PS 516 Sunset Park Avenues Elementary School
Share this school
New school with a focus on language development
Too new to tell
Sunset Park Avenues has a commitment to developing student language skills in both English and students’ native languages. Nearly 90 percent of the school’s pupils are English language learners who speak Mandarin or Spanish at home, says Jill Smith, the founding principal. Smith sees her students’ fluency in other languages as a benefit. “Rather than viewing language as a problem to be solved, we will view it as a resource,” she says.
A new school designed to ease overcrowding in PS 94 and PS 169, PS 516 opened with three kindergarten classes in 2013. Sunset Park Avenues will add a grade each year until it serves K-5. Two of the classes in each grade are general education classes and the third is a dual language classroom, with students learning one day in Spanish and the next day in English. Sunset Park Avenues also has a bilingual program for children who speak Mandarin at home.
Smith started her educational career in Sunset Park as a teacher and instructional coach at PS 172 and she is excited that the Education Department asked her to open a new school in the neighborhood. "When I found out I was going to be able to stay in Sunset Park, in the community I love, with the families I love, I was overjoyed," she says.
Sunset Park Avenues opened in temporary quarters in an annex behind IS 136, Dewey Middle School. The school's permanent location is a few blocks away at the former St. Michael's Parochial School building.
Special education: Special needs students learn in a classroom with two teachers, one of whom is certified in special educaton.
Admissions: Zoned neighborhood school. (In its first year, the school accepted overflow students from nearby PS 94 and PS 169.)(Anna Schneider, July 2013, based on web reports and an interview with the principal.)Read more