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Pre-K Center At Bishop Ford School Site

Grades: 3-K, Pre-K
Staff Pick
500 19th Street
Brooklyn NY 11215
Phone: 718-369-4450

Our Insights

What’s Special

Children learn through exploration

The Downside

No classroom bathrooms

Every day at the Pre-K Center at Bishop Ford (also called K-280), three- and four-year-olds don their outerwear, pick up their journals and venture into the world. On these "journeys," as their daily walks and field trips are called, they make snow angels, examine icicles, observe seasonal changes in trees or ponder construction signs that say "danger."

Opened in 2014 as a freestanding pre-kindergarten center, at first overseen by nearby PS 10, K-280 has a clear vision. It draws inspiration from the innovative Reggio-Emilia approach, which encourages kids to ask questions, explore, and express themselves through art, drama, music, writing, music and in other ways.

PS 10's principal Laura Scott and one of her retired pre-k teachers, Marlene Ross, shaped the vision of the center, putting in place a joyful, inquiry-based approach. Ross helped hire teachers who were open to what she calls "spontaneous learning," and trained and mentored them. She has a passion for this approach, which calls upon teachers to listen carefully to children's questions, and tap into their curiosities, and then to follow up with questions and activities that will deepen and extend learning. The center is now under the direction of Barrett Braithwaite, former assistant principal of PS 10.

The school serves roughly 400 kids in 21 classrooms. Parents are frequent classroom volunteers. They formed an active PTA in the first year, raised $10,000 for air-conditioners and light tables, and lobbied successfully to get an extra crossing guard outside the building where lumbering trucks merge onto the Prospect Expressway uncomfortably close to the school's entrance. The city quickly put in place lights and an official crosswalk.

A downside: The sturdy old building has gray high school lockers and no in-class bathrooms for young children, who have to walk (inside) the equivalent of a city block with an adult to use them. There is an outdoor area reserved for the smaller children. Brooklyn Urban Garden Charter and MS 442 also share the building. 

Admissions: Lottery. Priority to district 15 families. (Lydie Raschka, May 2015; principal update, 2024)

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School Stats

What is the Pre-K like?

From the NYC Program Assessment (CLASS and ECERS-R) Database through 2019-2020

Instruction: Teachers ask kids to explain their reasoning when they solve problems
Activities: Children explore art, music, sand/water, dramatic play and more
Language: Teachers talk and listen to kids in a supportive way
Interaction: Teachers ask kids good questions and invite back-and-forth conversation

Who does this school serve?

From the 2022-23 Demographic Snapshot

Free or reduced priced lunch
Students with disabilities
English language learners
Pre-K seats
3-K seats

From 2023 End-of-year Attendance and Chronic Absenteeism Report

Average daily attendance
0% Citywide Average
How many students miss 18 or more days of school?
0% Citywide Average

From the 2020 School Directories

For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data · More DOE statistics for this school

Contact & Location


Windsor Terrace (District 15)
Trains: F Line to Prospect Park-15 St
Buses: B61, B63, B67, B68, B69


Other Details

Shared campus?
Metal detectors?

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