P.S. 15 Patrick F. Daly

An Insideschools pick for Special Education
71 SULLIVAN STREET
BROOKLYN NY 11231 Map
Phone: (718) 330-9280
Website: Click here
Admissions: Neighborhood school
Principal: Peggy Wyns Madison
Neighborhood: Carroll Gardens/ Red Hook
District: 15
Grade range: PK-6
Parent Coordinator: Judith Reis
Zoned
Dual Language

What's special:

Refurbished playgrounds, inclusive environment & accelerated class

The downside:

Enrollment needs to increase

InsideSchools Review

Our review:

PS 15 with its two inviting playgrounds, collegial and stable staff and welcoming attitude to all students, offers the children of Red Hook a safe and stimulating education. It is has particularly vibrant math and special education programs.

The school, responding to its changing, gentrifying neighborhood, offers a dual language Spanish-English class beginning in pre-kindergarten, a program for accelerated students, and a dedicated after school for pre-k and kindergarten. All three programs were initiated after feedback from parents, according to Principal Peggy Wyns-Madison who served as assistant principal before taking over in 2007. The principal has an open door policy for parents and is responsive to their concerns and requests, said longtime parent coordinator Juanita Laboy.

PS 15 is a small school that strives to keep the feeling of intimacy as it receives tons of support from arts, cultural and community organizations, stepped up after the building was closed for two weeks when Hurricane Sandy hit in October 2012. Classes are mostly small, between 20-22 students, but up to 25 in kindergarten. Teachers at PS 15 are warm and accessible to their students and work closely together. Many of them have been at the school for more than 10 years. 

It’s a progressive place where kids mostly learn by doing, and where the administration believes in adapting the curriculum to students’ needs. In addition to the reading and writing-workshop model, PS 15 adds a study of phonics and grammar basics to early grades literacy. We saw groups of 1st-graders using tiny white boards to write out sentences dictated by the teacher. Penmanship is another benefit of the Fundations curriculum, the principal said.

PS 15 applied, but didn’t get approval, to start a district gifted and talented program, so the administration developed its own in 2010, an accelerated class called Riser. Children are identified through a screening assessment after kindergarten. Riser students do more in-depth studies and research and get more enrichment, the principal said. One of the teachers is certified in G&T.

Riser is one of several initiatives to entice new families to enroll at PS 15 and stay beyond pre-kindergarten. Enrollment began dropping when rising rents in newly trendy Red Hook forced many local families to move away, even as artists and entrepreneurs moved in. Other families were displaced by the hurricane and still haven’t returned. For several years, until the end of 2012, the PAVE Charter School shared the building in what parents say was an uneasy cohabitation. If the school’s enrollment increases, the hope is that it will be less likely that another school will move in.

Special education: Insideschools designated PS 15 as having a "noteworthy" special education program and the Department of Education has recognized its efforts to close the achievement gap among special ed students. About one-third of the students are classified as special needs and are taught in integrated co-teaching or self-contained classes on every grade. Some classes enroll both ICT and accelerated students in the Riser program. There is also a thriving class for intellectually disabled children who participate in all school programs, including dancing on the stage. Classrooms are large, bright and filled with books, and project centers. Occupational, physical and speech therapists are on site five days a week and there is adaptive physical education in the large gymnasium and a long time SETTS teacher. In addition, staff meets regularly and taps into the many community partnerships including the Lutheran mental health clinic and the Beacon program which offers family counseling.

After school: The Beacon program offers recreation and academic programs. Pre-k and kindergarten students have their own free after care program. The Marquis Studio offers family workshops in activities such as origami and puppetry.

Middle school choices: Most students go to IS 88, New Horizons or New Voices. Fewer attend Brooklyn School for Collaborative Studies and MS 51. (A lack of public transportation or subways makes commuting to Manhattan and outer-Brooklyn schools a discouraging prospect.)

Admissions: Neighborhood school. (Pamela Wheaton, May 2013)

 

 

InsideStats

Click tabs above to see school stats

At a glance

Shared campus? No

This school is in its own building.

Number of Students 392

Average Daily Attendance 90%

Students at this school

Asian

  
2%

Black

  
28%

Hispanic

  
55%

White

  
11%

Free Lunch

  
100%

Special ed

  
34%

English Language Learners

  
7%

Safety & vibe

ARE KIDS
NICE?

How many teachers say bullying is a problem at school?

3% 17% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

97% 83% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

ARE CLASSES BIG?

Number of students in an average kindergarten class

17 23 CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Number of students in an average fifth grade class

15 26 CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO TEACHERS LIKE THE SCHOOL?

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?

87% 80% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers would recommend this school to other parents?

97% 83% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Attendance

How many students are chronically absent?

37% 22% 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?

97% 88% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

100% 91% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

34% 38% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

24% 29% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

96% 86% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Parents

Are parents involved?

How many parents responded to the school survey?

61% 68% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

64% 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?

79% 75% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Do parents like the school?

How many parents would recommend this school to other parents?

95% 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:

8% 5% 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:

16% 13% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

3% 7% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

NA 11% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

NA 7% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

98% 98% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

100% 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?

93% 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:

0% 6% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

NA 27% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

100% 90% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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