P.S. 146 Edward Collins
After school tennis instruction
PS 146 is a calm neighborhood school in a large three-story building in a mixed commercial and residential area. Classrooms are cheerfully decorated, students seem well-behaved, and parents help out in the cafeteria and by the front desk, welcoming visitors. Students wear uniforms of white shirts and blue bottoms. There are three full-day pre-K classes.
The majority of the students at PS 146 come from low-income families and, according to Principal Janet Sanderson-Brown, many start school without the proper skills and foundation. Attendance is below average. Teachers and staff have their work cut out for them.
Visiting classrooms, we saw a wide range in reading, some students reading challenging books, others struggling with easy-to-read selections. Some classroom libraries seemed in need of more books, but every student we spoke with said they were reading a book that they had chosen. [In 2009, the school adopted a computer program called SuccessMaker to help boost childrens reading skills. See the YouTube video on this page.]
Students are rewarded with prizes when they meet goals set by their teacher. To keep kids focused, at least two adults, usually a teacher and a para-professional, are in the classroom during reading instruction.
Teachers work to ensure that their students pick up the necessary social and academic cues to enable them excel in school. For instance, in one classroom, students referred to a chart on how to have a discussion ("I agree with you because..."; "I disagree with you because..."; "In addition to what ___ said, I think..."; etc.); a science lesson on snails emphasized the difference between "What we already knew" and "What we learned": "We already knew that snails are soft and slimy, we learned that lines on a snail's shell indicates its age." In one 2nd grade class, a girl described the main character of book as "foolish." When asked to explain the meaning of the word, she struggled at first, but after some prompting by the teacher was able to identify foolish actions by the main character and arrive at a definition of the word.
In addition to core subjects, all students get instruction in art and gym. Music instruction is given to students in kindergarten through the 2nd grade. The music room was full of electronic keyboards. There is no formal technology instruction, but teachers use the computer room to support instruction, such as the special education class we observed playing educational games.
[Success Academy Charter School - Bronx 3 opened in 2013 tosome controversy over sharing space.]
Special Education: The school offers Special Education Teacher Support Services (SETSS), self-contained classes for student with special needs only and Collaborative Team Taught (CTT) classes, where two teachers work with a group of special and general education students.
After School: The school offers test prep and academic support. The New York Junior Tennis League provides tennis instruction to select grades. For part of the school year, Saturday classes in music and drama are offered to students in grades 3 through 5. (Laura Zingmond, April 2008, updated with video and charter school info, September 2013)
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Bronx NY 10456