P.S. 38 The Pacific School

450 PACIFIC STREET
BROOKLYN NY 11217 Map
Phone: (718) 330-9305
Website: Click here
Admissions: neighborhood school/gifted program
Principal: Yolanda Ramirez
Neighborhood: Boerum Hill
District: 15
Grade range: PK-5
Parent Coordinator: HASSAN SALAAM
Number of full-day PK seats: 126
Extended PK hours offered: Yes
Zoned
Gifted and Talented
Full Day
School-based pre-k
Extended Day

What's special:

Great arts, spacious building & playground; small classes, especially in G&T

The downside:

Some mistrust between the staff and administration

InsideSchools Review

Our review:

PS 38 has a clean, spacious building with large, airy classrooms and entire rooms for blocks, LEGO play and a sophisticated STEM lab. Its enrollment has increased in recent years, but it is still one of the few schools in District 15 that usually has room for children outside the zone and even outside the district.

Located just off increasingly trendy Atlantic Avenue, near the new Barclay Center Arena, PS 38 serves an economically diverse community that includes residents of one-family brownstones to those who live in public housing. PS 38 makes the most of its accessible location near most subway lines, and works with numerous arts organizations including nearby Mark Morris Dance Center. Children learn violin, steel pan drumming, and African dance.

"There's a warm and lovely environment here and it's a good fit for our family," said a mother of two who says she spends a "good chunk of time" at the school. "I love the diversity of it. All my kids have felt welcome and comfortable here from the first day."

A district gifted and talented program is housed at the school. G&T classes are small and there is usually room for children from other districts. Parents say they are well-integrated with the general education classes, although G&T classes tend to have far fewer children who qualify for free lunch than the rest of the school. School PTA officers mostly come from the G&T population.

Unlike its uber-progressive neighbor, PS 261, PS 38 has some of the trappings of a traditional school. There is no talk about "opting out" of test tests. The school's Parent Handbook, praises "spiffy dressers" and suggests that parents might send their sons to school wearing ties and that it is "nice to see girls in dresses or skirts as often as possible." Fifth graders have a prom 

Built to accommodate 820 students, enrollment hovers around 550, but is on the rise with the expansion of the pre-kindergarten program. Many families choose the school for its vibrant pre-k—in a corridor of seven classrooms that lead out into a private playground—but not all stay for the older grades. There are four kindergarten classes.

Four-year-olds illustrated simple addition problems with cut-outs of different colored fish and learned how to measure by making applesauce. Lessons are frequently based upon seasons and what the children want to learn. In January, a lesson plan was based upon the polar bear.

Pre-k parents come in to read on "mystery reader Fridays," a surprise to their own children. A mother who moved to the school mid-year said. "So far the school is better than the private school we paid for in North Carolina. There are class pets which is pretty cool and the teachers are friendly and so smart."

Principal Yolanda Ramirez, at the school since 2006, holds monthly community breakfasts with families to share ideas and get input. Parent say she is responsive and does a good job of managing the school budget and attracting resources. However, there appears to be friction between her and some of the staff; one-third of teachers who responded to school surveys said they did not trust her.

Students go on frequent field trips; beginning with neighborhood walks for the youngest children; older ones have sleepovers at the Intrepid, Club Getaway, the Natural History Museum Club Getaway and go on far-flung trips to the Museum of African American History in Washington, DC, and to Disney World in Florida, paid for by individual parents. Scholarships are available, the principal said, but not all parents choose to send their children on the overnight trips or can afford them.

The most frequent middle school choices are MS 442, School for International Studies and MS 51.

AFTER SCHOOL: The YMCA offers a free program. The PTA runs fee-based enrichment activities including French, chess, fencing, science, and piano lessons among others.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: PS 38 has self-contained classes in every grade. There are no team-teaching classes.

ADMISSIONS: Neighborhood school. There is usually room for students from outside the zone. "If you want to be here, we'll find a way," said Parent Coordinator Hassan Salaam. Citywide test for entrance to the gifted program. Many G&T students come from outside of the district. (Pamela Wheaton, pre-k tour, January 2017)

InsideStats

Click tabs above to see school stats

At a glance

Shared campus? No

This school is in its own building.

Number of Students 554

Average Daily Attendance 93%

Students at this school

Asian

  
13%

Black

  
37%

Hispanic

  
26%

White

  
21%

Free Lunch

  
59%

Special ed

  
16%

English Language Learners

  
5%

Safety & vibe

ARE KIDS
NICE?

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?

89% 81% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

ARE CLASSES BIG?

Number of students in an average kindergarten class

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Number of students in an average fifth grade class

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO TEACHERS LIKE THE SCHOOL?

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?

81% 80% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers would recommend this school to other parents?

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Attendance

How many students are chronically absent?

24% 23% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Academics

How many teachers say this school offers enough programs, classes and activities to keep students engaged?

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers say this school does a good job teaching social-emotional skills?

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

53% 41% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

53% 40% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Parents

Are parents involved?

How many parents responded to the school survey?

67% 64% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

NA NA 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?

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?

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

6% 8% 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:

0% 19% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

13% 9% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

5% 17% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

0% 9% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

97% 93% 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?

100% 86% 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:

55% 32% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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