P.S. 20 Clinton Hill

225 ADELPHI STREET
BROOKLYN NY 11205 Map
Phone: (718) 834-6744
Website: Click here
Admissions: neighborhood school
Principal: L BARBERA
Neighborhood: Fort Greene/ Clinton Hill
District:13
Grade range: PK-5
Parent Coordinator: KAREN COLON
Zoned
Dual Language

What's special:

Dynamic leadership, strong arts & dual language French program

The downside:

Enrollment decreasing in shared building

InsideSchools Review

Our review:

PS 20 bursts with energy and life. Hallways are lined with student writing and artwork. Spacious and inviting classrooms have corners for dramatic play and rich supplies of books and art materials, especially in the lower grades. The school’s dynamic principal, Lena Barbera, has expanded project-based learning and the arts, as she did in her previous job as assistant principal at the popular PS 261.

A school-wide character-building project uses shared books to develop empathy, friendship, and tolerance. A bulletin board “Garden of Good Deeds” in the main-floor hallway celebrates small kindnesses and everyday compassion. We saw a lot of spontaneous affection between children and teachers on our visit.

PS 20 marries the old and the new. Boys and girls walk in separate lines and there is an optional uniform. Many classrooms have antique wooden cupboards and closets. One pre-K room even has a working fireplace. At the same time, there is strong progressive teaching and abundant use of technology, including SMARTboards, lots of computers, and laptops. PS 20 is part of the Department of Education’s Innovation Zone or iZone, which offers computer-based learning. A dual language, French-English program began in 2013.

Despite many strengths, the school faces challenges. Barbera became interim acting principal in 2009 after the former principal, Sean Keaton was arrested and charged with assaulting a kindergarten teacher, who remains on the staff. It took four years for her to be officially named principal, in February 2013. The school’s test scores are disappointing. While students were focused in most classes we observed, some were less engaged and a few were rambunctious.

PS 20 shares its building with the Academy of Arts and Letters, a middle school that in 2011 expanded, adding elementary grades. The two schools have a cordial, collaborative partnership:  They are working together on projects to benefit all students in the building, such as a rooftop greenhouse with a classroom, amphitheater, real grass and play space and a renovation of the shared schoolyard. Still, some PS 20 parents fear the expansion of Arts and Letters comes at the expense of their school, which has been steadily losing enrollment. The addition of a French dual-language program in 2013 may attract more parents to PS 20.

Special education: Collaborative team teaching classes, which blend general-education and special education students with two certified teachers, will grow up the grades until there is a CTT class on every grade. The school’s single self-contained classroom for special education students is as compelling, interesting and visually rich as any other classroom in the school, with high-quality student work on display.

Admissions: PS 20 is a zoned neighborhood school that frequently has space for students from outside the zone. Native French-speakers get priority in admissions to the dual language program. (Helen Zelon, February 2011; updated june 2013)

InsideStats

Click tabs above to see school stats

At a glance

Shared campus? Yes

This school shares the building with the Academy of Arts and Letters

Number of Students 321

Average Daily Attendance 92%

Students at this school

Asian

  
5%

Black

  
61%

Hispanic

  
20%

White

  
11%

Free Lunch

  
72%

Special ed

  
18%

English Language Learners

  
5%

Safety & vibe

ARE KIDS
NICE?

How many teachers say bullying is a problem at school?

23% 17% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

86% 83% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

ARE CLASSES BIG?

Number of students in an average kindergarten class

16 23 CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Number of students in an average fifth grade class

24 26 CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO TEACHERS LIKE THE SCHOOL?

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?

100% 80% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers would recommend this school to other parents?

91% 83% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Attendance

How many students are chronically absent?

28% 22% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Academics

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

100% 84% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

87% 88% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

91% 91% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of 3rd, 4th & 5th graders who scored 3 or 4 on the 2014 math exam

25% 38% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of 3rd, 4th & 5th graders who scored 3 or 4 on the 2014 ela exam

29% 29% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of 4th graders who scored 3 or 4 on the 2014 science exam

98% 86% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Parents

Are parents involved?

How many parents responded to the 2014 school survey?

64% 68% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many parents say they attended at least one pta meeting in the 2013-2014 school year?

77% 72% 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 2013-2014 school year?

85% 75% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Do parents like the school?

How many parents would recommend this school to other parents?

92% 94% 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 2014 math exam:

0% 5% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of self-contained students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2014 ELA exam:

0% 2% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of ICT students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2014 math exam:

0% 13% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of ICT students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2014 ELA exam:

29% 7% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of SETSS students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2014 math exam:

8% 11% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of SETSS students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2014 ELA exam:

8% 7% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

98% 98% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

96% 89% 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?

75% 89% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How well does this school serve English language learners?

Percent of ell students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2014 ELA exam:

0% 6% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of former ell students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2014 ELA exam:

NA 27% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

96% 90% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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