Riverdale Avenue Community School PS 446

76 RIVERDALE AVENUE
BROOKLYN NY 11212 Map
Phone: (718) 485-1679
Website: Click here
Admissions: District 23
Principal: Meghan Dunn
Neighborhood: Brownsville
District:23
Grade range: PK-4
Parent Coordinator: CHRISTIN YANCEY
Unzoned
New School

What's special:

Strong, Bank Street–educated principal, children have same teacher for two years

The downside:

Rough neighborhood, low attendance

InsideSchools Review

Our review:

Founded in 2012 in a location with a history of failing schools, Riverdale Community School PS 446 enjoys strong leadership and a tight-knit community. Although we visited at the end of the year, teachers and students seemed fully engaged in activities and there was a strong sense of camaraderie within the building. Time will tell whether these strengths can help administrators raise low attendance rates and offset neighborhood volatility.

PS 446’s principal, Meghan Dunn began her career as a Teach for America teacher at PS 335, a successful elementary school in Crown Heights where she discovered children do better if they stay with the same teacher for two years. At her new school, she has adopted that practice, called "looping." The school’s instructional coach, Jacqueline Coley, says the practice is integral at PS 446, helping to build trust and strong relationships between children, their teachers and their peers.

Coley holds weekly one-to-one meetings with new teachers and conducts workshops and small group meetings to discuss instruction and curriculum with all teachers. At the time of our visit, the school had children enrolled in pre-k to 3rd grade and plans to continue growing one grade per year until it becomes k–5.

The school has many partnerships to keep students engaged and having fun. Students in pre-k and kindergarten participate in Studio in a School, wherein an artist comes to the school to engage the children in art activities such as drawing portraits once or twice per week. Students from pre-k to 3rd grade have dance, gym and science two to three times per week. Monthly RACS (Respect Awareness Collaboration and Success) awards are given to students who have displayed the school’s core values. Second- and 3rd-graders are able to join chess club, art club, Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts, and all students have the opportunity to engage in the after school program.

In the morning the children also participate in Superstart and Playworks, which provide monitored fitness activities. Coley said the school values physical activity, and even on very cold school days the children are allowed to play in the outside parks. If it becomes unbearably cold, the children are allowed to come into one of the two indoor play spaces with a coach who organizes physical activity inside.

PS 446 has three pre-k classes that are currently fully enrolled, which is impressive for this district with very low pre-k enrollment. In a phone interview, Dunn attributed her success to word-of-mouth and talking directly to daycares in the area.

During her short time as principal, Dunn has faced her share of hurdles: In addition to low attendance, increased crime in the neighborhood has been a concern. With support from Partnership with Children, the school brings in extra social workers to create a climate where safety and responsibility are valued.

Dunn's efforts are supported by a strong, active group of parents who place flyers in the neighborhood about stopping violence, and have fought for increased police presence in the area.

Parents are very active, Dunn says. They also organized a grassroots movement to opt out of state testing due to growing concerns that test prep was taking the place of important extracurricular activities such as art and music. According to NY1, 48 out of 60 PS 446 students opted out of state testing in 2014. With no previous track record of test scores, however, parents’ aversion to testing may leave prospective families with few ways to measure the school’s academics.

Special education: Integrated co-teaching (ICT) on every grade level, SETSS and counseling.

Admissions: District 23 choice but most children come from the Brownsville neighborhood. At the time of our visit, PS 446 had children enrolled in pre-k to 3rd grade. (Giselle Inoa, June 2014)

InsideStats

Click tabs above to see school stats

At a glance

Shared campus? Yes

This school shares the building with General D. Chappie James School of Science and the Riverdale Avenue Middle School

Number of Students 269

Average Daily Attendance 88%

Students at this school

Asian

  
2%

Black

  
76%

Hispanic

  
18%

White

  
0%

Free Lunch

  
90%

Special ed

  
20%

English Language Learners

  
4%

Safety & vibe

ARE KIDS
NICE?

How many teachers say bullying is a problem at school?

14% 17% 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 class

24 23 CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Number of students in an average fifth grade class

NA 26 CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO TEACHERS LIKE THE SCHOOL?

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?

100% 80% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers would recommend this school to other parents?

100% 83% 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?

100% 84% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

100% 88% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

91% 91% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of 3rd, 4th & 5th graders who scored 3 or 4 on the 2014 math exam

18% 38% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of 3rd, 4th & 5th graders who scored 3 or 4 on the 2014 ela exam

36% 29% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of 4th graders who scored 3 or 4 on the 2014 science exam

NA 86% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Parents

Are parents involved?

How many parents responded to the 2014 school survey?

38% 68% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many parents say they attended at least one pta meeting in the 2013-2014 school year?

70% 72% 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 2013-2014 school year?

74% 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?

Percent of self-contained students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2014 math exam:

NA 5% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of self-contained students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2014 ELA exam:

NA 2% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of ICT students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2014 math exam:

NA 13% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of ICT students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2014 ELA exam:

NA 7% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of SETSS students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2014 math exam:

NA 11% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of SETSS students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2014 ELA exam:

NA 7% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

99% 98% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

91% 89% 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?

75% 89% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How well does this school serve English language learners?

Percent of ell students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2014 ELA exam:

NA 6% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of former ell students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2014 ELA exam:

NA 27% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

95% 90% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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