former Envision program, because they found Go Math incorporated more "real world" problems and was better aligned with city expectations. Some academic work takes the form of projects. Second graders, for example, created a scale model of the Brooklyn Bridge, incorporating math concepts into the work.

Serving families from Coney Island, Brighton Beach and Gravesend, the Edible Schoolyard came about in part because the school is located in an area with little open green space. In 2010, a cement parking lot was transformed into a half-acre organic garden. Starting in kindergarten, students harvest more than 60 types of fruits, grains and vegetables. Every class participates in two hands-on organic gardening classes and one kitchen class per month. The school website has a list of garden and kitchen staff along with their biographies.

PS 216 also boasts a dance studio, a library, an art room and a technology lab. The school has a full time gym teacher, an orchestra and a chorus. One of their unique partnerships is Puppetry in Practice, whose artists help kids learn to speak up and dramatize stories through all aspects of puppetry.

Admissions: Neighborhood school (Lydie Raschka, web reports and school data, September 2014)

InsideStats

Click tabs above to see school stats

At a glance

Shared campus? No

This school is in its own building.

Number of Students 623

Average Daily Attendance 93%

Students at this school

Asian

  
24%

Black

  
6%

Hispanic

  
15%

White

  
54%

Free Lunch

  
74%

Special ed

  
13%

English Language Learners

  
11%

Safety & vibe

ARE KIDS
NICE?

How many teachers say bullying is a problem at school?

7% 17% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

90% 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

25 26 CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO TEACHERS LIKE THE SCHOOL?

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?

93% 80% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers would recommend this school to other parents?

95% 83% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Attendance

How many students are chronically absent?

24% 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?

88% 88% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

95% 91% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

52% 38% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

42% 29% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

96% 86% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Parents

Are parents involved?

How many parents responded to the school survey?

79% 68% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

69% 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 last school year?

66% 75% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Do parents like the school?

How many parents would recommend this school to other parents?

96% 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 state math exam:

NA 5% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

NA 2% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

21% 13% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

24% 7% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

0% 11% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

13% 7% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

99% 98% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

93% 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?

94% 89% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How well does this school serve English language learners?

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

6% 6% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

23% 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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