P.S. 315 Lab School
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No playground or gymnasium; limited arts
A tiny school, with just one class per grade from kindergarten through 8th grade, PS 315 has a positive tone, experienced teachers and a respected leader. Like many very small schools, the arts are limited but the music program is solid and teachers weave music and dance into some lessons, according to the Comprehensive Educational Plan (CEP).
The school offers help to struggling readers. In Reading Recovery, the 1st grade students who need the most help meet one-on-one with a trained teacher for half an hour every day for 12 to 20 weeks. The Wilson Reading program, which begins in 2nd grade, uses a multi-sensory approach to help kids improve, for example, they use their fingers to tap out syllables or sounds, repeat what they have read in their own words and pair sounds with color to help them remember.
A bright spot: students do better on state reading tests in middle school. Math scores are not as strong, in particular for students with disabilities, who make up one-fifth of the student population. The school has highlighted instruction as a focus on the school’s yearly plan. The Quality Review says teachers get good supervision and support.
Twice a week, students in kindergarten through 8th grade study music from a full-time certified music teacher in a room equipped with recorders, violins and guitars. Select students take part in weekly small group music sessions, according to the Arts in School Report.
The school lacks a gymnasium and playground but has a dance studio with hardwood floors and ballet bars. Activities such as jump rope, soft basketball, arts and craft, and board games can be played after lunch in the cafeteria.
ADMISSIONS: Unzoned school. (Lydie Raschka, web reports, May 2020)