P.S. 130 The Parkside
Diversity; rich arts programming
As Brooklyn has gentrified, many schools' enrollments have shifted from mostly working-class children of color to mostly white children of professionals. PS 130 is home to an experiment designed to preserve the racial balance for which the school is proud.
When the city proposed building a new school on the other side of Fort Hamilton Parkway, PS 130 parents were concerned that their community would be divided: One side of the parkway is mostly professional families, while the other side is mostly working-class. If the PS 130 attendance zone were cut in two, all the children from one group would go to one school; all the children from the other would go to the other.
So, with the help of their local city councilman and the Community Education Council, they came up with a plan: PS 130 would continue to serve all the children in the zone from Pre-K to 2nd grade. And, then when the new MS 839 building at 713 Caton Avenue opened in September 2015, grades 3-5 of PS 130 moved there.
"The grades and classes will remain diverse, all kids will benefit from the new facilities, and the school community will remain united," said city councilman Brad Lander, who backed the plan.
Many speak a language other than English at home, including Spanish, Cantonese, Haitian Creole, Urdu and Bengali. The administration has long worked hard to teach children of different groups to resolve conflicts peacefully.
As part of a program called the Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility, children volunteer to be "mediators" who work with their peers to help them get along better.
SPECIAL EDUCATION: The school offers occupational and speech therapy and a resource room is staffed by a psychologist and guidance counselors. There is at least one Integrated Co-Teaching class on each grade. These classes mix children with disabilities and children in general education in one room, with two teachers, one certified in special education.
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Brooklyn NY 11218