Our school, P.S. 116, is a community of learners in which all children are encouraged to achieve high academic standards and social success, to enjoy learning, to celebrate diversity, to develop analytical skills, and to model exemplary behavior. We empower our students to take responsibility for their own learning by recognizing that effort leads to academic success. They are active participants, and every child has a responsibility not just to perform a task, but to do it to the best of her or his ability. We emphasize the basic virtues of respect, compassion, perseverance, honesty, and commitment to character building.
In order for children to excel, they require an environment that encourages them to take risks in their learning. All members of P.S. 116’s community work together to create a nurturing environment so that students can take risks without anxiety, can think critically, can ask questions about their learning and their world, and can celebrate each other’s successes.
P.S. 116’s vision of a community of learners extends beyond the classroom community to encompass the grade and the school as a whole. We recognize that children learn a tremendous amount from their peers, as well as by working with younger or older children. Therefore, teachers not only promote relationships among classes on the grade level, but also forge bonds across the grades. In addition, P.S. 116 strengthens respect for community by involving children’s extended families, members of the neighborhood, and the broader community in school activities. Our families play a vital role by supporting their children’s endeavors and by actively supporting the school’s mission.
The foundation of academic instruction from kindergarten through fifth grade at P.S. 116 is a standards-based integrated curriculum, designed by our teachers, staff developers, and administrators. In-depth units of study occur in classrooms for sufficient amounts of time to ensure that all children master the content and internalize the material. During a unit, we study the core curriculum, which includes language arts, math, science, and social studies. We infuse into the core curriculum the specialty areas of art, music, dance/movement, storytelling, drama, computer technology, and physical education. Our faculty recognizes that children are unique learners and, therefore, our teaching styles encompass all modes of learning.