P.S. 297 Abraham Stockton
BROOKLYN NY 11206 Map
P.S. 297 Abraham Stockton
Extended PK hours offered: Please contact site for more information
DECEMBER 2009 UPDATE: As of September 2009, James Brown, who was formerly an assistant principal at another school, has become principal of PS 297, replacing Maureen Garrity.
OCTOBER 2004 REVIEW: Located in the heart of Brooklyn's Bedford Stuyvesant neighborhood, PS 297 is a school that serves students from two public housing complexes on either side of the school the Marcy and Tompkins projects. The school's population has dwindled in recent years, partially a result of gentrification on nearby Flushing Avenue. Still, the neighborhood is a gritty one. Students are not permitted outside to play in the large public playground beside the school because of safety concerns.
Maureen Garrity became principal in 2002 after more than 25 years at the school, first as a teacher and then as an assistant principal. She says that her first concern was to ensure students' safety while creating an orderly environment, and she seems to have made progress in this area. On the day of our visit, the school was clean and hallways were under control.
The school has made major changes over the last two years, transforming itself from a place where students were tracked by ability and seated in rows, to one where kids of all levels share their classrooms and teachers try out new lessons in which kids are encouraged to choose their own books according to their interests and skill levels. The upshot is positive in some ways: many classrooms are inviting, featuring rugs, bins of books, and desks in clusters so kids can work in groups. And some teachers we observed were leading productive lessons.
Many, however, were far less skilled. We observed several teachers who had difficulty settling their classes down between activities. We also saw several teachers speaking to students with a critical rather than encouraging tone.
As far as test scores go, the school has made some progress in the past few years. In 2004, it was removed from the state's list of schools that need to improve in English language arts.
The school's three-story rectangular building has so much space that several classrooms are unused, and it boasts a science and art room, as well as a nice auditorium and decent-sized cafeteria. Kids can play outside in a small play yard right beside the school. (Unlike the large play yard that is considered unsafe, this area is not open to the public.) The school also has a sizeable gym, and a noteworthy physical education program, introduced in fall, 2004. Called "Physical Best," the program focuses not only on sports, but on helping kids to develop a healthy attitude toward fitness and exercise.
The school's English language learner population has been growing in recent years, according to the principal. Greater numbers of Spanish-speaking students many the children of Mexican immigrants are arriving at the school. An English as a second language teacher helps Spanish-speaking children outside of their regular classrooms.
Special education: The school has two "self-contained" classes only for students who need special services, as well as "inclusion" classes that mix kids who have disabilities with those who don't. (Deborah Apsel, October 2004)
At a glance
Number of Students 237
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?91% 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 class21 26 CITYWIDE AVERAGE
DO TEACHERS LIKE THE SCHOOL?
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?87% 84% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
How many teachers would recommend this school to other parents?96% 87% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
How many students are chronically absent?43% 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?78% 75% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Do parents like the school?
How many parents would recommend this school to other parents?96% 94% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Special ed & ELL
How well does this school serve students with disabilities?
This school does not offer self-contained classes.
Percent of self-contained students who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam:NA 8% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of self-contained students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:NA 2% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
This school offers team teaching (ict).
Percent of ICT students who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam:4% 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?
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?