P.S. 216 Arturo Toscanini

Grades Pre-K, K-5

What’s Special

Edible schoolyard showcase school

The Downside

Class size is growing along with popularity

Our Review

PS 216 houses the only "Edible School Yard" in New York City, featuring an outdoor garden, a greenhouse and a kitchen classroom outfitted with tables, sink, stovetop and an oven where harvested goods are made into fresh edibles.

A safe school with a positive tone, students use peer mediation to help each other learn how to get along, and teachers reward good behavior with student "dollars" redeemable for prizes. Books and assemblies with anti-bullying themes help raise awareness. Very few teachers report bullying is a problem here.

The school has become increasingly popular and class size is growing. Teachers havebeen working to boost academics, not only among kids with special needs who do quite well here, judging by test scoresbut also for those who are at or above grade level. One way is by offering extra "enrichment" activities during an extended day program, which has raised reading and math achievement among this group, according to the city's Quality Review. Kids in temporary housing are provided with basic school supplies and books in take-home bags that are frequently exchanged so the children always have something fresh to read.

In 2013 teachers adopted the city recommended Go Math curriculum after evaluating it against their former Envision program, because they found Go Math incorporated more "real world" problems and was better aligned with city expectations. Some academic work takes the form of projects. Second-graders, for example, created a scale model of the Brooklyn Bridge, incorporating math concepts into the work.

Serving families from Coney Island, Brighton Beach and Gravesend, the Edible Schoolyard came about in part because the school is located in an area with little open green space. In 2010, a cement parking lot was transformed into a half-acre organic garden. Starting in kindergarten, students harvest more than 60 types of fruits, grains and vegetables. Every class participates in two hands-on organic gardening classes and one kitchen class per month. The school website has a list of garden and kitchen staff along with their biographies.

The arts are a strength: The building has a dance studio, a library, an art room and a technology lab. There is a full-time gym teacher, an orchestra and a chorus. One of the school's popular partnerships is Puppetry in Practice, whose artists help kids learn to speak up and dramatize stories through puppetry.

Admissions: Neighborhood school.(Lydie Raschka, web reports and school data, September 2014)

About the students

Enrollment
739
Pre-K seats
95
Asian
25.6%
Black
4.2%
Hispanic
19.6%
White
48.9%
Other
1.8%
Free or reduced priced lunch
74%
Students with disabilities
12%
English language learners
18%

About the school

Shared campus?
No
This school is in its own building.
How crowded? (Full is 100%)
91%
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Attendance

Average daily attendance
94%
94% Citywide Average
How many students are chronically absent?
20%
21% Citywide Average

Is this school safe?

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
87%
81% Citywide Average
How many teachers say their students are safe outside around this school?
100%
85% Citywide Average

About the leadership

Years of principal experience at this school
1.8
6.6 Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
87%
80% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal has a clear vision for this school?
100%
87% Citywide Average
How many teachers trust the principal?
81%
79% Citywide Average

About the teachers

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
91%
78% Citywide Average
Teacher attendance
95%
96% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
90%
83% Citywide Average
How many teachers think the staff collaborate to make this school run effectively?
98%
87% Citywide Average

Do parents like the school?

How many parents responded to the school survey?
83%
64% Citywide Average
How many parents say they are invited to visit classrooms?
92%
85% Citywide Average
How many parents say this school offers enough courses, activities and services to keep their children interested in school?
89%
87% Citywide Average
How many parents say their child's teacher helped their child adjust to Pre-K?
98%
97% Citywide Average
How many parents say this Pre-K program helped them consider which elementary schools would meet their childrens' needs?
90%
91% Citywide Average
How many Pre-K parents say their child's teacher gave helpful ideas for how to support their child's learning?
98%
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?
38%
40% Citywide Average
How many students scored 3-4 on the state ELA exam?
50%
39% Citywide Average

Arts offerings

This school has 4 dedicated spaces for Dance, Music, Visual arts, and an Auditorium
This school has 3 licensed arts teachers in Music (part-time), Visual arts (part-time), and Dance
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

How does this school serve English Language Learners?

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?
5%
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
2.22
2.0 Citywide Average
Average math score for self-contained students
2.29
2.3 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for ICT students
2.02
1.9 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for self-contained students
2.25
2.2 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for SETSS students
2.14
2.2 Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
89%
86% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school works to achive the goals of their students' IEPs?
96%
91% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say they are satisfied with the IEP development process at this school?
94%
89% Citywide Average
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data
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