P.S. 481 The STEAM Bridge School
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Teachers work well together; strong test scores
Too early to tell
P.S. 481 the STEAM Bridge School is a new small elementary school in Morris Park that seems to have gotten off to a running start.
Test scores are well above average, particularly in English language arts and for students with special needs on the English exam. The school gets very high marks from teachers and parents in a Department of Education survey. Principal Katiria Rojas has been there since the beginning, and teachers and parents see her as a strong leader. In the survey, teachers also cited an unusually high level of collaboration among the school staff.
Students at the school also work with one another. They are encouraged to take responsibility for their own work, cooperate on projects and assignments and respond to other students’ work. This is intended to help the children develop their vocabularies and learn to explain their thinking, as well as to challenge their fellow students and provide them with feedback. So for example, in a science class, children had to explain to each other what conditions are required for water to evaporate. Writing is a key part of many of these projects, even in kindergarten, where, a visitor from the Department of Education found, children had to find a problem and a solution in a story and then use words and pictures to create a class presentation about it.
The school adjusts teaching to meet each child’s needs, using various strategies and materials. The visitor from DOE found classes were broken into groups and then given different assignments, depending on the student’s skills, to learn the skill.
PS 481 shares its building, a former parochial school, with the District 11 Pre-K Learning Center.
SPECIAL EDUCATION: P.S. 481 has both team-teaching classes with a mix of general education and special education students and small self-contained classes for students with disabilities.
ADMISSIONS: The non-zoned school gives priority to children who live in the area for PS 83, PS 105, PS 108 or PS 357 or who have siblings in the school, although anyone can apply. (Gail Robinson, web reports, July 2020)Read more