Building 21st Century Skills Through STEAM
PS 349: The Magnet School of Leadership and Innovation through STEAM is a public Pre-K-5 magnet school open to all students in New York City. Our STEAM-infused curriculum is designed to engage the imagination through the arts and engineering, spark curiosity in science, and invite exploration of the natural world and technology.
What is a Magnet School?
We are a magnet school within the New York City DOE. As a magnet school, we are a public school, but we are open to any student within the five boroughs of New York City, not just students in our zone. Our magnet school grant provides additional funding to support special programs, facilities, and partnerships around our magnet theme.
PBL: A Hands-On Approach to Learning
We use an active, hands-on approach to learning called project-based learning (PBL). Students participate in multi-disciplinary projects each year that are aligned to grade-level standards. These student-led projects are grounded in the principles of STEAM: critical thinking, inquiry, observation, exploration, and creation. Students develop deep content knowledge as well as critical thinking, creativity, and communication skills in the context of creating an authentic, meaningful project.
Students work on a project over an extended period of time that engages them in solving a real-world problem or answering a complex question.
They demonstrate their knowledge and skills by developing a public product or presentation for a real audience.
Learning with Technology
As a STEAM school, we have integrated technology into all aspects of learning. Our modern, state-of-the-art classrooms and facilities put technology into the hands of every student and teacher.
- SMARTboards in every classroom for interactive learning and whole-class activities
- 1:1 device program for students in Pre-K-5 with iPads, Apple desktop computers, and MacBooks
- Technology-based adaptive learning programs including iReady and RAZ Kids
- Coding and technology literacy instruction for all students, including Computer Science for All (CS4ALL) and Software Engineering Program Jr. (SEP jr.)
Our rigorous academic curriculum meets all New York State and NYC DOE educational standards to prepare students for future success in college and the workforce.
At PS 349, we have a strong partnership with the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project (TCRWP) at Columbia University. As a Project school, we receive the benefit of cutting edge research and best practices with the support of a staff developer from the TCRWP. This positively impacts the reading and writing achievement of our students. Participating in this program allows our teachers to prepare our students to be accepted into specialized programs in Middle and High school with the goal of being college and career ready. Students also use literacy skills in all aspects of learning at PS 349.
Throughout the school year, students in grades K-5 discover the joys of reading and writing units in narrative, opinion, and non-fiction. Students will also participate in units in poetry, test-prep, speech writing, essays, book reviews, word solving, science writing, and more depending on their grade level. In addition, students in grades K-2 have phonics instruction with the new TCRWP Phonics program.
Science classes at PS 349 have real-world applications. Amplify Science blends digital experiences with hands-on lessons that inspire students to think like scientists and engineers to solve real-world problems. This effective and engaging curriculum was developed by the Lawrence Hall of Science. Multimodal instruction ensures students “do, talk, read, write and visualize.” They learn to actively engage with science books, build visual models of their understanding of scientific phenomena, use digital simulations to collect evidence and share their ideas with their classmates.
In addition to the Amplify Science curriculum, students participate in hands-on learning through visits to our in-house Hydroponics LabOpens in a new browser tab. Students have first-hand experiences with growing vegetables and herbs in a non-traditional way. The food grown in the hydroponics lab is distributed to our families and to local food pantries.
Eureka Math and iReady provide our students with the benefit of hands-on programs designed to highlight the importance of math in everyday life. To deepen our understanding of the standards for mathematical practice, teachers collaborate with the National Training Network (NTN). This math network provides our teachers with professional development on the best practices for mathematical instruction. Students use math skills to create projects such as prototypes, inventions, and inspirational group art projects.
Students in grades K-5 receive daily small group instruction in math through the implementation of Math Centers. Students rotate to a Teaching Center, Independent Work & Game Center, and Technology Center. Through these centers, students engage in academic discussions, collaborative work, and build on their knowledge of mathematics.
The NYC DOE Passport to Social Studies Core Curriculum was developed by the DOE in collaboration with a wide-ranging group of teachers, historians and cultural partners. It builds on the New York City K-8 Social Studies Scope and Sequence, a roadmap of key standards.
The Passport helps students think like historians by raising questions, thinking critically, considering many perspectives, and gathering evidence; it also supports students making connections between history and their own lives, and seeing themselves as active members of a global community. It features hands-on activities and a variety of primary and secondary source documents and resources for each unit of study and lesson.
Students at PS 349 discover photographs, paintings, original songs, maps, websites, technology-based programs, field trips, read alouds, art projects, research projects and other hands-on activities that prepare students to be knowledgeable about the world as responsible citizens.
At PS 349, students learn about music around the world. Students in Pre-K through 3rd grade listen to and sing songs, conduct research and perform songs and dances for an audience to celebrate how different music is across different countries and cultures. Students have studied music in Nigeria, Germany, Japan, United Kingdom, United States, Mexico, and more!
Students at PS 349 also participate in keyboarding instruction through the Music and the Brain initiative. Music and the Brain is a neuroscience-based program that brings music literacy curriculum and classroom keyboard instruction to schools, helping them build cognitive, attention, and fine motor skills to succeed academically and in life. Our music classroom houses a keyboard lab to use as part of our music curriculum across all grade levels. It’s a fun way to build skills like reading music, playing the piano, and learning songs from all over the world. Students get to experience many of the benefits of a private piano lesson in school among their classmates as part of their core education.
In addition, students participate in visual and performing arts through programming provided by Marquis Studios, Studio in a School, and S'Cool sounds. Students engage in various dance, yoga, ceramics, architecture, and painting classes.
Physical Education & Health
Physical Education at PS 349 goes beyond just playing sports. Not only does physical education help students understand the importance of being active and healthy, it also gives them the opportunity to work on the social skills, thinking process, and the ability to learn new skills that they can use in their later life. Physical Education is a place where all students are given an opportunity to participate to reach their highest potential and enjoy themselves as they do so. All activities are age and skill appropriate for the students so that they are consistently engaged. Students develop their locomotor skills, balance, visual tracking, manipulation, health related components, and much more.
It is important that physical education is fun and exciting for the students. Physical education class is the only opportunity where students can learn new thing but don’t have to be stuck behind a desk. Being enthusiastic around the students will not only help make the lesson more enjoyable, it will also help gain the student’s attention and make them more willing to participate.
At PS 349, all students participate in the Rising New York Road Runners program, the NYCDOE Move to Improve program, and the Reebok BOKS Kids program. Rising New York Road Runners was developed to give all kids the opportunity to experience the transformative power of physical activity, so they have the tools to be physically literate and the confidence to be active for life. Elementary school teachers use Move-to-Improve to add physical activity into their classroom lessons. During a math lesson, students might do an aerobic activity to compare two numbers. During a literacy lesson, they might practice yoga movements to identify certain words. Any Kindergarten–5th grade student can participate in Move-to-Improve activities, no matter what their physical ability. Reebok BOKS Kids allows PS 349 to engage students in an after-school physical education club. Students in grades 3-5 also have the opportunity to participate in Girls on the Run, an after school non-profit program that works to encourage the development of self-respect and healthy lifestyles in pre-teen girls through dynamic, interactive lessons as well as through running games, all of which culminates in a celebratory 5k run.
Community Partnerships and Special Programs
Music and the Brain
PS 349 was awarded a grant for the Music and the Brain program. This program includes a comprehensive and engaging music literacy curriculum, teaching materials, ongoing teacher training, and a classroom keyboard lab to be used as part of the school's core curriculum.
Marquis Studios Residencies
Marquis Studios has brought engaging learning opportunities to PS 349 students. To date, students have participated in the following residencies: African Dance, Architecture as a Study of Cultures, Bhangra Folk Dance, Collage, Creative Movement, Islamic Visual Arts and Culture, Mime, and Puppetry.
Studio in a School Residency
Studio in a School fosters the creative and intellectual development of New York City youth through quality visual arts programs, directed by arts professionals. This residency helps students build foundational art skills and develop 21st century skills of communication and problem solving. Students gain experiences in drawing, painting, printmaking, collage, media-tech, sculpture and 2-D applied design.
S’Cool Sounds Residencies
S'Cool Sounds' mission is to use the power of music to inspire, educate, and connect children and communities. They envision a world in which all people have access to the transformative experience of making music together. Through their residency program, S'Cool Sounds provides hands-on musical education to our students with a focus on musical traditions from around the world. Students also use recorders and percussion as introductory instruments, which are learned easily and complement many different classroom curricula.
Guggenheim Museum Learning Through Art Residency
PS 349 houses a hydroponic garden in the science lab where students have first-hand experiences with growing vegetables and herbs in a non-traditional way. Plants are grown in. soilless environment where crops can grow 30-50% faster, require less water, and have fewer pests. Students learn science through the hands-on experiences of planting seeds, observing growth, harvesting food. They study food and culture from around the world. Students learn economics, healthy nutrition, and cooking skills by working with the harvested hydroponic food. The school has a hydroponic tower in the entryway for families to harvest and use at home. Surplus fresh produce is distributed to families, staff, and local food pantries.
Our in-house library is a place where our students visit to gain a deeper love for books and reading. The library is designed to have different areas of exploration for the students. It is equipped with a multitude of books and technology to meet the needs of all learners. This is a place where students are able to relax and dive deep into a book of their choice. The library and our classroom libraries are filled with culturally expansive collections of books which represent the whole world view.
Students at PS 349 also take walking trips to our local Queens Library branch, where students learn new skills from the librarians and use their library cards to check out books to read at school and at home.
Music and Keyboarding Studio
All students have the opportunity to take a music class and keyboarding (electric piano) lessons. Students love learning and practicing in our music lab and practice studios.
We have two full-size gymnasiums for physical education and sports at our school. The second gym—our “gymnatorium”—also features a stage and production equipment. Students put on two or three shows each year, including music and drama programs.
Our art studio provides plenty of space for creativity and imagination. Students learn and apply the principles of the visual arts and design, including drawing, painting, sculpture, ceramics, and architecture.
Every student has the opportunity to develop leadership skills at our school. We are proud to offer leadership development for students of all ages through The Leader in Me. Though learning and living the 7 Habits of Happy Kid , based on the “7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” our students develop life, leadership, and self-regulation skills that are critical for success in college and the workforce. These skills include critical thinking, goal setting, listening and speaking, self-directed learning, presentation-making, and the ability to learn in groups.
We offer a full range of Special Education (SPED) services for students with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs). We also provide academic support for any student struggling to master grade-level standards. Your child’s teachers will work with you to identify your child’s needs and make sure they are getting the help they need to be successful. Our support services include:
SPED services including 12:1:1 self-contained classrooms, Integrated Co-Teaching (ICT) classrooms, speech and language, occupational and physical therapy
Additional intervention services for students needing help with grade-level math and literacy skills
After-school programs in math and English language arts
In-house school psychologist and guidance counselor
After School Enrichment
Learning and fun aren’t limited to the school day for our students! We offer after-school and Saturday programming with additional enrichment activities in the arts and academics.
After-school programs are offered [DAYS] from 2:30 – 4:30 and are free and open to all students
After-school arts instruction is offered through our community partnerships and residencies and includes music, dance, sculpture, watercolor painting, yoga, and more.
Saturday Academy provides additional academic support and test preparation for Grades 3-5 on Saturday mornings.
To enroll your student in Saturday Academy or our after-school programs, contact [NAME} at [EMAIL] or [PHONE].