P.S. 163 Arthur A. Schomburg
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iPads for every student
Overcrowding; trust among staff is low
PS 163 is well equipped with technology, asone of six schools in New York City awarded an Apple ConnectED grant. Every student, teacher and administrator is issued an iPad, teachers also receive a Macbook, and every classroom is equipped with an Apple TV. The Apple education team works with teachers to educate them in their use.
The school credits this program with helping support reading and writing instruction. To boost math scores, the staff scheduled more time for math lessons during the school day, the Comprehensive Educational Plan shows. There are two full-time science teachers, according to the budget summary, which is unusual in an elementary school.
The school offers music and visual arts. In a residency with Arts for All, students visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art, among other cultural institutions, to view, discuss and analyze paintings and sculptures. The school hosts an art showcase of student work, according to the Arts in Schools Report.
While parents seem pleased, school surveys show some staff lack trust in the leadership of Barbara Headley, who took the helm in 2018. Many say order and discipline are not maintained in classes. Only slightly more than half the staff would recommend the school to new families.
The school has many more students than the building was designed to hold. The main building houses 19 of the 25 classes and the remaining eight are held in portables on school grounds.
To welcome and support families, the school hosts monthly "family fun nights," with activities such as Bingo for Books, Math Games for the Home, STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) activities and excursions.
ADMISSIONS: Neighborhood school. (Lydie Raschka, web reports, July 2020)