P.S. 307 Daniel Hale Williams

209 YORK STREET
BROOKLYN NY 11201 Map
Phone: (718) 834-4748
Website: Click here
Admissions: Neighborhood school
Principal: Stephanie Carroll
Neighborhood: Vinegar Hill
District: 13
Grade range: PK-5
Parent Coordinator: WILLIE CROSLAND
Number of full-day PK seats: 108
Extended PK hours offered: Yes
Zoned
Full Day
School-based pre-k
Extended Day

What's special:

Welcoming tone and great program for students on the autism spectrum

The downside:

Needy students provide challenges with academics and attendance

InsideSchools Review

Our review:

Good things are happening at PS 307. Classrooms are calm and welcoming, with high levels of student engagement. Class size is small and most classes have at least two adults. Particularly in the lower grades, the writing and art work posted on bulletin boards is rich and creative, showing attentive teaching editing the students work. In one pre-k class, children sang “Hello, hello, how do you do?” In another, they measured their heights with yarn.

Principal Stephanie Carroll, whose own children attended the progressive Midtown West School in Manhattan, encourages teachers to create imaginative lessons with plenty of time for play and exploration. Student teachers and volunteers ensure children get plenty of attention.

The school boasts two well-stocked music classrooms. Each has keyboards where all students learn some keyboarding, and fifth graders learn guitar. The school has a rock band and jazz group, which are part of an afterschool program. Classes in Mandarin are offered. A $1.8 million magnet grant for STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education provides hands-on science and math at least three hours per week. Although the grant formally ended in 2016, the school continues to offer the STEM classes and welcomes children from outside the school attendance zone.

Located in Vinegar Hill, a gentrifying neighborhood between the Brooklyn Navy Yard and DUMBO, PS 307 has long served children who live in the Farragut public housing development across the street. Students with special needs from throughout the district come for the school's excellent ASD Horizon program for students on the autism spectrum.

In 2016, to ease overcrowding at nearby PS 8, The Department of Education expanded the zone for PS 307 to include DUMBO. The change was controversial: Some PS 307 parents worried that a community institution that has long nurtured black and Latino families would be "taken over" by outsiders from the gentrifying neighborhood of DUMBO, while some DUMBO families worried that the school's low test scores mean their children might not be challenged.

Those fears did not seem to materialize, at least in the first year after the rezoning. Carroll, whose mother is from France and whose father is from Senegal, says “my perspective is not black and white” and has reassured parents of all races that they are welcome. Kindergarten enrollments increased significantly, from just 18 children in 2015-16 to 56 in 2016-17.

Despite the school's many strengths, daunting challenges remain. While most children were engaged in their classes on our visit, a few were squirming or not paying attention. Test scores are below the citywide average. There are high rates of chronic absenteeism. Some teachers complain of discipline problems, according to 2015-16 school survey. However, on our visit in fall 2016, the school appeared calm and orderly.

With effective leadership and strong teaching, PS 307 is a school to watch.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: There are ICT (integrated co-teaching) classes on every grade, several self-contained classes for special education students, and several special small classes for students on the autism spectrum in the ASD Horizon program. Teachers provide personal attention and a gentle atmosphere. One general education student even studies in the ASD classroom because he works better in a smaller, quieter group. The 1st-grade classroom with cozy corners, was dimly lit with music softly playing and all students focused.

ADMISSIONS: Neighborhood school but students from outside of the zone are also admitted. The school welcomes prospective parents who wish to visit or tour. (Elizabeth Daniels, November 2015, Clara Hemphill, November 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 380

Average Daily Attendance 90%

Students at this school

Asian

  
4%

Black

  
57%

Hispanic

  
29%

White

  
8%

Free Lunch

  
75%

Special ed

  
35%

English Language Learners

  
3%

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?

50% 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?

72% 80% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers would recommend this school to other parents?

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Attendance

How many students are chronically absent?

35% 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

17% 41% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

24% 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?

39% 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:

14% 8% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

3% 2% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

6% 19% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

0% 9% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

NA 17% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

NA 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?

83% 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?

94% 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:

NA 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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