P.S. 31 Samuel F. Dupont

75 MESEROLE AVENUE
BROOKLYN NY 11222 Map
Phone: (718) 383-8998
Website: Click here
Admissions: Neighborhood school
Principal: Mary Scarlato
Neighborhood: Greenpoint
District: 14
Grade range: PK-5
Parent Coordinator: Joanne Switalski
Number of full-day PK seats: 108
Extended PK hours offered: No
Zoned
Full Day
School-based pre-k

What's special:

Traditional school with old fashioned values

The downside:

No recess, no gymnasium

InsideSchools Review

Our review:

At PS 31, even the youngest children sit quietly with good posture, their hands folded on their tables, remembering to raise their hands to speak. Their teachers drill them in phonics, and work them hard in all subjects, in preparation for the city and state tests given in the spring. Chess trophies line the hallways and some of the writing shows off the kind of beautiful cursive one rarely sees in schools anymore.

A mother of six said all her kids had a good experience at PS 31, and they especially loved their veteran, "super, super happy," pre-k teacher. On a parent tour, we saw a mix of activities that included block building, dramatic play and phonics drills in pre-kindergarten. Kids played a Domino addition game in kindergarten and 4th-graders sat on a rug as their skillful teacher read a non-fiction book out loud.

The school boasts clean hallways, bright lights and high ceilings. Children walk the hallways in separate boy and girl lines. Many boys sport buzz cuts, and girls wear a range of styles including hair bows and headscarves. Polite behavior is embedded in the culture and teachers insist on proper decorum even from the smallest children. On our tour, we saw an assistant teacher remind a boy in pre-kindergarten not to rock back in his chair and ask a girl in the same class to lift her head off her arms during a phonics drill.

The Quality Review gives teachers high marks for consistency, but says there is a tendency toward one-size-fits-all lessons that lack depth for high-end learners. Arts programs help offset some of the "cookie-cutter" art and fill-in-the-blank writing we saw on the walls, mixed with more creative projects. Artists from Studio in a School lead classes for grades 1-4, third and 4th-graders study ballroom dance, and there is a music residency in 3rd grade. Children produce an annual show in partnership with Disney Musicals in Schools. "We're an academic-oriented school but I think we do a really good job of infusing the arts," said our guide. a former PS 31 student and teacher.

Special teachers travel to classrooms to teach social studies and science. A bright spot on our tour was the sunny art-room where kids happily engaged in a project with a Studio in a School artist assisted by a capable 4th-grade parent with purple-tinged hair. "There's a lot of parent involvement here," she said. On "fabulous Fridays," parents may sign up to share an expertise such as music, art or bread baking.

The gymnasium is closed for repair and children have phys ed 1-2 times per week with their classroom teacher in a basement space. Pre-kindergartners go out for a walk as often as weather permits, and children participate in "mighty milers," in which they clock their mileage by walking inside the building. Teachers also lead a daily movement break in the classroom, but there is no recess.

The old building has heating quirks and some rooms are uncomfortably warm. The only way to regulate them is to open the windows, according to staff. The computer lab is out of date, but there are two computers in each classroom, which also have SMART boards. There are some shared laptop carts.

Special education: Team-taught classrooms on each grade level incorporate children with special needs into general classes. Speech and occupational therapy are on site.

Admissions: Neighborhood school. There are a couple prospective parent tours in the spring. The school consistently did not respond to Insideschools request to visit; this information was gathered from publicly available data and from a tour for prospective parents. (Lydie Raschka, March 2015)

InsideStats

Click tabs above to see school stats

At a glance

Shared campus? No

This school is in its own building.

Number of Students 623

Average Daily Attendance 95%

Students at this school

Asian

  
9%

Black

  
5%

Hispanic

  
46%

White

  
39%

Free Lunch

  
72%

Special ed

  
13%

English Language Learners

  
7%

Safety & vibe

ARE KIDS
NICE?

How many teachers say bullying is a problem at school?

NA 17% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

100% 83% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

ARE CLASSES BIG?

Number of students in an average kindergarten class

21 23 CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Number of students in an average fifth grade class

23 26 CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO TEACHERS LIKE THE SCHOOL?

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?

83% 80% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers would recommend this school to other parents?

92% 83% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Attendance

How many students are chronically absent?

15% 23% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Academics

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

89% 84% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

97% 88% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

95% 91% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

74% 38% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

50% 29% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

100% 83% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Parents

Are parents involved?

How many parents responded to the school survey?

74% 68% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

62% 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 last school year?

66% 75% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Do parents like the school?

How many parents would recommend this school to other parents?

99% 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 state math exam:

18% 7% 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:

69% 18% 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:

63% 16% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

25% 9% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

100% 98% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

92% 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?

92% 89% 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:

22% 27% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

86% 90% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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