P.S. 34 Oliver H. Perry

An Insideschools pick
131 NORMAN AVENUE
BROOKLYN NY 11222 Map
Phone: (718) 389-5842
Website: Click here
Admissions: neighborhood school
Principal: Carmen Asselta
Neighborhood: Greenpoint
District: 14
Grade range: PK-5
Number of full-day PK seats: 18
Extended PK hours offered: No
Zoned
Full Day
School-based pre-k

What's special:

Close-knit neighborhood school with patriotic celebrations

The downside:

Cramped quarters

InsideSchools Review

Our review:

PS 34 is a close-knit neighborhood school with good attendance, high test scores and a warm sense of community. The neighborhood has long been home to working-class Polish and Spanish speaking immigrants. Increasingly, Greenpoint has gentrified, and PS 34 has successfully integrated the old-timers and newcomers, parents say.

Patriotism is prized: Children begin the day with the Pledge of Allegiance. The whole school celebrates Flag Day in June with dances, songs and readings with members of the community. Children also mark Veterans' Day in November, inviting veterans to speak.

"We still have a traditional heart," says Carmen Asselta, principal since 2012. "This is a true community school. No child is lost. We make every effort to welcome our parents."

One of the oldest schools in Brooklyn, PS 34 was used as a hospital in the Civil War and the former wards were divided into classrooms. As a result, there are few hallways in the building—one must walk through one classroom to get to another, ducking under student artwork hanging from clotheslines in the makeshift corridors. Surprisingly, the arrangement works: Classes are orderly and teachers keep kids focused despite the distractions.

The school has long had the enthusiastic support of parents, according to the annual survey. "The principal knows every child by name," said a parent volunteer in the lunchroom the day of our visit. "I feel like I just walked into a family."

Reading instruction begins with the highly structured Core Knowledge approach, which emphasizes instruction in phonics, vocabulary drills, and units on history and science. For example, 2nd-graders study Greek mythology, Western Expansion and the human body. Starting in 3rd grade, children use the Expeditionary Learning reading curriculum, which emphasizes interdisciplinary projects. PS 34 has adopted GoMath, which balances quick recall of facts and conceptual understanding.

Special education: The school offers SETSS (special education teacher support services) and ICT team-teaching classes, where two teachers work with both special and general education students.

Admissions: Neighborhood school. There are monthly tours for prospective parents and the parent coordinator will schedule tours on request. The school occasionally has room for children from outside the zone. (Clara Hemphill, May 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 512

Average Daily Attendance 94%

Students at this school

Asian

  
4%

Black

  
4%

Hispanic

  
18%

White

  
73%

Free Lunch

  
100%

Special ed

  
13%

English Language Learners

  
14%

Safety & vibe

ARE KIDS
NICE?

How many teachers say bullying is a problem at school?

4% 17% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

82% 83% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

ARE CLASSES BIG?

Number of students in an average kindergarten class

24 23 CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Number of students in an average fifth grade class

27 26 CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO TEACHERS LIKE THE SCHOOL?

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?

64% 80% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers would recommend this school to other parents?

82% 83% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Attendance

How many students are chronically absent?

14% 23% 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?

93% 88% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

96% 91% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

66% 38% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

49% 29% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

94% 83% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Parents

Are parents involved?

How many parents responded to the school survey?

86% 68% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

70% 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?

77% 75% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Do parents like the school?

How many parents would recommend this school to other parents?

98% 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:

NA 7% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

NA 2% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

NA 18% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

NA 9% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

33% 16% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

8% 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?

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?

97% 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:

5% 6% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

47% 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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