Address: 60 Cook Street
PS 257 is a magnet school for the performing arts. In addition to the core curriculum, they offer art, music, ballroom and multicultural dance. As Principal Brian Leavy-DeVale points out, the school is best known for its commitment to the District 14 community, which can be seen in their multicultural education, as well as their bilingual and special ed programs. The school, whose student body has historically been mainly Hispanic, is actively working to increase its ethnic diversity. PS 257 is one of four Williamsburg elementary schools to win a 2010 magnet grant from the United States Education Department to help increase diversity among the student population.
257’s marching band is highly regarded, and the school hosts popular performances throughout the year. Students also take part in an annual Halloween Parade, which gives them a chance to get decked out in costumes and march through the neighborhood.
257 challenges students academically, as referenced by their high scores on the Department of Education’s School Progress reports, but that’s not nearly the whole story. “Our school is a true community school,” Leavy-DeVale explained. “We place our emphasis on developing the whole child. Children are more than pieces of data. They are each created as unique individuals by God and we just try to make their childhood as much fun as it can be while learning to be good and well-educated people in the process.”
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