P.S. 196 Ten Eyck
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Warm, friendly school with strong leadership
PS 196 is a friendly, neighborhood school where parents feel welcome and teachers stick around. School leaders and staff work hard to provide students many extras such as early morning enrichment activities, school plays and lots of arts. The school has a Spanish-English dual language program.
Despite rapid gentrification in its surrounding neighborhood of Williamsburg, PS 196's population has not changed much over time. The school continues to reflect the areas historic roots as a Latino community. Enrollment is low and the school welcomes students living outside its zone. In September 2016, PS 196 received a three-year magnet grant to increase diversity and overall enrollment in the school. The magnet funds are being used to bolster the school's technology (more laptop and tablet computers) and expand its enrichment activities.
Many teachers and staffers are experienced and have worked at the school for years including principal Janine Colon and assistant principal, Deborah Casey. Colon, a native of Williamsburg is highly respected by teachers and parents, based on their responses to the annual school survey. On the day of our visit, there was a particularly strong sense of community as the entire staff enjoyed a special luncheon in honor of Teacher Appreciation Day.
The vibe throughout the school is calm, creative and cheery. Hallways and classrooms are lined with colorful and elaborate displays of student creations. Teachers weave art into lessons and projects; starting in kindergarten students learn about the masters such as Van Gogh and Monet in art class. In classes, students seemed relaxed and engaged. In the younger grades theres time for play and students in all grades enjoy building with blocks and Legos in the schools block room.
Theres been a big push to bolster academics. The school started a Spanish-English dual language program and teachers are placing greater emphasis on writing instruction and collaborative work in classes. The school uses Columbia University's Teachers College writing program where students write and revise multiple drafts of work across many genres. They also use the Reciprocal Teaching method, a structured form of group work where students guide one another through a lesson. For instance, students may read a passage silently and then highlight key ideas as a group, answer each others questions, figure out the meaning of tricky wordsand predict what they may encounter as they continue their reading.
A full-time resource coordinator helps seek out grants and partnerships with organizations to support an impressive range of programs such as swim lessons for 2nd-graders, health and wellness instruction, field trips, early morning literacy and enrichment such as robotics, sports and games, and free after-school and summer activities. Visiting instructors from the Salvadori Educational Center teach students about architecture and city infrastructure, 5th-graders participate in musical theater through Rosie's Theater Kids andpre-K students get art instruction through Studio-in-the-School.PS 196 received a separate large grant to convert a classroom into a technology and media center. Teachers and staff also organize a variety of events at the school, including school plays, a fall festival and Career Day, where more than a hundred visitors come to the school to talk about their professions.
The school offers pre-k including extended-day activities and a rare two-year program that serves qualifying 3- and 4-year-olds with special needs.
For middle school, many students continue onto MS 582, which shares a building with 196.
SPECIAL EDUCATION: In addition to SETSS, there are self-contained classes for students with special needs and ICT classes.
ADMISSIONS: Zoned neighborhood school. PS 196 typically has space in pre-k and kindergarten for students living outside the zone. (Laura Zingmond, May 2016; updated January 2017 with magnet grant and extended-day pre-k information)Read more