P.S. 25 Bilingual School

Grades Pre-K, K-5
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What’s Special

Energetic prinicipal at the city's first bilingual school; a special focus on science

The Downside

Still working to bring up achievement for English language learners

Our Review

The first Spanish and English bilingual school in the city, PS 25 uses hands-on science lessons to teach children English. Children learn English vocabulary and science concepts in the school's Exploration Center, which has bearded dragons, turtles, fish, a mini-greenhouse and artifacts from around the world.


Principal Carmen Toledo took the helm in 2008 and quickly brought order and consistency to a school which had poor attendance and no coherent philosophy of instruction. In the past, many teachers gave Spanish lessons without a clear vision of how to also teach children in English.


Parents may now choose English-only classes, transitional bilingual (in which children gradually move from Spanish to English-only lessons) or dual language classes (in which they learn to be fluent in both English and Spanish.) Children who have been in a bilingual class without making adequate progress in English receive instruction from a licensed English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher, who offers lessons in English only.


Despite better attendance and achievement, Toledo acknowledges that she and her teachers have more work to do: Were still low in terms of meeting state standards, she said. Were the highest percent in this community, but were still all in the bottom. Its devastating but its an eye opener: we all have our work cut out for us.

What gives her hope is the way her teachers are motivated to do their own learning. They know, for example, that a big challenge they face is to encourage English language learners to speak up more in class, to improve their writing, to ask questions and to build their vocabulary.

To achieve this, teachers provide language lessons through the lens of science and social studies. Kids take field trips to the botanical gardens, the American Museum of Natural History, the Bronx Zoo and the Sony Wonder Technology Lab. They read nonfiction books and science magazines. Not content to show children pictures of the natural world on Smartboards and in textbooks (although they do that too), teachers bring in live specimens. While some lessons are dry - gluing pre-cut leaves onto pre-cut trees in kindergarten to learn about the seasons - others come, literally, to life, like a project in which kids took cuttings and seeds to propagate spider plants.

Every week students visit the Exploration Center on the first floor, a neatly organized room packed with insects, rocks and minerals, skulls, shells, plants and more. Jackie Garcia, an ESL teacher who serves more like a science guru for the whole school, helped set-up the center with other staff, based on Toledos dream to push learning to the next level. Although the center looks like a museum, its very hands-on, and Garcia said she doesnt like to label everything because she wants children to think and ask.

Technology is equally important for English language learners according to Toledo and so she has attempted to extend the benefits of a technology grant, that has since ended, by hiring one of the grants trainers to serve as the schools multi-media teacher. On the day of our visit he was using words like browser and Google Chrome to orient second graders to the computers.

PS 74 uses the Go Math books recommended by the city and teachers also use elements of Everyday Math, which they used for many years. A math coach visits once a week, and there is a standalone writing teacher for grades 2-5.

Admissions: Children zoned for PS 161 or PS 25 may choose either school. Parents living in District 7 who prefer bilingual education for their children may choose PS 25. (Lydie Raschka, September 2013).

About the students

Enrollment
500
Pre-K seats
32
Asian
1.4%
Black
10.8%
Hispanic
86.2%
White
1.0%
Other
0.6%
Free or reduced priced lunch
97%
Students with disabilities
26%
English language learners
17%

About the school

Shared campus?
No
This school is in its own building.
How crowded? (Full is 100%)
111%
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Attendance

Average daily attendance
92%
94% Citywide Average
How many students are chronically absent?
25%
21% Citywide Average

Is this school safe?

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
94%
81% Citywide Average
How many teachers say their students are safe outside around this school?
72%
85% Citywide Average

About the leadership

Years of principal experience at this school
7.8
6.6 Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
91%
80% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal has a clear vision for this school?
97%
87% Citywide Average
How many teachers trust the principal?
85%
79% Citywide Average

About the teachers

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
89%
78% Citywide Average
Teacher attendance
95%
96% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
88%
83% Citywide Average
How many teachers think the staff collaborate to make this school run effectively?
87%
87% Citywide Average

Do parents like the school?

How many parents responded to the school survey?
39%
64% Citywide Average
How many parents say they are invited to visit classrooms?
79%
85% Citywide Average
How many parents say this school offers enough courses, activities and services to keep their children interested in school?
88%
87% Citywide Average
How many parents say their child's teacher helped their child adjust to Pre-K?
100%
97% Citywide Average
How many parents say this Pre-K program helped them consider which elementary schools would meet their childrens' needs?
100%
91% Citywide Average
How many Pre-K parents say their child's teacher gave helpful ideas for how to support their child's learning?
100%
96% Citywide Average
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Test scores

How many students scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
26%
40% Citywide Average
How many students scored 3-4 on the state ELA exam?
31%
39% Citywide Average

Arts offerings

This school has 1 dedicated space for an Auditorium
This school has 0 licensed arts teachers in Dance, Music, Theater or Visual arts
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

How does this school serve English Language Learners?

This school offers Transitional Bilingual Education in Spanish.
How many English language learners score 3-4 on the State ELA exam?
8%
10% Citywide Average
How many former English language learners score 3-4 on the State ELA exam?
50%
22% Citywide Average

How does this school serve students with disabilities?

This school offers self-contained classes
This school offers team teaching (ICT)
Average math score for ICT students
1.94
2.0 Citywide Average
Average math score for self-contained students
2.14
2.3 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for ICT students
1.8
1.9 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for self-contained students
2.01
2.2 Citywide Average
Average math score for SETSS students
3.0
2.8 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for SETSS students
2.24
2.2 Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
97%
86% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school works to achive the goals of their students' IEPs?
100%
91% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say they are satisfied with the IEP development process at this school?
96%
89% Citywide Average
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data
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