P.S. 705 Brooklyn Arts and Science Elementary School

Phone: (718) 230-0851
Website: Click here
Admissions: Neighborhood school
Wheelchair accessible
Noteworthy Special Education
Principal: Sandra Beauvoir Soto
Neighborhood: Crown Heights
District: 17
Grade range: PK thru 04

What's special:

Dynamic leadership; arts and music for all students

The downside:

School needs to recruit more Spanish speaking students for dual language program

The InsideStats



Our review

PS 705, the Brooklyn Arts and Science Elementary School (BASES), is a progressive-minded school started in 2012 on the border of two gentrifying neighborhoods, Prospect Heights and Crown Heights. Music, art and dance classes help kids discover hidden talents and the school offers a supportive, positive atmosphere that parents praise.

Founding Principal Sandra Soto says her goal was to create a school that encourages each child to develop their interests into strengths. “Find what a child has potential to do well and you can find resilience,” Soto said. The school offers two classes per grade, one dual language and one ICT (integrated co-teaching) classes, so “parents have a range of options.”

Students in dual language work in Spanish one day and English the next. Dual language classes are meant to be a 50-50 split of native English and Spanish-speakers but Soto says the classes are not evenly balanced because the school has had difficulty recruiting children who speak Spanish. She has been trying to attract Spanish-speakers from outside of the school’s zone.

For kids who need extra attention from adults, Soto said, the school offers ICT classes, taught by two teachers, one certified in special education. Soto meets with parents to determine which class is best for their child, and kids can switch from ICT into dual language up to the 1st grade.

Classes are small – with fewer than 25 students – and have a fun, comfortable atmosphere. Rooms are well-stocked with classroom libraries and hallways are brightly painted and display lots of student artwork. The building, constructed in the 1990s, is a clean and up-to-date facility with water fountains and bathrooms in most classrooms.

PS 705 is committed to offering art, music, and dance to all students. Some students participate in a fencing program. Daily recess is a must, no matter the weather, Soto said.

Soto was previously an administrator at PS 189. She has a master’s degree in bilingual education and has been a literacy coach and a bilingual and ESL teacher.

PS 705 was created to replace PS 22, which is closing in 2014 due to poor performance.PS 705 also shares the building with Explore Exceed Charter School.

Admissions: Zoned school. The dual language program accepts out-of-zone students who speak Spanish at home. Contact the school and see their website for information.

Special Education: The school offers a range of options for students with special needs. There are ICT classes for each grade and bridged self-contained classes (K-1 and 2-3). (Anna Schneider, March 2013)

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