P.S. 583 Bronx Lab School
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Focus on history; new building; trusting tone
Attendance is low
PS 583 Bronx Lab School for Historical Discovery aims to get students interested in history. The New York Historical Society provides hands-on learning activities for parents, students and staff, and Marquis Studio works with kindergarten and 1st grade students to explore history through visual arts projects. Education Through Music provides music lessons to students.
The school opened in 2017 with pre-kindergarten and kindergarten classes and will add a grade each year until it is a full pre-k to 5th grade school with about 460 students. It was built to ease overcrowding at PS 119 and PS 152, according to the Comprehensive Educational Plan (CEP).
PS 583 seems to be off to a good start. NYC School surveys show trust is high among staff and family ties are strong. Principal Glorimer Lopez is a respected leader. One area in need of improvement is attendance, which is below the city average. An attendance team meets regularly and good attendance is rewarded with recognition, according to the CEP.
The CEP shows a commitment to reading and writing from the earliest grades. PS 583 works with a reading coach assigned by the Department of Education as part of a push to have all 2nd grade students reading on grade level. The coach provides additional assistance to teachers in the areas of phonics, small group instruction (guided reading), regular check-ins on children’s reading levels, plus daily reading and writing practice. Teachers also train with the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project, which teachers say can help develop a life-long love of reading and writing in children.
The airy, modern building boasts art, music and science rooms, in addition to a gymatorium and cafeteria. Special features include a roof garden and gated play yards split between an early childhood playground, with a climbing structure, and a half basketball court. The school building won an honorable mention in an education design showcase. Shared community space was an important consideration in the design, according to Spaces4Learning website [see more photos here].
ADMISSIONS: Zoned neighborhood school (Lydie Raschka, web reports, May 2020)