P.S. 222 Katherine R. Snyder
BROOKLYN NY 11234 Map
P.S. 222 Katherine R. Snyder
Extended PK hours offered: Contact program about extended hours.
A large school in quiet Marine Park, PS 222 serves its diverse population well. In a wheelchair accessible building, the school welcomes children with special needs and does a good job of tailoring programs for each child. Bright and orderly classrooms, a spacious playground and two separate gyms—one outfitted with adaptive equipment—create a cheerful and inclusive environment where all students can thrive. The school also offers an enrichment class in each grade for high-achieving students.
Faculty and administrators are a tightknit and friendly group. On our December visit virtually every classroom was decorated with Christmas trees and menorahs and children were making holiday ornaments and gifts to take home. Some children were in native dress and some wore Santa hats—there is no uniform or dress code at PS 222.
Each child is considered individually, say administrators. "We get everyone to perform at their greatest potential," said Theresa Olivieri, who was an assistant principal at the school before becoming principal in 2012. Group work and early intervention help struggling students stay on track. "As we note that a child needs a special modification, we add it."
There are as many as five or six adults in some classrooms. Para-professionals and school aides frequently function much like teachers and participate in professional development. "We all have different strengths," a special ed teacher said.
In most classrooms students are separated into small learning groups, each led by an adult who customizes lessons to their abilities. In a special education fifth-grade classroom, a few students were doing simple subtraction problems, another group was doing division and a third was learning how to use multiplication facts to help solve a division problem.
Basic skills are taught using textbooks and worksheets. There are regular quizzes and spelling homework. Multiplication tables are posted in building stairwells.
We saw a lot of innovative instruction and teacher collaboration. In an ASD Nest class, which included three autistic boys, two teachers practiced "reciprocal teaching," demonstrating to students how to work together and learn from one another. Standing in front of the class, they took turns asking and answering one another's questions about the exploration of North America.
Speaking to her co-teacher, one said, "Okay, so he was looking for a route to Asia and instead he ended up in Canada. Why did he do that? They didn't have the technology we have—there was no GPS."
The teachers began reciprocal teaching because they found it distracting to hold two separate groups in a classroom, they said. "It shows [students] our thinking and it gets them to think also," said Toni Ann Theodos who co-teaches with Lisa Jordan. "They start to emulate what we're doing. We want children to question themselves and each other." In addition, they assign different homework, depending on a student’s level.
Children who scored above the 90th percentile on the city's gifted and talented tests are placed in an "enrichment class." Those classes delve more deeply into subjects and proceed at an accelerated pace, administrators said. In a fourth-grade class, one student was reading "Moby Dick." In a third-grade enrichment class, students chose a country and wrote a book about it based on the question: Would you visit this country and why?
An art teacher comes to the school three times a week, and there is a full-time music teacher and a part-time theater teacher. Students visit a computer lab and carts of laptop computers rotate through classrooms, but technology is still lacking. They are adding it slowly, the principal said.
Parents of PS 222 students—most of whom go on to the local middle school 278 Marine Park, or selective schools such as Scholars Academy and Mark Twain—couldn’t be happier. “I worked my tushy off to get my son in this school,” said one parent. “He’s learning to read already and he’s in kindergarten.”
English Language Learners: Russian, Spanish, Urdu Arabic and Cantonese are among the languages spoken by students who get ESL instruction in groups of about 12.
Special education: There are four self-contained classes. Most have five or six teachers, including para-professionals, in the classroom. There are numerous inclusion classes with two teachers and ASD Nest classes in three grades. In those classes a small number of autistic children are taught in a general education setting. For part of the day they get social development classes and go to adaptive physical education classes.
Admission: PS 222 is a zoned school. (Pamela Wheaton, December 2012)
At a glance
Number of Students 883
Average Daily Attendance 95%
Safety & vibe
How many teachers say bullying is a problem at school?NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE
How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained in the school?90% 81% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
ARE CLASSES BIG?
Number of students in an average kindergarten classNA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Number of students in an average fifth grade classNA NA 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?NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE
How many students are chronically absent?13% 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?NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Do parents like the school?
How many parents would recommend this school to other parents?NA NA 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:11% 8% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of self-contained students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:11% 2% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
This school offers team teaching (ict).
Percent of ICT students who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam:56% 19% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of ICT students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:38% 9% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of SETSS students who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam:60% 17% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of SETSS students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:20% 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?