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P.S. 506 The School of Journalism & Technology

Grades: K-5
Staff Pick
330 59 Street
Brooklyn NY 11220
Phone: 718-492-0087

Our Insights

What’s Special

Strong sense of community and collaboration in multicultural school

The Downside

Some space constraints, kids could benefit from more enrichment and projects, only one pre-k class

PS 506, a huge school in the heart of Sunset Park, enrolls nearly 900 students, and more than one-quarter of them are still learning to speak English. But in this positive school environment where staff and students are eager to learn and help each other, the common language seems to be community service and collaboration.

When Dana Parentini came to the school as principal in 2015, every teacher and staff member she met told her what they appreciated most about the school was the feeling of community. She works side by side with two longtime assistant principals, who seemingly know every child in the building and what makes them tickno small feat in this large polyglot school.

We have a collaborative and supportive staff," said the principal. It is really a cohesive community.

To help achieve this unity and give children a real voice in the school, all PS 506 studentsfrom the Spanish-speaking children of immigrants from Mexico and Central America to the many Chinese newcomers are immersed in the Leader in Me's "7 Habits of Happy Kids" program.

Signs are posted throughout the building, and more than just giving lip service to the habits, PS 506 appears to infuse this into all lessons. Assemblies focus on a habit every month and students participating in a Leadership Lighthouse Squad in grades 3-5 perform skits embodying the message which is then broadcast on large screens posted around the building.

We show our leadership, said a 5th-grade member of the Lighthouse Squad.

Technology is readily available in all classrooms with SMART Boards, which are used along with iPads and laptop computers. The art teacher doubles as a journalism teacher, and 3rd-, 4th- and 5th-graders produce an annual newspaper, interviewing staff and students. This is a remnant of a magnet grant; the funding is gone but the journalism and technology programs continue.

The building originally housed PS 314, a mammoth school that was divided into two in 2006: PS 503 and PS 506. Enrollment at PS 506 has been steadily creeping up to 850 in 2015; it tops 1,000 at PS 503, which has a slightly larger attendance zone.

Every nook and cranny is used: The library is actually taken up by a small art and journalism room. There are several enclosed areas where special needs kids get support services as well as two free-standing 4th-grade classrooms.

Hallways are clean and spacious, but fire department regulations prevent them from being used for small group learning, administrators said.

There is a long waiting list for the sole pre-kindergarten classroom. Four-year-olds enjoy lots of play time, but that tapers off in kindergarten where the emphasis in on literacy; even at center time the focus is on word activities, a teacher said.

There are eight special clusters where students get lessons in theater, violin and technology, but a few students told us they would like to have more enrichment activities and projects to do in their academic classes.

The many students who are learning English as a new language get help in small groups and within the classrooms. There are a few classes in the younger grades for English learners only. Many staff members speak either Spanish or Chinese, and there is simultaneous translation at workshops and school meetings.

A dual language Spanish-English program began with a kindergarten class in 2015. On our visit, students had fun sounding out words highlighted by a small star on a chart. They get instruction in both languages throughout the day rather than on alternating days as is common in many dual language programs.

The Center for Family Life, a local community organization, provides counseling for families and an after-school program for both schools in the building. There is academic help for struggling students two afternoons a week and on Saturdays.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: There are several small classes for students with a variety of disabilities. As they can, these students join lessons in other classrooms. Administrators and teachers seemed especially caring in those classrooms. At least one class on every grade is ICT (integrated co-teaching) and a myriad of special education services are offered.

ADMISSIONS: Zoned students only. (Pamela Wheaton, December 2015)

Read more

School Stats

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

Is this school safe and well-run?

From 2018-19 NYC School Survey

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
86%
79% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
61%
81% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
78%
83% Citywide Average

From 2017-18 NY State Report Card

How many students were suspended?
0%
1% Citywide Average

From this school's most recent Quality Review Report

Are teachers effective?

From 2018-19 School Quality Guide

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
77%
80% Citywide Average
Years of principal experience at this school
4.1

How do students perform academically?

From 2018 State ELA+Math Results Summary

How many elementary school students scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
43%
51% Citywide Average
How many elementary school students scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
38%
49% Citywide Average

Who does this school serve?

From 2018-19 Demographic Snapshot

Enrollment
784
Asian
31%
Black
1%
Hispanic
64%
White
4%
Other
0%
Free or reduced priced lunch
93%
Students with disabilities
19%
English language learners
33%

From 2018-19 School Quality Guide

Average daily attendance
94%
93% Citywide Average
How many students miss 18 or more days of school?
19%
25% Citywide Average

From 2018 School Directories

This school offers Transitional Bilingual Education in Chinese.
This school offers Dual Language classes in Spanish.

How does this school serve special populations?

From 2018 State ELA+Math Results Summary

How many students with disabilities scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
18%
28% Citywide Average
How many students with disabilities scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
9%
23% Citywide Average
How many English language learners scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
15%
28% Citywide Average
How many English language learners scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
8%
17% Citywide Average


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

Contact & Location

Location

Sunset Park (District 20)
Trains: N Line, R Line to 59th St
Buses: B11, B37, B63, B9

Contact

Principal
Dana Parentini
Parent Coordinator
Gongjun Peng

Other Details

Shared campus?
Yes
This school shares the building with PS 503
Metal detectors?
No

Zone for the 2019-2020 school year. Call school to confirm.

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