Student Life

Curriculum | Enrichment & Events | Clubs | Partnerships | Trips | After School Program |  The Garden |  The Library


At P.S. 217, we offer a comprehensive approach intended to meet every child’s educational and developmental needs. Our curriculum focuses on common core national standards, with an emphasis on cross-curricular connections. For example, writing, the arts, and technology are elements of the math curriculum. Our programs are designed, implemented, and sustained by the school’s highly trained administrators, staff developers, and master teachers.
The most recent curriculum for all grades is available at the beginning of every month.

Enrichment & Events

P.S. 217’s arts enrichment program exposes every student to music, drama, creative writing, and studio art — both in the everyday curriculum and in a wide variety of extracurricular activities.PS217_enrichment2


P.S. 217 offers weekly arts clubs for students in grades 4 and 5. Kids can choose from a variety of high-interest topics, and then immerse themselves in photography, a musical instrument, graphic design, creative writing, drama, dance, art, filmmaking, and much more.

ps127clubsSeveral clubs collaborate to present one of our two yearly major theatrical productions. The scripts are original, age-appropriate adaptations of literary classics such as The Tempest, The Odyssey, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The script and costumes are created by our teaching staff. Students design and build the scenery with direction from our art teacher. The musical scores are written in-house and performed by a student ensemble. And our young actors, singers, and dancers are coached by teachers and visiting artists.


Brooklyn is one of the most artistically vibrant areas of the United States, and here at P.S. 217 we benefit from the artists, writers, and musicians in our community. We have partnered with some of Brooklyn’s premier cultural organizations, including the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music, the Brooklyn Public Library, and Puppetry in Practice. Experts from these wonderful institutions teach classes as part of our regular curriculum and in our after-school program.

Mr. Portnoy's class trip to the New York Transit Museum, December 2011.

Mr. Portnoy’s class trip to the New York Transit Museum, December 2011.


At P.S. 217, we believe in hands-on learning. Every class goes on several field trips a year, visiting historical sites such as Old Richmond Town on Staten Island; arts centers such as the Brooklyn Museum; and learning centers such as the Brooklyn and Staten Island Children’s Museums.

We encourage parents to take part in this exciting part of their children’s education. Parents are invited to accompany classes on field trips whenever possible.

After School Program

From February through May, P.S. 217 offers after-school enrichment programs for kids in grades K-5. Children are invited to participate in a wide range of classes — everything from chess to Eric Carle Collage to Music & Movement and the study of Mandarin.

The enrichment programs are divided up by grade level — K-1, 2-3, and 4-5 — and are targeted to the specific needs and interests of students in those grades. Each program meets one day weekly immediately after school for an hour and a half. Snack is provided for all students who participate.

PS217_GardenThe Garden

In 2010, P.S. 217 went green and turned our front lawn into a vegetable and flower garden! Under the leadership of local landscape designer Susannah Laskaris, P.S. 217 students, staff, and parents transformed the space into a full-fledged outdoor classroom. Students dig in the dirt, plant seeds, and harvest the fruits of their own labor. Plus they get to observe the many beautiful butterflies their handiwork has attracted.

Parents are invited to participate in garden projects alongside students and teachers. It’s a great way to enrich your child’s learning and build our school community.

PS217_LibraryThe Library

P.S. 217’s library runs a family reading program that begins in September and runs through most of the school year. Adult family members are encouraged to accompany their children to the school library on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays between 8:10 am and 8:40 am to borrow books, use the computers, and earn stickers and other reading incentives. Each child can borrow five books at a time for a two-week period.

In addition, P.S. 217 is partnering with the Brooklyn Public Library to provide our students with author/illustrator programs throughout the year. We look forward to seeing you at the library!