P.S. 241 Emma L. Johnston
BROOKLYN NY 11225 Map
P.S. 241 Emma L. Johnston
PS 241, a midsize District 17 elementary school that attracts many out of zone students, takes advantage of its prime location in the heart of Brooklyn's cultural center with regular excursions to the nearby Botanic Garden, Brooklyn Museum, and Prospect Park.
Former pupils at the school, including philanthropist and principal for a day Peter Malkin, sponsor collaborations with arts organizations such as the Lincoln Center Institute and Carnegie Hall to bring teaching artists to the school. Malkin also donated a new computer lab and a new playground.
Principal Frantz Lucius came to PS 241 in 2010 after eight years as an assistant principal at the highly-regarded K-8 school, PS 189 and he would like to see PS 241 achieve the same level of excellence and, perhaps, grow to include a middle school.
"Coming from PS 189, a school of excellence, I want to instill the same principles," he said. "This is a changing neighborhood and we want to have a school that all parents can be proud of."
There is room to expand at the school, says Lucius, noting that 15 years ago it had 1100 students. A mini-building, painted like a fishbowl by the school custodian, houses three full-day pre-kindergarten and four kindergarten classes. "It's a great to have them in the same environment," Lucius said.
The early childhood center is sits behind a newly renovated "NanaBanana" playground, which boasts basketball and tennis courts, along with play equipment.
The school focuses on the arts and Lucius' goal is to devote Friday afternoons to the arts. A YouTube video shows the music teacher leading children in a handchime choir. Children are taught to read music notation while learning to play piano in a digital keyboard lab; 3rd-graders participate in the Carnegie Hall Link Up program, receiving recorders and workbooks to prepare them to take part in the interactive performance with the orchestra at Carnegie Hall each spring. Ballet Tech takes selected students to their off-site school for dance training and Young Audiences New York presents assembly programs in the school auditorium.
Test scores are solid for the district and the school received an "A" on its 2011 Progress Report. Still there is room for improvement, says Lucius, who has begun offering enrichment classes in grades K, 1 and 2 for higher-achievers who might otherwise test into gifted and talented programs in other schools.
"We try to differentiate with the curriculum and also with the collaboration with cultural institutions – the children go on trips to museums," he said. A program called Junior Great Books promotes critical thinking; arts, computer and music teachers collaborate on projects.
Staff and parents expressed concerns about rowdiness in the playground at lunchtime, and some teachers complain about a lack of discipline and respect, according to the 2011 Learning Environment Survey. There were 35 suspensions in 2010 and 26 in 2011, as compared to 10 in 2009.
But parents and teachers over-all give the school high marks. The 2011 Learning Environment Survey shows that 96% of the parents who took the survey are pleased with the education; 92% of the teachers surveyed said that school leaders allow them to take a "meaningful role in setting goals and making important decisions." In 2009 only 38% of the teachers said they had been given a meaningful role.
After school: Mostly academic programs. Violin instruction is provided by the Noel Pointer Foundation. The Sports and Arts in Schools Foundation offers Ballroom Dancing and Glee Club.
Special education: There are both integrated co-teaching classes and self-contained classes at the school.
English Language Learners: About 70 children qualify for ESL classes, many of them come from Africa or Haiti, the principal's birthplace. (Pamela Wheaton, January 2012; phone interviews and web reports.)
At a glance
Number of Students 657
Average Daily Attendance 93%
Safety & vibe
How many teachers say bullying is a problem at school?10% 17% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained in the school?83% 83% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
ARE CLASSES BIG?
Number of students in an average kindergarten class21 23 CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Number of students in an average fifth grade class26 26 CITYWIDE AVERAGE
DO TEACHERS LIKE THE SCHOOL?
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?77% 80% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
How many teachers would recommend this school to other parents?90% 83% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
How many students are chronically absent?22% 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?68% 75% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Do parents like the school?
How many parents would recommend this school to other parents?90% 94% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Special ed & ELL
How well does this school serve students with disabilities?
This school offers self-contained classes.
Percent of self-contained students who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam:10% 7% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of self-contained students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:10% 2% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
This school offers team teaching (ict).
Percent of ICT students who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam:0% 18% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of ICT students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:25% 9% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
This school does not offer SETSS.
Percent of SETSS students who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam:NA 16% 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?