P.S. 49 Willis Avenue
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Children study dance and theater and learn computer coding
Many children are chronically absent
At PS 49, students study computer science and explore an unusual number of arts including visual arts, dance, theater and music. The school offers Spanish-English dual language instruction starting in kindergarten, a program designed to help children read, write and speak fluently in both languages.
The school received top marks in its most recent Quality Review for establishing a positive school culture and communicating high expectations. The report highlighted teachers’ efforts for keeping tabs on students’ progress and giving them lots of feedback to ensure they understand their lessons. According to the school’s annual set of goals, the Comprehensive Educational Plan (CEP), teachers are also developing ways to differentiate instruction in the classroom, meaning that they’ll tailor lessons and tasks to students’ individual skill levels.
The data shows that the school does a very good job of helping students of all levels gain ground. One notable achievement: students with disabilities and those learning English outperform the citywide average in state math scores.
Younger students enjoy a range of arts instruction and then starting in the fourth grade they major in one, choosing from visual arts, theater, dance or music. Children get to show off their talent in celebratory events held in the Winter and Spring, according to the CEP.
Students in all grades get technology instruction. They explore different software programs such as Microsoft Word and Pixie, an illustration and writing program. Fourth- and 5th-graders study computer coding, according to the school’s website.
The website also lists a selection of enrichment activities. There is an after-school program where children may participate in a range of sports and other recreational activities. There is also a Saturday Academy. Family activities and parent workshops are held every Tuesday.
The Children’s Health Fund provides onsite health services to students and family members, according to the CEP.
One challenge for the school is getting children to attend regularly. Many are chronically absent, meaning they miss more than 18 days of school each year.
SPECIAL EDUCATION: PS 49 has team-teaching classrooms called ICT (integrated co-teaching) that mix up to twelve students with disabilities into general education classrooms. It also has small self-contained classes and SETSS (special education teacher support services), designed to provide more support to students in need, as well as occupational, physical and speech therapy onsite.
ADMISSIONS: Priority to students living in the southern portion of District 7. (Laura Zingmond, DOE data and reports, January 2020; photo from school's website)Read more