P.S. 250 George H. Lindsay (The Williamsburg Magnet School for Communications and Multimedia Arts)
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Chinese dual language
PS 250 offers a Chinese dual language program, and has two STEAM labs (for science, technology, engineering, arts and math), in which students study coding, animation and other hands-on activities. Friendly and informative newsletters on the school website list many family workshops on topics that range from reading strategies to arts and crafts. The newsletter goes home in three languages: English, Spanish and Chinese.
The school building has ample space including an auditorium, a gymnasium and a good-sized cafeteria. Pre-kindergartners use an early-childhood playground and there is a larger schoolyard for the older children. In partnership with the National Wildlife Federation, children designed a wildlife habitat on school grounds to attract native species, a teacher wrote on the Wildlife Federation website. The children made 3-D models placing planters and benches around the space and wrote about their aims for a school garden.
The school's largely working-class neighborhood has grown increasingly upscale in recent years. Large blocks of low-income housing developments sit amidst new and renovated housing that attracts artists, young professionals and recent college graduates. These demographic changes, in part, have led PS 250 to shrink by more than half: from more than 950 students in 2004 to to 462 in 2019.
In 2012 PS 250 won a three-year magnet grant to attract families beyond the zone and increase the school's ethnic and racial diversity. It was able to revamp its two computer labs and buy video, photography, animation and podcasting equipment. Although the grant money ended, the school still offers instruction using this equipment, and children take visual arts, music and/or theatre classes.
PS 250 is working to boost test scores and overall academic performance. A goal on the school’s Comprehensive Educational Plan (CEP) is to make lessons more engaging and challenging.
The school has a partnership with St. Nick's Alliance, which assists students experiencing academic and social or emotional challenges. This program is led by a youth coach who comes to the school to work with students, according to the CEP.
ADMISSIONS: PS 250 typically has space for students outside its zone. School tours are Wednesdays at 9 am. To schedule, contact the parent coordinator at the email listed under “contact & location” on this page. (Lydie Raschka, web reports and email correspondence, July 2019)