P.S. 107 John W. Kimball
An Insideschools pick
BROOKLYN NY 11215 Map
P.S. 107 John W. Kimball
Located on leafy Eighth Avenue in Park Slope, PS 107 has become increasingly popular and well-regarded. Principal Eve Litwack, who arrived on the job in the summer of 2011, hopes to bring the school to the next level in terms of learning. But she also must confront a mounting space crunch that threatens to further boost class size and chip away at some of the school's most attractive physical features.
Litwack, along with assistant principal Pascale Pradel, came from nearby PS 321 and Litwack plans to emulate many features of that large, popular school at the smaller PS 107. She hopes, for example, to develop a relationship with Teachers College.
Like PS 321, PS 107 does not offer a gifted program and has tried to downplay test prep. "School has to be a place where kids are totally engaged," Litwack says, and where they "feel respected and feel safe to take risks."
Despite large class sizes, most students seem absorbed in their work. Fifth readers listened attentively as a classmates described chemical reactions that create caves. Students were exploring many forms of writing: Some assembled nonfiction books on topics they knew about -- from Justin Beiber and vampires to Helen Keller, while kindergarteners colored pictures to accompany the poems they had read.
An increasing number of children in the neighborhood and the school's improved reputation, have created what a local newspaper called a "kinder-crunch." In spring 2011, the school had a kindergarten waiting list of about 50 students. As parents fretted, the school decided to do away with the pre-kindergarten class -- opening up space for a fifth kindergarten.
The 2011 crunch continued a trend. The school has only 75 5th graders but about 100 4th graders. As a result, the 4th grade has 31 students in a class. Given the tight space, the school no longer has space for students from outside its zone.
The squeeze is unlikely to abate as more 4-year-olds apply and the school seeks to accommodate an additional class on every grade level. This has left Litwack to ponder a number of alternatives, none of them appealing, including making greater use of the armory, where gym classes are now held, and converting some shared space to classrooms.
The 19th century building got a renovation in 1994, although it still has a rather cramped, awkward layout; some classrooms are only accessible by going through other classes. There is a large, sunny open space on the top floor used for the arts and as a library; a science lab boasts a trout tank along with conventional equipment.
Special Education: PS 107 follows special education rules requiring neighborhood schools to meet the needs of all children in their zone. There are no self-contained classes but there are integrated co-teaching classes for grades 3 and up.
The active PTA funds various arts offerings, including a program with the Brooklyn Museum of Art for kindergarten and 1st graders and dance programs -- from African to ballroom for the 3rd and 4th grades. All students get a full year of art and music, except for 5th graders who take only music. Partly at the urging of parents, the school also emphasizes exercise.
Most students go on to District 15 middle schools, with MS 51, MS 447 and New Voices the most popular destinations. Each year some graduates leave the district to attend Mark Twain. (Gail Robinson, January 2012)
At a glance
Number of Students 578
Average Daily Attendance 96%
Safety & vibe
How many teachers say bullying is a problem at school?0% 15% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained in the school?100% 83% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
ARE CLASSES BIG?
Number of students in an average kindergarten class25 23 CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Number of students in an average fifth grade class28 26 CITYWIDE AVERAGE
DO TEACHERS LIKE THE SCHOOL?
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?96% 79% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
How many teachers would recommend this school to other parents?94% 84% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
How many students are chronically absent?5% 22% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of 3rd, 4th & 5th graders who scored 3 or 4 on the 2013 math exam
Percent of 3rd, 4th & 5th graders who scored 3 or 4 on the 2013 ela exam
Percent of 4th graders who scored 3 or 4 on the 2013 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 2012-2013 school year?93% 74% 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?
As of 2012-2013, this school offers self-contained classes.
Percent of self-contained students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2013 math exam:40% 5% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of self-contained students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2013 ELA exam:0% 2% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
As of 2012-2013, this school offers team teaching (ict).
Percent of ICT students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2013 math exam:30% 13% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of ICT students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2013 ELA exam:13% 7% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
As of 2012-2013, this school offers SETSS.
Percent of SETSS students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2013 math exam:17% 11% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of SETSS students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2013 ELA exam:50% 7% 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?