P.S. 186 Dr. Irving A Gladstone

Grades Pre-K, K-5
Staff Pick
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What’s Special

Interactive, discovery-based learning

The Downside

Space is tight, only one pre-K

Our Review

American flags, Chinese restaurants and Virgin Mary statues are common sights along the avenues of Bensonhurst, a traditionally Italian enclave also known as Brooklyn's second Chinatown. Once an old-fashioned school with desks in rows, PS 186 now serves many children of new immigrants with cutting-edge technology, in classrooms that hum with movement and chatter as kids work on learning-tasks, projects and games.

Academics start early but there is lots of variety, choice and activity to hold a child's interest at every age. Teachers move energetically among tables to assist children like supportive coaches on a ball field.

Particularly successful here are the many different ways children cover a topic. During a science lesson on states of matter, some children watched a video, others read a picture book and a few did an experiment with the teacher. Then the groups rotated. In one class, kids played geometry games with colorful shapes and iPads, using QR codes to check their answers.

One-quarter of the students are new to speaking English and there are many opportunities for them to practice their English here. When children learn this way it makes it easier for the teacher to check their understanding, said Principal Bayan Cadotte, a former elementary and middle school teacher. Indeed, we saw teachers jot notes and listen in as they worked their rooms.

Children are noticeably kind and helpful. Attendance is better than average, a good sign for such a large school, meaning the teacher does not have to slow down to help kids who missed lessons catch up.

Independence is prized so children try to find their own answers, rather than only relying on the teacher, whether it's finding the word "purple" posted on the wall, or checking a pocket guide on copyediting marks as they edit a classmate's work.

Parents flock to the school for the solid instruction as well as the free after-school program from 2:20-5:20 pm. (However, roughly 150 families choose not to put their children in extended day, opting for private tutoring instead, Cadotte said.) The yearly planstates discipline is a bit bumpier in the after-school program, but the school makes every effort to provide a seamless change from the school time to after-school time, Cadotte said. The parent coordinator stays late to oversee the transition. Overall, parents are very happy with their children's experiences at PS 186, according to school surveys.

Teachers have identified a need for more translation services and support for the influx of new English speakers. There are a few paraprofessionals on staff who help parents with translation, and the school adopted two online programs to give kids extra practice with reading skills.

Enrollment is on the rise, which may require space-juggling in the future, such as giving up the science or music rooms for new classrooms.

The single pre-kindergarten is lovely but typically fills up with siblings of older PS 186 students. We saw children there play "family" in the dramatic play areawhere boys and girls were equally comfortable cuddling a toy baby and changing its diaper.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: Services include small, mixed-age "self-contained" classes, and team-teaching classes that incorporate children with disabilities into general education classes. Students with disabilities do better than average on state exams.

ADMISSIONS: Zoned, neighborhood school.(Lydie Raschka, May 2016)

About the students

Enrollment
1009
Pre-K seats
20
Asian
40.3%
Black
0.2%
Hispanic
26.5%
White
31.9%
Other
1.1%
Free or reduced priced lunch
100%
Students with disabilities
15%
English language learners
32%

About the school

Shared campus?
No
This school is in its own building.
Metal detectors?
No
How crowded? (Full is 100%)
118%
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Attendance

Average daily attendance
96%
94% Citywide Average
How many students are chronically absent?
11%
21% Citywide Average

Is this school safe?

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
65%
81% Citywide Average
How many teachers say their students are safe outside around this school?
97%
85% Citywide Average

About the leadership

Years of principal experience at this school
11.7
6.6 Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
74%
80% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal has a clear vision for this school?
77%
87% Citywide Average
How many teachers trust the principal?
69%
79% Citywide Average

About the teachers

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
74%
78% Citywide Average
Teacher attendance
97%
96% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
81%
83% Citywide Average
How many teachers think the staff collaborate to make this school run effectively?
79%
87% Citywide Average

Do parents like the school?

How many parents responded to the school survey?
82%
64% Citywide Average
How many parents say they are invited to visit classrooms?
94%
85% Citywide Average
How many parents say this school offers enough courses, activities and services to keep their children interested in school?
94%
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?
51%
40% Citywide Average
How many students scored 3-4 on the state ELA exam?
43%
39% Citywide Average

Arts offerings

This school has 2 dedicated spaces for Visual arts and an Auditorium
This school has 1 licensed arts teacher in Theater (part-time)
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 Chinese.
How many English language learners score 3-4 on the State ELA exam?
4%
10% Citywide Average
How many former English language learners score 3-4 on the State ELA exam?
28%
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
1.91
2.0 Citywide Average
Average math score for self-contained students
2.71
2.3 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for ICT students
1.84
1.9 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for self-contained students
2.32
2.2 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for SETSS students
1.9
2.2 Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
93%
86% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school works to achive the goals of their students' IEPs?
95%
91% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say they are satisfied with the IEP development process at this school?
93%
89% Citywide Average
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data
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