P.S. 58 The Carroll
Strong academics, focus on arts, dual language French program
Rising enrollment means some staffers have to use closets for office space
A solid neighborhood school in brownstone Carroll Gardens, PS 58 is best-known for its French-English dual language program, which draws French-speaking children from France and Canada.
The schools enrollment has tripled in the past decade, a trend administrators view with pride and a little concern. Specialists use every nook and cranny in the sprawling building, even converting half of a large hallway into a semipartitioned space. Nonetheless, the school still has space for a large art room, library, and science lab. In 2016, two of the three pre-kindergarten classes were relocated to an offsite annex.
We saw a few classes where kids seemed bored as they silently filled out workbooks. We also saw some imaginative projects: 5th-graders created a wall display of hand-drawn book covers and essays on topics such as the Trail of Tears, the forced relocation of Native Americans. In a nearby room, a 4th-grade French-English dual-language class was hard at work on essays about life in colonial Canada.
The school puts a premium on high-quality, bilingual educators to staff the dual-language program. In kindergarten and 1st grade, students spend half the day in French and half in English with one bilingual teacher, while 2nd-graders alternate a full day in French with a full day in English, also with a single teacher. In 3rd-5th grade, students alternate between side-by-side classrooms, one with a teacher fluent in French, the other in English.
Families come to school on a regular basis to watch 5th-grade musical productions of, for example, Shrek, or to see a performance of the student string orchestra. The school has full-time music and art teachers. PS 58 offers ballroom dancing and chess, and has artists-in-residence from the New York City Ballet and the Metropolitan Opera.
A fee-based after-school program run by Kids Orbit runs until 6 pm, and the PTA offers 30 after-school classes, including gardening, ping pong, flamenco, digital literacy, comic book-making, urban dance, upcycling, jewelry-making and Mandarin.
Most students go on to MS 51, although MS 88 and the arts-focused New Voices School of Academic and Creative Arts are also popular. A new local middle school, School for International Studies, has also generated interest among families, Dello Stritto said.
SPECIAL EDUCATION: There is an ICT class in every grade and two mixed-grade self-contained 12:1 classes for students with severe learning differences. The school also offers SETSS, occupational therapy and speech therapy.
ADMISSIONS: Zoned school. Dello Stritto said the school has not had room for out-of-zone students for several years, even for the popular French dual language program, which has attracted many French-speaking families to the neighborhood. (Aimee Sabo, March 2015)
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Brooklyn NY 11231