P.S. 287 Bailey K. Ashford
BROOKLYN NY 11201 Map
PS 287, located in an out-of-the-way location near the Brooklyn Queens Expressway and the Manhattan Bridge, has a beautifully renovated library, brand-new outdoor playground and a well-equipped science lab. The school offers instruction in music and dance, and there are laptops and SMART boards in every classroom.
"We are very tech savvy in this school," said Principal Michele Rawlins-Brown, a PS 287 parent herself. Even longtime teachers say they use technology every day.
The principal "dragged us kicking and screaming into the future...from black boards to SMART boards," said science teacher Michael West. "It's a testament to this administration's forward-thinking."
However, the enrollment is very low, with only about 200 students in a building made for more than 600 students. With two classes on every grade, the largest has 22 students and most have far fewer. The school does not have enough money to hire art or physical education teachers, because the budget is based on enrollment. Test scores are low and attendance is poor. Most students come from nearby housing projects. Eighty percent of teachers responding to the Learning Environment Survey said there are problems with order and discipline.
To improve behavior, West developed a character education program called "Guiding Principles of Peace and Unity." Children are randomly assigned to "family groups" which meet twice a month on Friday afternoons for special events such as movie nights, pastry parties or trips Students gain points – and stickers -- for good behavior. Student leaders become "elders" who help monitor the cafeteria. More students now arrive on time to school and there has been a decrease in suspensions, West said.
The school has actively integrated the Common Core Learning Standards. On our visit, we noticed that teachers pay attention to writing, including correct capitalization and punctuation, from the early grades. Even the pre-kindergartners were organizing their stories and labeling them with a beginning, middle and end. Fifth graders write five page essays. To promote conversation between children and to help build their vocabularies some teachers hand out "speaking cards." Students sit in a circle and rather than raise their hands when they want to contribute to the conversation, they put their speaking card in the center. Kindergartners were speaking about the children's book author Eric Carle.
PS 287 shares the building with Community Roots Charter School middle school students.
After school: Academic help is available from 3:30 to 5:30 pm Monday through Thursday. Family Fitness Fridays, a program offering aerobics for parents and children, is sponsored by Shape Up NYC.
Special education: The school no longer has self-contained classes but there is a co-teaching class on every grade.
Admission: Neighborhood school, but there is ample room for children from outside the zone. Call the principal or the parent coordinator to arrange a tour. (Pamela Wheaton, January 2013)
At a glance
Number of Students 215
Average Daily Attendance 89%
Safety & vibe
How many teachers say bullying is a problem at school?24% 17% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained in the school?71% 83% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
ARE CLASSES BIG?
Number of students in an average kindergarten class20 23 CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Number of students in an average fifth grade class14 26 CITYWIDE AVERAGE
DO TEACHERS LIKE THE SCHOOL?
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?72% 80% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
How many teachers would recommend this school to other parents?82% 83% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
How many students are chronically absent?45% 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?66% 75% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Do parents like the school?
How many parents would recommend this school to other parents?93% 94% 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:0% 7% 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:6% 18% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of ICT students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:0% 9% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
This school offers SETSS.
Percent of SETSS students who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam:0% 16% 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?