• 2015-2016 Blackboard Award Honoree: PS 158

    PS 158, Principal: Dina Ercolano

    By New York Family

    Editor’s note: To read profiles of all 2015-2016 Blackboard Awards honorees, click HERE!

    PS 158
    Principal: Dina Ercolano

    1458 York Avenue

    Award: Outstanding School

    Describe your school’s core educational philosophy.

    PS 158 is a nurturing learning community committed to educating the whole child. Our inclusive school environment encourages the abilities and talents of our students by providing varied opportunities and resources for each child to develop social-emotional, academic, creative, and leadership skills. This belief drives all decisions made at the school. With respect and trust, students, faculty, staff, and families are committed to developing life-long learners.

    Dina Ercolano. Photos by Andrew Schwartz.

    Dina Ercolano. Photos by Andrew Schwartz.

    Tell us about a few of the school’s achievements or distinguishing programs.

    The unified, yet highly individualized, approaches to pedagogical practice at the school are clearly aligned with our rigorous curricula… Our school has a strong culture of learning that encompasses high expectations for staff, students, and families. Students have very high expectations for themselves, families feel supported by the school, and teachers hold themselves to extremely high standards, resulting in high levels of student achievement and attainment… The entire process of implementing student-led grouping and the steps a student must take to be able to lead a group, builds levels of student independence, both for the student leader as well as for the students being led. From crafting a lesson they will be leading to working collaboratively with the teacher and the other students, students are involved in shaping the learning of their classmates. Everything from research skills to time management is vital to this process. This initiative helps families better understand their child’s progress.

    What’s new?

    Recently our students were invited to participate in a Principals’ Conference at Teachers College. The students shared their self-selected goals, strategies, and tools with their reading partners. The participants in the conference watched and learned from our students and were amazed.

    What do you love about your school?

    We have an incredible community. When I was a teacher and a coach, I taught a specific class or group of teachers. As a principal, I can expand my passion as an educator to teaching all teachers and all students, which is my greatest joy.

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