P.S. 29 John M. Harrigan
BROOKLYN NY 11201 Map
P.S. 29 John M. Harrigan
Extended PK hours offered: Contact program about extended hours.
Parents from across the world email the principal of PS 29 as they seek to move to its historic, tree-lined Cobble Hill neighborhood. This cohesive school rivals any area private school, rave current parents. Every effort is made to connect studies with children's lives and to include them in decisions. Parents help run an after-school program, a journalism club and a lunchtime running club. They raise money to pay for assistants in kindergarten.
Like the best progressive schools, everything is fodder for learning here, from the basement plumbing that pre-kindergartners examine to see how water gets inside the building, to the school garden. Children take up causes, like banning household products containing microbeads, a water pollutant. There are two science teachers who fuel children's curiosities. "We take it a step further to make the connection with real life," said one, "then kids take the lead."
Writing is at the heart of the school and many parents are writers themselves. A parent volunteer (and writer at The Nation) handed us the latest edition of the PS29 Post. It is written by 4th- and 5th-graders and funded by parent advertisements. Writing often takes practical form: Students are required to submit an essay to be considered a "green team" monitor, for example. Monitors take photos, gather data and do audits that include an examination of the waste bin in the principal's office.
Classrooms are alive with movement and talk. Kindergartners take part in dress-up, block building and other "choice time" activities. We saw a high level of achievement throughout the building, but efforts are made to reach kids who may lack skills too. Teaching assistants have training to help struggling readers, and children receive phonics and other foundation skills lessons. Math performance is above-average and improving as teachers deepen their practice with a math coach. Second-grade teacher Kim Van Duzer co-founded NYC Math Lab, a collective of teachers working together to enhance their math practice.
The school has grown by about 250 children since Principal Rebecca Fagin arrived in 2011. She taught at the flagship Mott Hall in Harlem and was an assistant principal at Mott Hall II for four years. She wants kids to "take the reins" at PS 29 so they "internalize the learning." Therefore, it is the children who create posters for the annual "Eat Pie & Shop," and take up collections for City Harvest, a coat drive and Toys for Tots.
Because PS 29 lacks a full gymnasium, a resourceful teacher makes the most of a double-wide classroom outfitted with gymnastics equipment. Children visit the spacious playground even in cold weather.
A downside is the school's popularity. The three pre-k classes fill with siblings, and the staff anticipates wait lists for kindergarten for the future.
SPECIAL EDUCATION: Team-taught ICT (integrated co-teaching) classes are "100 percent integrated," said Fagin, meaning low, middle and high achievers are mixed in every class. "We find that's what makes it work so well," she said.
ADMISSIONS: Neighborhood school. There is an open house for prospective families in December. About 15 students from out of district were admitted in the upper grades in 2015 through the Public School Choice program, which provides families of children attending failing schools with other options. (Lydie Raschka, December 2015; updated August 2016)
At a glance
Number of Students 895
Average Daily Attendance 96%
Safety & vibe
How many teachers say bullying is a problem at school?NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE
How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained in the school?93% 81% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
ARE CLASSES BIG?
Number of students in an average kindergarten classNA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Number of students in an average fifth grade classNA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE
DO TEACHERS LIKE THE SCHOOL?
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?88% 80% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
How many teachers would recommend this school to other parents?NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE
How many students are chronically absent?5% 23% 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?NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Do parents like the school?
How many parents would recommend this school to other parents?NA NA 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:42% 19% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of ICT students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:24% 9% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of SETSS students who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam:60% 17% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of SETSS students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:40% 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?