Explore Excel Charter Lower School
BROOKLYN NY 11236 Map
Explore Excel Charter Lower School
Explore Excel Charter School opened in 2011 in Canarsie as part of the Explore Schools network, which operates several other schools in Brooklyn including the original Explore Charter School. Excel opened with kindergarten through 3rd grade students and will be a full K-8 school by 2016.
Explore schools offer personalized attention, small group instruction, a back-to-basics philosophy and two-teachers in each elementary classroom, a model which Morty Ballen, the network's CEO, says he adopted when he realized it was used by many high-performing schools.
The school's first principal, Ethan Mitnick, a former bilingual special education teacher in the Bronx, left the school to become a consultant after the 2011-2012 school year. Dana Bogle, a Bank Street graduate who also worked for Teach for America, became principal. She was formerly the academic director at Explore Schools network and an Explore teacher.
Explore Excel shares space with PS 114, a troubled school that had been slated for closure in 2011 before winning a partial reprieve; the school remains open, but its enrollment was cut to make room for Excel. At the time, PS 114 parents and teachers expressed concern about how the two schools would share space and resources in the century-old building, located in a neighborhood that was once largely Italian and Jewish but is now home to families of mostly Caribbean and African American backgrounds.
There have been complaints about the state of the school building with 35 percent of the teachers reporting on the Learning Environment Survey that it was not kept clean. A majority of teachers have fewer than four years of experience in the classroom; 47 percent of teachers answering the survey said there were some problems of order and discipline at the school.
Admissions: According to Explore Schools' Director of Strategy Lizz Pawlson, Explore gives priority in admissions to District 18 students who are at risk of academic failure, particularly those who are zoned for PS 114. For its first year, 2011-2012, Excel received more than 750 applications for 240 spots in kindergarten through 3rd grade. About 60% of the applicants attended or are zoned to attend PS 114. These students receive first preference in the lottery. (Amanda Hass, September 2011; updated 2013)
At a glance
Number of Students 490
Average Daily Attendance 96%
Safety & vibe
How many teachers say bullying is a problem at school?67% 22% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained in the school?45% 84% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
ARE CLASSES BIG?
Number of students in an average kindergarten classNA 22 CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Number of students in an average fifth grade classNA 26 CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Number of students in an average middle school english classNA 26 CITYWIDE AVERAGE
DO TEACHERS LIKE THE SCHOOL?
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?84% 85% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
How many teachers would recommend this school to other parents?66% 86% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
How many students are chronically absent?10% 21% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of students in grades 3-8 who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam
Percent of students in grades 3-8 who scored 3 or 4 on the state ela exam
Percent of 4th graders who scored 3 or 4 on the state science exam
Percent of 8th graders who scored 3 or 4 on the state science exam
Does the school encourage family involvement?
How many parents say they were invited to an event at the school at least 3 times in the last school year?81% 71% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Do parents like the school?
How many parents would recommend this school to other parents?93% 93% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Special ed & ELL
How well does this school serve students with disabilities?
Percent of self-contained students who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam:0% 5% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of self-contained students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:0% 2% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of ICT students who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam:5% 14% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of ICT students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:0% 8% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of SETSS students who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam:0% 15% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of SETSS students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:0% 9% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
How many parents say students with disabilities are included in all activities?
How many teachers say students with special needs are educated in the least restrictive environment appropriate?
How many parents of students with ieps say this school offers a wide enough variety of services and activities for their children’s needs?