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P.S. 124 Silas B. Dutcher
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Small class size; ethnically and economically diverse student body
Gym takes place on the basement level in a large multi-purpose space
PS 124 sits on a shady stretch of busy 4th Avenue in Park Slope, among car-supply shops, older, three-flat buildings and newer, high-rise luxury apartments. The school serves longtime neighborhood residents whose grandparents graduated from the school, as well as children whose parents recently immigrated to the United States. One-fourth of the students speak a language other than English at home, with Spanish, Arabic, Bengali, Mandarin and Polish among the home languages.
The school is often overshadowed by its sought-after neighbor up the hill, PS 321, but parents at PS 124 praise the small classes, the music, science and art, and the "small town feel with big world diversity," as one parent wrote in our comments. Children study science in a lab with a licensed science teacher who has a masters degree in science and environmental education, according to the school's yearly plan. The music teacher offers guitar and recorder lessons, and 1st graders participate in a ten-week program at Gallery Players, a theater next to the school, called Shakespeare for Sprites.
Maria Interlandi became principal in fall 2018, replacing a long-time leader who had struggled to gain the trust of the teachers. Interlandi served as assistant principal at PS 94, another school with a Spanish-English dual language program, and helped design and direct the popular Little Brooklyn Pre-K Centers, which are within a mile or so of PS 124. She has worked closely with District 15 Superintendant Anita Skop in recent years, according to a PS 124 teacher.
Long-time music teacher Paul Conrad wrote us to say there is an atmosphere of "incredible excitement and optimism" at the school. There are three pre-k classes and two classes on most other grades.
One downside: There is no hardwood-floor gymnasium. The linoleum-tiled space in the basement serves as gym and auditorium. It occupies half the building's footprint.
SPECIAL EDUCATION: The school offers co-teaching classes on almost every grade. These mix about half a dozen children with special needs into general ed classes.
ADMISSIONS: Neighborhood school. (Lydie Raschka, DOE data and email correspondence, 2018)Read more