P.S. 31 Samuel F. Dupont
BROOKLYN NY 11222 Map
P.S. 31 Samuel F. Dupont
Extended PK hours offered: Yes
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 nonfiction 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, 3rd- 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 one to two 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, said the 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 onsite.
ADMISSIONS: Neighborhood school. There are a couple of 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, web reports and parent tour, March 2015)
At a glance
Number of Students 623
Average Daily Attendance 95%
Safety & vibe
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% 86% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
ARE CLASSES BIG?
Number of students in an average kindergarten class22 23 CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Number of students in an average fifth grade class26 26 CITYWIDE AVERAGE
DO TEACHERS LIKE THE SCHOOL?
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?88% 84% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
How many teachers would recommend this school to other parents?88% 87% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
How many students are chronically absent?12% 22% 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?99% 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:36% 8% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of self-contained students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:5% 2% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
This school offers team teaching (ict).
Percent of ICT students who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam:27% 19% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of ICT students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:9% 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?
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?