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Pre-K Center at Bishop Ford School Site

Grades: Pre-K
Staff Pick
500 19th Street
Brooklyn NY 11215
Phone: 718-965-1190
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Our Insights

What’s Special

Joyous atmosphere where children learn through exploration

The Downside

No classroom bathrooms or outdoor playground

Every day at the Pre-K Center at Bishop Ford (with its unofficial working title "School of Journeys," formerly K280 @ PS 10), 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 overseen by nearby PS 10, the School of Journeys has a well-established feel, thanks to its crystal 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 was tapped to open the pre-k center, and she in turn coaxed one of her retired pre-k teachers, Marlene Ross, to take on staff development. They've put in place a joyful, truly inquiry-based approach. Ross helps hire teachers who are open to what she calls "spontaneous learning," and trains and mentors them. She has an infectious, persuasive 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.

At full capacity the school will serve almost 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 few downsides: The sturdy old building has old 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 asphalt yard used only by the middle school students from Brooklyn Urban Garden Charter, which shares the building. Children walk to a small park on 19th Street.

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

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School Stats

Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

What is the Pre-K like?

From this school's most recent Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS)

Instruction: Teachers ask kids to explain their reasoning when they solve problems

From this school's most recent Early Childhood Environmental Rating System (ECERS-R)

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 2017-18 Demographic Snapshot

Enrollment
428
Asian
16%
Black
8%
Hispanic
17%
White
59%
Other
0%
Free or reduced priced lunch
11%
Students with disabilities
8%
English language learners
0%

From 2018 School Directories

Pre-K seats
504


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

Contact & Location

Location

Windsor Terrace (District 15)

Contact

Parent Coordinator

Other Details

Shared campus?
Yes
This school shares a building with BUGS Charter
Metal detectors?
No

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