P.S. 193 Gil Hodges
BROOKLYN NY 11210 Map
P.S. 193 Gil Hodges
It is half past eight in the morning, and two 3rd grade boys sit side by side in the main office, quizzing each other on word puzzles, suppressing giggles. They are waiting to be summoned to read out the morning announcements over the loudspeaker. After the Pledge of Allegiance and just before the announcements end, the school credo will be recited loud and clear for everyone to hear: Be respectful and be nice. Outside the office, there is a wall covered with colorful notes with the names and accomplishments of children who have followed the credo. Today, students are taking turns presenting their science fair projects. A boy rises hesitantly to give his speech. The class is told to be respectful and they are, as they patiently wait for him to get ready and later sit quietly by as he explains the functions of the lungs.
Frank Cimino, the principal of P.S. 193, the Gil Hodges School, explains that the school motto has a unifying effect on the school. Most of the students that attend P.S. 193 are from outside the school's zone and often times outside the district. As many of the Orthodox Jewish households in the area opt for private schooling for their children, P.S. 193 is left with plenty of seats to offer potential students from outside the area.
Another draw is the honors program, called CIG, which stands for Center for Intellectually Gifted. What makes CIG in P.S. 193 unique is that it offers different lessons, based on ability, within each CIG classroom. When we visited, one part of the class, the more advanced readers, were summarizing what they had read during silent reading. At the same time, another part of the class was receiving small group reading instruction from their teacher. This allows both groups of children to learn at their own pace. One CIG class is offered in every grade. CIG students from kindergarten to fifth grade receive foreign language instruction in French.
There is a focus on reading and writing throughout P.S. 193. Rather than just focus on experiments, the yearly science fair is used as an opportunity for students to learn how to research and write non-fiction. Students are instilled from the beginning with what the principal calls the "read, close, think, write" formula, coaxing them to think about what they are writing before placing their ideas on paper. In addition to writing a research paper for the science fair, students must also create a board and present their work to the class.
Math at P.S. 193 is taught with the "Math in Focus" curriculum, which is a hands-on version of the Singapore Method. Students are encouraged to come up with their own math problems after the lesson is over and share them with their peers.
Arts offerings at the school are limited. A music teacher works with students on their class plays. The school has a 110 student chorus and an 18-student drum corps for 4th and 5th graders, both of which meet after school. The school participates in the "Music Memory Competition" where 4th and 5th grader learn about composers and classical music.
Gym is once a week. Recess is during lunch, plus two extra recess periods a week for students in grades K-2. The school offers various parent workshops, including ones about the middle school application process and the school's Math in Focus curriculum. The PTA is active, if small. Many of the classrooms are equipped with computers. The school is in the midst of upgrading computer circuits and received a grant to purchase new technology.
After-school: The school offers an extended day program, as well as after-school homework help, physical education, arts and crafts, mosaics, and puppetry. P.S. 193 is affiliated with the Council for the Arts and the Theatrical After-School Adventures Program.
Middle school: Fifth graders graduating from the school often go to Andries Hudde, J.H.S. 234 Arthur W. Cunningham, I.S. 239 Mark Twain School for the Gifted & Talented, J.H.S. 78 Roy H. Mann, and J.H.S. 278 Marine Park.
Special education: P.S. 193 has a dedicated speech room with two full time speech professionals, along with a dedicated physical therapy room. The school has both self-contained and ICT classes. Special education students in the ICT classes are indistinguishable from general education students. Parents we spoke with felt comfortable having their special needs children at the school.
Admissions: P.S. 193 is a zoned school, though a majority of the students come from outside its zone. The CIG program is open to District 22 students only, and admission is determined by the citywide elementary school gifted and talented exams. (Eliana Mascio, April 2012)