P.S. 216 Arturo Toscanini
BROOKLYN NY 11223 Map
P.S. 216 Arturo Toscanini
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. Books and assemblies 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 curriculum 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.
The arts are a strength: The building has a dance studio, a library, an art room and a technology lab. There is a full-time gym teacher, an orchestra and a chorus. One of the school's popular partnerships is Puppetry in Practice, whose artists help kids learn to speak up and dramatize stories through puppetry.
Admissions: Neighborhood school. (Lydie Raschka, web reports and school data, September 2014)
At a glance
Number of Students 623
Average Daily Attendance 93%
Safety & vibe
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 class26 23 CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Number of students in an average fifth grade class25 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
How many students are chronically absent?22% 23% 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?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?
This school does not offer self-contained classes.
Percent of self-contained students who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam:NA 7% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of self-contained students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:NA 2% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
This school offers team teaching (ict).
Percent of ICT students who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam:17% 18% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of ICT students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:14% 9% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
This school offers SETSS.
Percent of SETSS students who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam:30% 16% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of SETSS students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:10% 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?