Gifted & Talented
The Gifted & Talented program at P.S. 15 is an enriching, project-based and experiential learning environment that encourages discovery, creative problem-solving, and exploration across reading, writing, math, social studies, science, and the arts. We are noted for:
- Small class size
- Extraordinary teachers
- Individualized focus
- Innovative and comprehensive STEAM/STEM program
- Arts and music
- Social-emotional learning
Frequently asked questions:
What sets your program apart?
Our rich curriculum is infused with arts and a notable STEAM program, We are proud of the dedication and collegiality of our teachers, and proud of our commitment to social-emotional supports for the students. Relationships between teachers and students and between teachers and staff members are characterized by warmth and genuine interest that finds expression in respect, active listening, kindness, and pleasure in being together.
What curricula do you use?
Our curriculum is consistent across the school. For ELA we use Columbia University's Teachers College Reading and Writing Workshop and Action100. For Math we use Pearson Investigations (this is the same program used by the Hunter College gifted school) and Context for Learning. G&T students often accomplish learning objectives rapidly and are able to delve into additional units of study or greater depth of study. Formative assessment is continual in math and ELA so that teachers know what each student has mastered and what direction new learning can take. In this way, learning is individualized and everyone is challenged. Rather than covering material quickly, we aim for depth. For example, in a non-fiction writing unit, if a student demonstrates mastery of unit goals, she may move into an independent research project and create a sophisticated presentation. In math, students may develop multiple strategies for problem solving and tackle more complex problems. It is important to us that students take pride in effort and have an appetite for constructive struggle.
How would you characterize your educational philosophy?
Our practice is a hybrid of traditional and progressive approaches. While there is content that must be learned and is appropriate for direct instruction, we also seek to empower students to inquire, to research, to make choices, to be motivated, and independent. To that end, we incorporate student-centered projects and research, and these can be group projects or independent projects. Reading includes both phonics and comprehension and students confer with teachers and read in small groups to ensure that progress is continual. In writing, students learn to draft and revise to make their work stronger and they write in all genres including narrative, information, opinion/argument, and poetry. Our math curriculum focuses on building deep mathematical understanding and students are expected to explore multiple strategies for problem-solving. We love creating cross discipline connections and bringing STEAM into our units of study. Our students come to us brimming with personality, ideas, and unique approaches to life, and our job is to regard that whole child and open up new possibilities and opportunism while also making sure that their education is grounded in fundamentals.
What is your homework policy?
Typically, homework includes 1/2 hour of reading (minimum), a reading response, plus math. We want students to use homework to practice what they are learning in class and to develop work habits, but also are mindful that afternoons and evenings can be full for many families, and students need to spend time with their families. It is expected that the work can be accomplished independently by the student.
How has your program adapted to remote learning?
Our small class size has allowed us to offer 5 days of in-person instruction to those who choose it. We have maintained a sense of classroom community by holding daily live class meetings and weekly Third Street Music classes with in-person and remote students participating together. In addition to live whole class sessions, in-class and remote teachers both have frequent, scheduled small group sessions and individual sessions (conferences). In-person students complete several asynchronous digital assignments each day to ensure that if we move to remote learning, they will already be experts in using the technology. Teachers work with remotely-learning students to create schedules that prioritize live instruction and includes flexibility for asynchronous assignments. All students learn mindful breathing and other strategies, and we follow the Sanford-Harmony meet-ups. Teachers have daily office hours in an open zoom room.
Will there be G&T Testing this year?
In a recent press conference, Mayor De Blasio stated that the G&T test will be administered in April for children entering Kindergarten in September. We are awaiting further guidance from the Department of Education. Here is the link to the NYCDOE page. They offer a mailing list for updates: