P.S. 216 Arturo Toscanini
Brooklyn NY 11223
Zone for the 2017-2018 school year. Call school to confirm.
Edible schoolyard showcase school
Class size is growing along with popularity
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)