• 2017-2018 Blackboard Award Honoree: The Neighborhood School – PS 363

    Principal: Dyanthe Spielberg

    By New York Family

    Photo by Andrew Schwartz

    Outstanding School

    The Neighborhood School – PS 363
    Principal: Dyanthe Spielberg
    Grades Pre-K-5
    121 East 3rd Street
    tnsny.org

    Describe your school’s core educational philosophy.

    At the Neighborhood School, teachers design a program rich in relevant, meaningful and functional experiences that meets the needs of all abilities. In-depth studies of themes integrate language arts, critical thinking, science, social studies, mathematics, physical education, and the arts. Classroom work is conducted collaboratively so that children learn to work with others cooperatively in social groupings. We want our students to develop fully as individuals, and also as cooperative, responsible members of a group and provide a safe and motivating environment for them to try new experiences to build on their strengths and to go further in the areas where they need improvement.

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

    The Neighborhood School is a founding board member of PENNY, the Progressive Education Network of New York, an organization that connects public, independent, charter, and teacher education schools and individuals of the greater metropolitan area to advance progressive pedagogy and promote equity, access, and social justice. We are also a PROSE school (Progressive Redesign Opportunity Schools for Excellence) because we have a demonstrated record of effective school leadership, collaboration, and trust. Our principal, Dyanthe Spielberg is a 2017-18 Cahn Fellow.

    What’s new?

    Our school has partnered with Border Crossers to provide Professional Development for both staff and families on dismantling patterns of racism and injustice in the classrooms and school community. Our Diversity Committee is leading a workshop with The Museum of Impact to create immersive experiential voyages into the heart of social movements; visitors will get the chance to participate with all senses and leave their own mark on ways to effect change and pursue a strong commitment to social justice and social action.

    What do you love about your school?

    We take pride in our communication across the school. Teachers participate in two-way email communication with families and send curriculum notes regularly that are transparent, inviting and informative. Our monthly community “Sing” brings together voices from grades Pre-K through 5, along with staff and families. We see our diversity as one of our great strengths. In our mixed age, heterogeneous classroom, children of many different backgrounds learn to become part of a community that fosters not only tolerance but also true respect for all people.

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