Pre-K Center at Bishop Ford School Site

Grades Pre-K
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Location

500 19th Street
Brooklyn NY 11215
Windsor Terrace (District 15)

Contact

Phone
718-965-1190

What’s Special

Joyous atmosphere where children learn through exploration

The Downside

No classroom bathrooms or outdoor playground

Our Review

Every day at the Pre-K Center at Bishop Ford (with its unofficial working title "School of Journeys," formerly K280 @ PS 10), four-year-olds don their outerwear, pick up their journals and venture into the world. On these "journeys," as their daily walks and field trips are called, they make snow angels, examine icicles, observe seasonal changes in trees or ponder construction signs that say "danger."

Opened in 2014 as a freestanding pre-kindergarten center overseen by nearby PS 10, the School of Journeys has a well-established feel, thanks to its crystal clear vision. It draws inspiration from the innovative Reggio-Emilia approach, which encourages kids to ask questions, explore, and express themselves through art, drama, music, writing, music and in other ways.

PS 10's principal Laura Scott was tapped to open the pre-k center, and she in turn coaxed one of her retired pre-k teachers, Marlene Ross, to take on staff development. They've put in place a joyful, truly inquiry-based approach. Ross helps hire teachers who are open to what she calls "spontaneous learning," and trains and mentors them. She has an infectious, persuasive passion for this approach, which calls upon teachers to listen carefully to children's questions, and tap into their curiosities, and then to follow up with questions and activities that will deepen and extend learning.

At full capacity the school will serve almost 400 kids in 21 classrooms. Parents are frequent classroom volunteers. They formed an active PTA in the first year, raised $10,000 for air-conditioners and light tables, and lobbied successfully to get an extra crossing guard outside the building where lumbering trucks merge onto the Prospect Expressway uncomfortably close to the school's entrance. The city quickly put in place lights and an official crosswalk.

A few downsides: The sturdy old building has old gray high school lockers and no in-class bathrooms for young children, who have to walk (inside) the equivalent of a city block with an adult to use them. There is an asphalt yard used only by the middle school students from Brooklyn Urban Garden Charter, which shares the building. Children walk to a small park on 19th Street.

Admissions: Lottery. Priority to district 15 families. (Lydie Raschka, May 2015)

About the students

Enrollment
397
Pre-K seats
397
Preference to low income families?
No
Asian
16.9%
Black
7.8%
Hispanic
18.4%
White
56.9%
Other
0.0%
Free or reduced priced lunch
100%
Students with disabilities
7%
English language learners
0%
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Do parents like the school?

How many parents responded to the school survey?
55%
48% Citywide Average
How many parents say they are invited to visit classrooms?
95%
87% Citywide Average
How many parents say this school offers enough courses, activities and services to keep their children interested in school?
96%
90% 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?
76%
83% Citywide Average
How many Pre-K parents say their child's teacher gave helpful ideas for how to support their child's learning?
97%
93% Citywide Average
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data
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