P.S. 69 Journey Prep School
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Award-winning environmental programs
No gymnasium or auditorium
With its sun-drenched library and well-equipped science facilities, PS 69 Journey Prep is an inviting and exciting place. It's the type of school where a custodian will build a bridge for students to use in science experiments, and teachers may spend an evening putting together an engaging video for the next day's class. It won an award for its environmental programs from the National Wildlife Federation.
The Department of Education rates the school as “high impact,” meaning students perform better than their counterparts at similar schools in the city. Although many children are low income, more than two thirds meet state standards for math and English language arts, far exceeding the average for comparable schools or the city as a whole.
PS 69 has what it calls Outside World, which features gardens where children grow produce, herbs and flowers, in addition to a compost bin and two ponds. Children study soil and plant seeds in an indoor science facility, as well as conduct experiments there. They take enrichment classes in subjects of their own choosing, such as journalism, computer programing, debate or inventions.
Along with a visual arts teacher, PS 69 offers classes in other arts disciplines, thanks partly to organizations such as the Young People's Chorus , the New York Botanical Garden and Ballet Hispanico. PS 69 also has a room for music and another for theater instruction.
But the school facility has limitations. Classes are spread among three buildings, and none of them has a gym or auditorium.
To help students develop emotionally, PS 69 offers peer mediation, another "buddy" program in which 5th graders work with kindergartners, and RULER, from Yale University, an initiative aimed at helping children recognize emotions, express them appropriately and regulate their emotions.
Teachers responding to a school survey see the students as hard-working and attentive; they participate in class discussions and are respectful. Attendance, though, is lower than at other schools.
The pre-K program, which serves 54 children, gets good marks from city, particularly for its learning environment, teaching and the respect and kindness shown by teachers and among children.
SPECIAL EDUCATION: PS 69 has a high percentage of students with special needs and offers them an array of services, including classes in each grade that mix general and special education students, and two self-contained classes.
ADMISSIONS: Zoned school. (Gail Robinson, web reports, February 2020)Read more