P.S. 48 William G. Wilcox
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Arts integration, exceptional library, strong leadership
Not enough pre-k seats to meet demand
PS 48 is a large neighborhood elementary school where arts and enrichment are not an afterthought but a vital part of the school day, championed by longtime school leader Jacqueline Mammolito.
PS 48 moved from its old building across the street in 2013 to an impressive new building which includes 32 classrooms, two science labs with an emergency eye wash machine, a soundproof music room, an art classroom, a theater and dance studio, a physical therapy room and a fourth-floor library with panoramic views of the treetops of Emerson Hill and the Manhattan skyline. It also expanded its grade levels to become a pre-k-8th-grade school as of September 2015.
Mammolito taught for 18 years before becoming principal. Her personal passion for the arts shows from her extensive collection of Pez dispensers to the gallery of student art lining her office walls. Arts are integrated into the curriculum. Students work with instructors from the Guggenheim Museum to build kinetic models of simple machines. In one 5th-grade science classroom, students created winter scenes with shaving cream; in another, students used a grid to create a three-dimensional model of the schoolyard while studying geographic land formations.
Students have access to recorders and instruction in drumming and violin. Arts partners include Marquis Studios for circus arts, taiko drumming and dance. Through a partnership with Cultural After School Adventures (CASA), students visit the Staten Island Zoo and work on different science related projects that support units in the NYC Science Scope and Sequence for prospective grade levels. For example, the younger grades explore animal shapes and colors and the older grades study animal adaptations and animal skulls. PS 48 also has a basketball league for 5th-graders and fee-based after-school clubs such as fencing, robotics, dance, art and martial arts.
The school promotes close ties between parents and staff. Were more than a school, were a family, said Mammolito. The parent coordinator plans birthday celebrations and monthly fun nights, and surveys families in the spring to plan the next years workshops, including units of study on Common Core Learning Standards.
SPECIAL EDUCATION: The school has ICT (integrated co-teaching) classes, and 3rd-, 4th- and 5th-grade bridge classes that mix several grades in one small class. PS 48 also provides speech, occupational and physical therapy services.
ADMISSIONS: Neighborhood school. Call the school to arrange a tour. (Giselle Aquino, February 2015)Read more