P.S. 11 Purvis J. Behan
BROOKLYN NY 11238 Map
P.S. 11 Purvis J. Behan
Extended PK hours offered: Contact program about extended hours.
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)
At a glance
Number of Students 831
Average Daily Attendance 95%
Safety & vibe
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 classNA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Number of students in an average fifth grade classNA 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
How many students are chronically absent?14% 23% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of 3rd, 4th & 5th graders who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam
Percent of 3rd, 4th & 5th graders who scored 3 or 4 on the state ela exam
Percent of 4th 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?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?
This school offers self-contained classes.
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
This school offers team teaching (ict).
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?
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?