P.S. 105 The Blythebourne
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Successfully serves a large Chinese immigrant population
The student body at PS 105 is predominantly of Chinese descent, and many children are recent immigrants learning the English language. Nevertheless, the school maintains better-than-average test scores. In addition, it offers a rich program of art, dance and instrumental music. Students and teachers benefit from the expertise of three math coaches and three literacy coaches.
Many teachers are multilingual, but instruction is strictly in English in regular classes and mostly in English in bilingual Chinese classes. In bilingual classes, the teacher interchanges Chinese and English to help kids learn the harder academic words they need to know in order to progress in school. When they read books, younger children fill out a form to identify three new words they learned, two critical observations about the book, and one question to discuss with a group. The preferred choice for casual conversation among students remains Chinese.
The school is well-staffed to assist the many children learning English. According to the city's Quality Review, there are 22 English as a second language (ESL) licensed teachers, and 23 bilingual licensed teachers. Eleven of those teachers hold dual certifications in English as a second language (ESL) and a bilingual extension.
In addition to art, there is an early childhood string program, music lessons and dance lessons with St. Luke's Orchestra. Kids stay connected to their native culture by participating in performances around Chinese New Year featuring a fusion of traditional song and dance, morality tales and American arts, such as tap-dancing [see photo from the school website].
The school also offers a "Gifted Learners of Bilingual Education" (GLOBE) program, originally intended as accelerated classes for newcomers with limited English proficiency. Now the program offers enrichment in the Chinese language for all gifted students in the 1st through 5th grades.
Reasonably snug at more than 1,200 students, the building has ballooned to over 1,700 children. The opening of PS 69 was meant to relieve the burden, but PS 105 continues to grow with each new influx of immigrants, who now make up over half of the population.
The Brooklyn Chinese American Association, a community organization, hosts an afterschool program. It also performs dragon dances during the New Year celebration.
Special education: Children with special needs perform above the citywide average in every area and are held to the same high standards as everyone else.
Admissions: Neighborhood school.(Lydie Raschka, web reports and school data, September 2014)Read more