Exceed Charter School

443 ST MARKS AVENUE
BROOKLYN NY 11238 Map
Phone: (718) 989-6702
Website: Click here
Admissions: Lottery
Principal: Curtis Palmore
Neighborhood: Crown Heights
District: 17
Grade range: K-8
Unzoned
New School
Charter School

What's special:

Dedicated and caring staff

The downside:

Low test scores and a lack of space for middle school students

InsideSchools Review

Our review:

Located in a changing area between Prospect Heights and Crown Heights, Exceed Charter School is a new school with a commitment to serving low-income students who may not have other options. It opened in 2012 in Brooklyn with grades k–3 as one of four charter schools in the Explore Schools network and plans to add a grade each year until it reaches k–8. The school’s dedicated and caring staff are tweaking a traditional curriculum and style to create a welcoming and academically successful school. “We want our students to love coming to school every day,” Principal and Founder Curtis Palmore told us.

During a recent visit, it was evident that the school is working hard to create a dynamic learning community. Every morning, the entire school turns its attention to a guided reading period: “It’s all hands on deck,” said Palmore, as the school works to build strong readers and to instill a love of reading. During our visit, the hallways, classrooms and even offices were buzzing with students using any available space to read independently, all clearly engaged in their books. In other nooks, four or five students clustered around a teacher who worked with them on a guided reading text. 

In a sense, Exceed is still finding its way. When it opened in 2012, the school inherited a number of students from the failing PS 22, which had occupied the building and closed after several years on the DOE’s list of unsafe schools. At the beginning, the school faced a “tremendous challenge” with some of its student body, and the school was run with a very strict management style to bring order to the classrooms and show the “community that this is a different place.” Now, Exceed is moving from a model of “management to engagement,” said Palmore, and is instituting a style of discipline that strives to keep children in the classroom. Kids who disrupt the class are still removed from the room; we saw a child reading alone at his desk in the hall, but Palmore said the goal is to return students to the classroom as quickly as possible and to restore the relationship. Exceed is focusing on building strong relationships between the students and teachers and between the school and families, and has a school culture team to help with this. 

Exceed shares a building with PS 705, a progressive elementary school with a diverse student body that reflects the neighborhood’s changing demographics. Exceed is largely minority and low-income. The school, unlike some charter schools, does not shy away from special ed students or ELLs (English language learners). Fifteen percent of its spots are set aside for ELL students. The small school has two self-contained special education classes, and most grades have an ICT (integrated co-teaching) class where one of the two teachers is certified to teach special ed.

The school’s founding goal is to prepare each student for admission to and success in a college preparatory high school, but it has struggled with standardized tests. The low scores in 2014–15 prompted the administration to increase professional development and to further hone its monitoring of individual student progress and needs. The students are formally assessed in reading five times a year, for instance, and the school provides additional intervention to students who are struggling. Students in 3rd through 5th grade use the project-based Expeditionary Learning curriculum for reading and language arts, while younger elementary students use Core Knowledge, designed to expose students to a wide range of historical, scientific and cultural topics. For math, the school combines an in-house curriculum focusing on fluency in math facts and the TERC curriculum, which emphasizes problem-solving.  

The current building lacks space for Exceed’s middle school students, who will share space at nearby PS 375.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: The school welcomes students with special needs, offering both self-contained classes and ICT (integrated co-teaching) classes that combine special needs and general ed students with two teachers.

ADMISSIONS: By lottery with priority to students with siblings at the school, District 17 residents and English language learners. (Elizabeth Daniel, December 2015)

InsideStats

Click tabs above to see school stats

At a glance

Shared campus? Yes

This school shares its building with PS 705

Number of Students 441

Average Daily Attendance 94%

Students at this school

Asian

  
3%

Black

  
78%

Hispanic

  
16%

White

  
1%

Free Lunch

  
77%

Special ed

  
21%

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?

64% 75% 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

Number of students in an average middle school english class

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO TEACHERS LIKE THE SCHOOL?

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?

86% 79% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers would recommend this school to other parents?

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Attendance

How many students are chronically absent?

NA 22% 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 students in grades 3-8 who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam

21% 40% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of students in grades 3-8 who scored 3 or 4 on the state ela exam

19% 41% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of 8th graders who scored 3 or 4 on the state science exam

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many 8th grades pass high school regents exams?

Percent of 8th graders who take and pass the algebra regents:

NA 14% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of 8th graders who take and pass a science regents:

NA 17% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Parents

Are parents involved?

How many parents responded to the school survey?

67% 59% 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:

13% 6% 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:

NA 14% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

NA 8% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

6% 15% 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?

89% 91% 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?

79% 84% 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% 3% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

0% 19% 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

Comments

Please post comments

  • Give specific examples. Tell us why this school rocks (or doesn't)
  • No profanity. No racial or ethnic slurs. No personal attacks
  • Criticism is fine but don't be nasty.
  • Flag inappropriate comments. (Hover your cursor over comments to see flag)