P.S. 11 Purvis J. Behan

An Insideschools pick
419 WAVERLY AVENUE
BROOKLYN NY 11238 Map
Phone: (718) 638-2661
Website: Click here
Admissions: Neighborhood school
Principal: Abidemi Hope
Neighborhood: Clinton Hill
District: 13
Grade range: PK-5
Parent Coordinator: CLEMENT RAND
Number of full-day PK seats: 72
Extended PK hours offered: Contact program about extended hours.
Zoned
Full Day
School-based pre-k

What's special:

Multiracial PTA and kids who love school

The downside:

Some writing assignments are one-size-fits-all

InsideSchools Review

Our review:

Kids love PS 11 so much that they beg their parents to let them come to PTA meetings, one mother says. Another says she was thrilled to hear girls chatting about “math strategies” on their way home from school. And still another says the principal not only knows every child by name, she also knows what books they are reading.

The enrollment of PS 11 has increased dramatically in recent years, a sign of its growing popularity in the rapidly gentrifying neighborhood of Clinton Hill. At the same time, the school still has room for children outside its attendance zone, offering a good option to parents who are unsatisfied with their neighborhood schools elsewhere. PS 11 has a large pre-kindergarten program.

“I love the diversity,” one mother said. “Not just the racial diversity, but every kind of diversity. We have homeless kids and kids who live in public housing and kids of doctors, lawyers, artists and designers. It’s the happiest place on earth for my kids.”

The school has an active, multiracial PTA that offers tours for prospective parents; organizes family movie nights, dances and workshops; and raises money for enrichment activities such as violin lessons and recess coaches on the playground. 

The building, while clean, well-lit, and well-kept, has undistinguished 1950s era architecture with drab gray and green tiled walls. The lunchroom can get noisy, and the library is a bit bare. But there are signs of life throughout, from the science room where kids raise trout from eggs (and release them on a field trip to Harriman State Park in the spring) to the auditorium where kids may practice their dance steps in classes taught by Mark Morris dancers or learn to play instruments as part of a program with the New York Philharmonic.

Test scores are among the highest in the district, and teachers make sure that the curriculum closely follows the Common Core State Standards on which the state’s standardized tests are based. Children answer sophisticated questions about literary devices. For example, all 2nd-graders read Justin and the Best Biscuits in the World, Mildred Pitts Walter’s story about a black cowboy and his grandson in the American West, and answer the same question: “Would you agree that Justin was influenced by Grandpa to behave or feel in a certain way? Use text details to support your argument.” 

While the writing samples posted on bulletin boards tend to be one-size-fits-all, it’s clear that children are exposed to demanding and engaging books.

Abidemi Hope became principal in 2015, replacing Alonta Wrighton who took an administrative job in the Department of Education. Hope was previously assistant principal, and parents say the transition has been smooth.

In past years, some parents withdrew their children after a few years in school, in part because they feared the district’s middle school options were inadequate. Those fears may be eased somewhat by the opening of a new district middle school, called Dock Street, in 2016.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: The school offers self-contained and ICT team-teaching classes. While the test scores of special needs children are in line with citywide averages, a goal of the school is to improve those scores, according to the school’s yearly plan.

ADMISSIONS: Neighborhood school. PS 11 sometimes admits children from outside the school attendance zone as well as outside the district. About one-third of children enrolled live outside the district. (Clara Hemphill, March 2016)

InsideStats

Click tabs above to see school stats

At a glance

Shared campus? No

This school is in its own building.

Number of Students 831

Average Daily Attendance 95%

Students at this school

Asian

  
4%

Black

  
68%

Hispanic

  
11%

White

  
12%

Free Lunch

  
44%

Special ed

  
9%

English Language Learners

  
2%

Safety & vibe

ARE KIDS
NICE?

How many teachers say bullying is a problem at school?

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained in the school?

95% 81% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

ARE CLASSES BIG?

Number of students in an average kindergarten class

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Number of students in an average fifth grade class

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO TEACHERS LIKE THE SCHOOL?

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?

95% 80% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers would recommend this school to other parents?

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Attendance

How many students are chronically absent?

14% 23% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Academics

How many teachers say this school offers enough programs, classes and activities to keep students engaged?

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers say this school does a good job teaching social-emotional skills?

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers say this school does a good job teaching organizational and study skills?

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of 3rd, 4th & 5th graders who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam

69% 41% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of 3rd, 4th & 5th graders who scored 3 or 4 on the state ela exam

74% 40% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of 4th graders who scored 3 or 4 on the state science exam

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Parents

Are parents involved?

How many parents responded to the school survey?

83% 64% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many parents say they attended at least one pta meeting in the last school year?

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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?

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Do parents like the school?

How many parents would recommend this school to other parents?

NA NA 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:

6% 8% 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:

15% 19% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of ICT students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:

8% 9% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of SETSS students who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam:

23% 17% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of SETSS students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:

15% 9% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many parents say students with disabilities are included in all activities?

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers say students with special needs are educated in the least restrictive environment appropriate?

100% 93% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many parents of students with ieps say this school offers a wide enough variety of services and activities for their children’s needs?

86% 86% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How well does this school serve English language learners?

Percent of ell students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:

NA 6% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of former ell students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:

50% 32% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers say this school ensures that ells receive the same curriculum as non-ells with appropriate suppports?

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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